Harden's survey result
“Stosie Madi continues to turn out some of the most exciting, most accomplished food in the North” at “this lovely, well-run pub in a pretty village at the edge of the Forest of Bowland”, which is “very much worth the trip”. There is “superb use of local produce in tasty and often unique ways” (reflecting her half-French, half-Lebanese heritage), and “behind it all, she has a deep understanding of classical (and less classical) techniques, ingredients and how to combine flavours”. Top Menu Tips: “game in season is a highlight”, as are pies and “anything cooked on the charcoal grill, whether meat or veg”.
“Great folk behind the bar and evident genius in the kitchen” makes it worth a fair-old schlep to this “perfect pub run with love” – a “charming” old inn (“log fires in winter”) in a “picturesque village” in the Forest of Bowland. “Chef Stosie Madi continues to provide some of the most heartfelt, most locally-centred, most seasonal food in Lancashire. Pies are a real highlight with unimprovable pastry and delicious fillings, but the real treat comes when she draws on her heritage to use the local produce in Middle Eastern inspired dishes. The vegetarian and vegan food here can be so attractive that it’s worth foregoing the meat (though maybe not in game season…) – what she can do with a cauliflower, cabbage or wild garlic is remarkable! Service is led by Madi’s business partner, Kathy Smith and her brother AJ” and “there’s always a personal and friendly welcome” (“the best advice is just to go with the flow and enjoy the way they do things”). “I’m glad I don’t live any nearer or I’d be skint!”
“It looks like a typical local inn, set in a pretty village in the Forest of Bowland”, but Stosie Madi’s cooking “is on another level” – “it’s simply the best food ever” – at this “just amazing” destination, which is “worth travelling over the Pennines for”. “Exceptional ingredients are cooked with skill and flair” from “a constantly-changing, hyper-locally-sourced menu” and Kathy Smith oversees “the friendliest, efficient service”. “While the real gems come in the dishes with Middle Eastern inspiration” (reflecting the chef’s heritage), it would be wise not to ignore the pub classics, especially pies. Top Menu Tip – “the wild garlic custard tart was probably the best thing I have ever eaten!”
“In a beautiful village in the deepest wilds of Bowland”, this “idiosyncratic” and “joyous” destination – “a proper, big, slightly ramshackle country pub” – serves “exciting” fare that’s “truly exceptional” and “well worth a (long) detour”. “Stosie’s classical cooking is influenced by cuisines from all over the world, with a real focus on local ingredients (wild produce, game, etc)” to create “something not too fancy and full of terroir”. “Hospitality like hers, AJ’s and Kathy’s is a rare thing”, and though service “can come under pressure when it’s busy” the overall effect is “engagingly wonderful”. And “my god, they feed you!” – “you’ll have to undo all trouser buttons and not eat for another 24 hours afterwards!”. Top Menu Tips – “the best game pie ever” and “anything that sounds Middle Eastern”.
Hall Gate Hill, Newton-in-Bowland, BB7 3DY
12pm - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 8.30pm, Sat: 12.30pm - 4.30, 6 - 9pm, Sun: 12pm - 6.30pm
Last orders: Mon & Tue closed, Wed - Fri 8.30 pm, Sat 9 pm, Sun