Spotlight on: Northcote
Morthcote is nestled on the Ribble Valley, Which is renowned foodie hotspot in the North West! North cotes aren't just a restaurant, it's a luxury hotel which is a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux and Pride of Britain Hotels.
Northcote restaurant is renowned for its fine cuisine and serves traditional Lancashire recipes with a modern twist, created from local produce. To add to the experience, the Chef's Table, in the kitchen, offers insights into how the kitchen really operates, and the Cookery School provides a unique and intimate experience where you can learn new skills and dishes in a Michelin star kitchen.
The chef reigns have been in the trusted hands of Nigel Haworth for over 30 years, however, last year these were handed to the very capable Lisa Goodwin-Allen his chef protégé for 18 years. It's no surprise that with the grounding and training that Lisa has had, and with her natural talent for working with local ingredients, it has been left in safe hands.
On arriving we were speedily checked in and walked over to our room in the new part of the hotel, with plush carpets and modern boutique styling the room was enormous. We were lucky to have a balcony with an amazing view of the surrounding countryside.
We freshened up and then headed over to the bar where we were met by Jack our waiter with a glass of Louis Roederer and a couple of beautiful canapes – Potted Shrimp Cornetto and a slow-cooked pork brawn with a mustard mayonnaise. This was a tasty simple start to the evening and along with the fizz made it really special.
We opted of for the six- course tasting menu – which took us on a journey of Europe with its flavours but delivered with some fine local ingredients, which gave a real depth of flavour. The infused Isle of
Wight tomatoes was a fresh light start to the menu which had a punch of basil running through it. The accompanying cheese and onion "brandy snap" was the highlight of this course – if we could have had a full plate of these we would have!
We were then taken on a journey through deconstructed Goosnargh Chicken Cesar, Moroccan Ashcroft Cauliflower which was divine and then onto some Scarlet Prawns in Parsley & Garlic that looked like a painting on a plate it was so pretty. It then moved to the meat course where we were served Yorkshire Dale lamb which was served with a white curry and sweet cicely. The lamb was cooked beautifully and was both tender and succulent.
Finally, we were served a deconstructed Strawberry trifle – it looked anything but a trifle… stunningly plated and delicious strawberry depth of flavour with Lemon Verbena running through which complemented the strawberry.
All of the above was expertly matched with wine by our expert sommelier Tony – the standout was the Viogner Les Vignes d'a Cote, Yves Cuilleron – 2016... So much so I asked where I could get it by the case for Christmas!
Lisa has definitely put her stamp on the new menu, but at the same time has ensured that the loyal Northcote customers will not be scared away.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with a special mention on how welcoming the staff were and the level of warm and professional service that we received - Every time we visit Northcote it delivers another surprise and makes it a special inviting place to return to.