Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“Unfairly overlooked by Michelin”, this gourmet village pub continues to produce “some of the finest food in the Ribble Valley” and some locals “are convinced that this place has made Northcote up its game”. “Steve Smith’s cooking has a modern idiom, but draws on classics and there’s a heartiness to many dishes that is both unexpected given its contemporary style, but also keeps it rooted in the building’s heritage as a pub”. All in all “it’s fine dining of a consistently high standard”. But are prices creeping up? In particular “the wine list takes no prisoners (but fortunately there are some good beers too)”.
“Steve Smith continues to lead the vanguard of haute gastronomy in the Ribble Valley”, at this nationally notable and “attractive pub”, “in a tiny village alley” – “a brilliant gourmet destination high on the moors of East Lancashire”, which local cognoscenti feel “knocks Northcote into second place”. While the style is “unpretentious, with wooden tables”, this is “a class act all round”: “service is exemplary with a sommelier on hand”, and the dishes are “well thought out”, “skilfully executed” and highly “memorable”.
“Northcote’s only serious competitor in the area!” – Steve Smith’s “hard-to-find gastropub, tucked-away in a rural village”, gives its grander local rival a good run for its money, with “skilful and complex” local and seasonal cooking that’s “full of flair” (“and its pub guise even means there’s good ales on draught too”). One or two reporters were “disappointed after all the rave reviews”, but they seem like the exception that proves the rule.
“An almost hidden little restaurant – not really a pub any more – which offers some cracking food”; all reports testify to its remarkable “consistency”… and in a “fantastic” setting too!
Freemasons at Wiswell Restaurant Diner Reviews
"What a shame!! The food did not live up to the reputation. We arrived earlier than our 12.30 booking (at 12.10 ) and were seated immediately- we would have preferred a drink downstairs! We had looked forward to a nice family meal on Christmas Eve, however, we were really disappointed by the service from the Manager. He was not at all friendly and rather condescending. At the end of the meal (having paid almost £500 for 6 people) he did not acknowledge us, ask us if we had a nice meal or even thank us for our custom and when we wanted our coats back, he asked us to search for them ourselves. This is certainly not the standard of service we would expect from a Manager. He was rude and made us feel unwelcome. Despite the good reviews this establishment has received in the past, the desserts were disappointing in comparison to the enticing descriptions."
"Having been a supporter since Steven Smith arrived I continue to believe this is one of the very best Pub food operations in the North. However on 2 recent visits it has not really hit the heights I have become used to. I wonder whether the focus on the kitchen has been lost a little with the recent planning problems?"
8 Vicarage Fold Clitheroe, Wiswell, BB7 9DF
lunch noon - 2.30 pm, Sun 6.30 pm, dinner 6 pm - 9 pm, Fri & Sat 9.30 pm
Last orders: 9 pm, Fri & Sat 9.30 pm, Sun 6 pm