10 great foodie getaways in Lancashire and the Lake District
- Credit: Dan Burns
Looking for a foodie getaway? Lancashire and the Lake District have them in abundance
Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe
Foodies after a front row seat are in for a treat at Freemasons at Wiswell. The recently opened Mr Smith's Kitchen Table gives 12 lucky diners the opportunity to view the kitchen, as chef Steven Smith's team works its magic on brand new menus starring local ingredients. There are also four stools on the Kitchen Bench for an even closer look. Of course, there's still the option of the main pub and, if you need a lie down after all that divine dining, there are four new gorgeous luxury rooms to choose from.
Holmes Mill, Clitheroe
If the idea of a beer-cation sounds like heaven, then Holmes Mill in Clitheroe is the place to be. The Boiler House beer hall changes its selection of 24 cask ales each week but always features six Bowland Ales from the on-site brewery. You'll find Beer Bibles dotted around the industrial-chic bar, to perfectly complement advice offered by the knowledgeable staff. To learn more, take a brewery tour. Your bed for the night will be in the gorgeous The Spinning Block boutique hotel and there's time to explore the on-site bar and grill as well as the food hall.
Northcote in Blackburn remains a firm favourite in any northern foodie's book. With seasonality as well as sustainability at the forefront of their approach, the team, headed by Lisa Goodwin-Allen, uses fresh local ingredients as well as produce from their own extensive kitchen gardens to conjure up creative, elegant and flavour-packed dishes. The Michelin-starred restaurant is perfectly complemented by the stylish country house hotel rooms and for those keen to get busy, there's an extensive list of inspiring courses at Northcote's cookery school to choose from.
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Low Wood Bay, Windermere
The views of Windermere from Low Wood Bay's new Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant can't be beaten. And the hotel itself isn't looking bad either, having had a recent total refurb. But it'll be difficult to take your eyes off the three-metre woodfired grill at the centre of the contemporary restaurant, where chefs create flavoursome hearty dishes. For a more classic menu, head to The Windermere Restaurant, before retiring to one of the elegant bedrooms ahead of another day of relaxing in the spa or enjoying the great outdoors.
Hipping Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale
Original features are sprinkled throughout the gorgeous Hipping Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale and the beautiful range of bedrooms maintain this elegance, with a slight contemporary twist. Oli Martin's changing tasting menus in the restaurant follow suit with some experimental dishes created using ingredients sourced from the three surrounding areas; The Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire. And don't forget to choose from their impressive list of wines, all sourced from small, organic vineyards.
The Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite
At The Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite, dogs and their owners cosy up to the fire with a Barngates ale and the day's newspaper, while diners sample the carefully constructed menu in the restaurant. It's the food that draws people here, away from the usual Cumbrian tourist hotspots, but the cosy atmosphere makes them stay. The classic no-fuss British menu is designed around local ingredients and all served by the award-winning hospitality team. In terms of accommodation; think roll-top baths and wooden beams, to perfectly fit the country escape feel.
The Fence Gate Inn and Lodge, Burnley
Whether it's their collection of 1000 gins, their famous sausages, or their choice of real ales that first attract you to The Fence Gate Inn, there's certainly plenty to keep you here. And with the Fence Gate Lodge housing 24 luxurious rooms just over the road, there's no reason to rush off. Just one look at the custom-built aging unit in the brasserie is enough to show you how serious they are about their food here. And the proof is certainly in the pudding; or the 35-day dry-aged ribs of beef in this case.
The Orangery, Ribby Hall Spa Hotel, Wrea Green
With the spa's mud wraps and hot stone massages to distract, the restaurant at Ribby Hall's Spa Hotel may not seem the obvious choice for a gourmet getaway. But there's a reason chef Michael Noonan's casual fine dining menu has been awarded two AA rosettes. His flavour-packed dishes never disappoint, being inventive but unpretentious and they're all served by the most friendly and warm staff too. The relaxed bar offers a variety of refreshing cocktails before you head upstairs to the tasteful bedrooms for a well-earned rest.
Augill Castle, Kirkby Stephen
If you fancy a break from tasting menus and posh nosh, but still want your foodie taste buds tingled, the Italian Kitchen at Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen is ideal. Not one for the retiring types, dining here is a social occasion, so be prepared to get to know your fellow dinner guests and take part in the house party-style atmosphere. It's authentic Italian cooking; kept simple using quality ingredients. And the party continues throughout the rest of the castle too, with a music room, bar, cinema, turrets and towers and large romantic rooms to enjoy throughout your stay.
The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston
No matter what time of year, The Cartford Inn offers a warm, inviting and cosy atmosphere combined with the best regional food and drink. The menu changes with the seasons and offers British classics with a French twist, teamed with cask ales and award-winning wines. They've recently opened some new rooms and, just like the existing ones, they are individually decorated and oozing luxury. There are also two studio cabins with spectacular views providing something a little out of the ordinary.