Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Lancashire
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Lancashire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 149 restaurants in Lancashire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Lancashire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Lancashire Restaurants
1. Moor Hall British, Modern restaurant in Aughton Prescot Rd - L39
“A beautiful building in a beautiful setting with a beautiful kitchen garden, and beautiful food… just fabulous!”. Mark Birchall’s “outstanding” three-year-old occupies a “mediaeval manor house adapted for the 21st Century” to the north of Liverpool and is “excellent in every way, from start to finish”. After the approach down a long driveway, “an ancient stone arch holds a door of ecclesiastical proportions, leading onto to a panelled reception. From here you are led into the lounge (proper fire places, more intricate carvings and Latin inscriptions) to be served from the charcuterie bar as you wait (black pudding parcel; smoked eel basket with edible flowers; cod’s roe mousse with caviar and the most beautiful crackers ever…)”. Once in the dining room proper (a very modern space), “everything coming out of the kitchen is exquisite”: thoroughly “deserving of its two stars” and oft-compared with L’Enclume (even if the food’s “not quite as cheffy and messed about with”). “What Mark Birchall can do with carrots and turnips is just remarkable” and “symptomatic of the ethos: fresh, simple ingredients taken to a higher level by the chef’s craft”. “Integral to the experience” is a “front of house team fully on the top of its game; and a team of sommeliers passionate about their work, all dedicated to creating the ultimate dining experience”. It doesn’t all take itself too seriously either: the vibe is “fun and convivial”. Top Tip – don’t miss a jaunt to the cheese room, and take a stroll around the gardens if you have the time!
2. Northcote British, Modern restaurant in Langho Northcote Rd - BB6
One of the “top class gold-standards for restaurants in the North West” – this luxurious country house hotel, just off the A59 near Preston, has risen to ever-greater prominence over the years, and “its new ownership (The Stafford Collection) promises yet-additional investment”. “With Lisa Goodwin Allen now established as Executive Head Chef, there’s a new vibrancy to the cuisine, with interesting and imaginative new dishes whilst maintaining the best from the past” (established under Nigel Haworth); and “better touching base with its North West roots than it has in recent times”. Over the years the property has been lavishly added-to and benefited from a “classy” refurbishment (occasionally felt to be a bit “corporate”). There’s “an exceptionally curated wine list, whose selection is led by MD Craig Bancroft, with plenty of classics but lots of other interesting wines from around the world”. “Will they now get the second Michelin star that they so crave?”
3. La Locanda Italian restaurant in Gisburn Main Street - BB7
“Possibly the most authentic Italian food in the north of England, and with no compromise to British ideas of what Italian food is” – this converted old cottage on the A59 is “somewhat reminiscent of an agriturismo, but casting its net over Italy, serving various cuisines rather than just one”. Maurizio Bocchi is the chef, while his wife Cinzia runs front of house, and “their knowledge of oils and wines is amazing” (“olive oil is a speciality verging on obsession and the all-Italian wine list is full of excellent wines you've never heard of, all at very fair prices”). “The food is hearty enough for a rural Lancastrian appetite” – “pastas, particularly the home made ones, are always excellent, fish is always very good, but meat tends to be overcooked in that curiously Italian manner”.
4. The Inn at Whitewell Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Clitheroe Forest of Bowland - BB7
This famous, “charmingly old-fashioned” eighteenth-century inn has been run by the Bowman family for three generations and is set in the stunning landscape of the Forest of Bowland – bang in the middle of what the Office of National Statistics says is the happiest place to live in Britain. All reports give a solid thumbs-up to its traditional cooking and high quality cellar, but it somewhat lacks the profile of yesteryear.
5. Eagle & Child British, Modern restaurant in Ramsbottom 3 Whalley Road - BL0
On the outskirts of Ramsbottom, this small inn on the village green was recently well-renovated and has a “good beer garden”. “Any lack of polish service-wise is compensated for by the staff’s enthusiasm and willingness”. “Good quality, traditional British food, with regional variations, and some home-grown vegetables, works well”.
6. Midland Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Morecambe Marine Road West - LA4
“The glamour of the building competes with the beauty of the outlook” at this “superb Art Deco hotel with the most beautiful views across Morecambe Bay, which makes this a fabulous location for dinner”. “Better still, the food is very good!” – Lancastrian sourced, and in an unfancy, modern British style. There’s also a “quintessential afternoon tea, with perfect sandwiches, scones and cakes”, while “it’s worth staying over for the breakfast – and the view of the birdlife on the shore”.
7. The Parkers Arms British, Modern restaurant in Newton-in-Bowland Hall Gate Hill - BB7
“An exceptional place”, whose “glorious” location places it “in the middle of nowhere (or the middle of God’s own country, depending on your point of view)”. “It’s the most welcoming pub you could wish for” with “always a warm welcome from AJ and Ben”. Chef Stosie Madi “cooks intelligently and from the heart” displaying “a knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of cuisines, plus classical and non-classical techniques”; and “her food is modern, fresh and bursting with flavour”. “When in season there’s no better place to enjoy stunning game, fish is perfectly cooked” and “even the simple things like pies are done so well, you end up thinking that this must be what other pies want to be when they grow up”.
8. Freemasons at Wiswell British, Modern restaurant in Wiswell 8 Vicarage Fold Clitheroe - BB7
“Fine dining in a local pub” – “high quality ingredients and well-rehearsed techniques to ensure a top-class, punchily-flavoured product”; and with “a brilliant wine list” – again win massive acclaim for Steve Smith’s “lovely” old inn, set in a tiny village in the Ribble Valley. In July 2019, it re-opened after a major investment, with the addition of a new kitchen, chef’s table (min 6, max 12), kitchen bench (4 stools) and bedrooms.
9. Nutter’s British, Modern restaurant in Norden Edenfield Road - OL12
TV chef Andrew Nutter’s manor house dining room provides a “very impressive” setting, ten minutes’ drive from Rochdale, and “capable” and “attentive” service. The French-influenced modern British cuisine is acknowledged in practically all reports to be “consistently excellent”. Top Tip – “A good value business lunch is available during the week”.
10. Levanter Spanish restaurant in Ramsbottom 10 Square St - BL0
“In the centre of this undistinguished Lancashire town, this two-tiered venue with its open kitchen comes close to taking your breath away” – “quite what Ramsbottom ever did to deserve such a bustling, authentic tapas bar remains a mystery”. “Sparkling dishes (“often relying on specialist Spanish ingredients”) are as fresh and delicious as they come”, prices are “encouraging” and “the friendly staff make eating in this sometimes packed restaurant a pleasure”. “It’s also probably the only Andalusian bar in the UK to which you can travel by steam train!”
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