Pub review - Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green

LAN June Food Review

LAN June Food Review - Credit: Archant

Walking club members in the home counties were recently bemoaning the fact that all their local pubs were now so posh that they no longer encouraged muddy-booted hikers to cross the threshold.

There are no such problems in the more down to earth Lancashire. That’s especially true of the Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green where they have sign outside urging walkers to pay them a visit. Hurst Green is not just home to Stonyhurst School – it also has three pubs, which seems a touch greedy when most villages struggle to support one.

The most prominent is the Shireburn, which changed hands not so long ago and is now in the hands of the people who run several highly regarded hotels, including Mitton Hall, Eaves Hall and the Royal in Kirkby Lonsdale.

This is what we found:

Style: This is a coaching inn dating back to 17th Century and it shows – in a good way. It remains a historic building but it has developed that country house shabby chic look with cosy corners throughout the bar. The dining room is a bright, open room with terrific views across the Ribble Valley.

Service: We called in on a Saturday lunchtime and the first impressions were good with a welcome that bordered on effusive. The dining room team were young and a little inexperienced (bordering on gauche) but perfectly pleasant and attentive.

Food: Hearty and generally well-cooked. The starters list was imaginative with smoked haddock and pea veloute and Lancashire cheese croutons standing out. A main course of lamp rump was an exceptional piece of meat while a pan fried sea bass needed a few more minutes to cook properly. Custard tart and Yorkshire rhubarb was the clear winner in the dessert stakes.

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Drink: The wines are supplied by D. Byrne & Co. so you are unlikely to find a duff one and there is real ale from Bowland Brewery and Moorhouses.

Prices: Middle of the road – starters go from £5.50 to £8.25 and mains from £9.95 to £22.50 for a fillet steak. They also do sandwiches and ‘superior’ salads.

Lancashire Life verdict: Any sensible walker would make sure the Shireburn Arms was on their itinery. And they have rooms if you feel you can’t go on!