The Red Pump Inn, Bashall Eaves, Lancashire restaurant review

The Red Pump Inn, Clitheroe Road, Bashall Eaves. BB7 3DA.<br/>01254 826227

FRIENDS thought Martina and Jon Myerscough had a screw loose when they decided to go into pub business. They both had successful careers yet here they were in a semi-derelict inn at the centre of the Ribble Valley 'foodie triangle' with big beasts like the Three Fishes and the Inn at Whitewell as rivals.

'The pub really was in a pitiful state,' admits Martina. 'It's a stunning building but it was in an excruciating condition with a shameful reputation. It was the sort of challenge that they turn into a TV reality series.'

It took careful planning and a lot of hard slog, but after 15 months the couple from Liverpool are now presiding over another Ribble Valley success story. The Red Pump Inn at Bashall Eaves has a growing reputation for high quality food, great beer and comfortable surroundings.

'We are both boringly passionate about good food and good service and Jon is obsessive-compulsive when it comes to the condition of the beer,' laughs Martina.

Not a bad starting point for a couple in their first venture as publicans. They also took the bold step of allowing their reputation to grow by word of mouth rather than going for the big bang approach. It appears to have worked with customers coming from across the North West to sample a menu of great food - the vast majority sourced locally. The main menu is short but big on flavours with the likes of Bowland beef and local lamb hotpot. A big specials board changes regularly and it is likely to involve plenty of local game when it's in season.

'We don't want our food style to be pigeon-holed,' says Martina. 'We don't faff around with the food but you couldn't describe it as plain. People thought we were barking mad to come to an area which already had some great eating places, but the Ribble Valley is becoming a foodie haven and that means people will flock here.'

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New developments at the Red Pump include an outdoor eating area so you can enjoy the incredible countryside and a vegetable garden, which will supply the kitchen.

Indoors, there is room for 70 diners but you'd do well to book at weekends.

The Red Pump Inn, Clitheroe Road, Bashall Eaves. BB7 3DA.

01254 826227

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