From undiscovered gems on the Fylde coast to the gastropub hotspot of the Ribble Valley, Lancashire’s pub culture is reinventing the “local”, these are the 10 Lancashire pubs you must visit in 2018.
Freemasons at Wiswell
Situated in the Ribble Valley, Freemasons at Wiswell is a country pub with a generous helping of gentrified refinement. Chef-cum-patron Steven Smith and his team provide contemporary creativity and a dash of flair, consistently achieving impressive results and national awards. This 3 AA Rosette and Michelin Bib Gourmand country inn is sure to entice through ambience and appetite. 2018 sees the addition of rooms, so you can stay a little longer in this picturesque part of Lancashire.
The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston
A 17th century coaching inn with mesmerising views onto the River Wyre. Originally from Bordeaux, Chef Patrick Beaume and his team create classic British dishes with a soupçon of French style. Boutique bedrooms and a delicatessen complete the package. Visit England Tourism Pub Silver Award Winner 2016. Stay in one of the Inn’s boutique rooms or one of their brand new and quirky luxury ‘cabins’.
Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland
This country inn with a contemporary twist is perfect for eating, sleeping and, of course, drinking in the Trough of Bowland. Great for all the family, even dogs are welcome, so long as they behave. The rich “terroir” of the Trough of Bowland enables the kitchen team to celebrate local produce. The elegant and relaxed restaurant offers menus incorporating seasonal, local ingredients; each dish served with their individual stamp.
White Swan at Fence
48 in the Top 50 Gastropubs and run by owners of a local wine shop and deli, much lies below the surface at the unassuming White Swan in Fence. Head Chef Tom Parker trained at Lancashire Michelin star dining establishment Northcote, under Nigel Haworth and was Lancashire’s entrant in 2017 Great British Menu. There’s no menu, just a daily influx of local produce. Think hare with homemade black pudding and preserved damsons and oxtail cottage pie.
The Bay Horse, Ellel, Lancaster
Just five minutes away from the picturesque Lancaster Canal, this gastropub is nestled in the beautiful Trough of Bowland. Husband and wife team, Craig and Nicola, carry the baton of fine dining passed down to them by Craig’s parents. Their slow-cooked duck legs and Sunday roast of Lancashire finest sirloin of beef stand testament to their dedication to sampling the choicest Lancashire ingredients.
Winner of Lancashire Tourism Awards Pub of the Year and the Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year, amongst other awards, this Grade II village pub lies is in Downham conservation village, with amazing views of Pendle Hill from the 12 bedrooms (available for bookings). The owners source the best of British produce. If you want something off-menu give 48 hours notice – if it’s in season, it’s yours.
The Three Fishes, Mitton
An AA Rosette pub and Silver medallist for the Green Tourism award, this flagship and first born to Ribble Valley Inns creates its menus using fresh ingredients from local food heroes. One can enjoy regional cask ales and an award winning wine list chosen by wine expert and managing director of Northcote, Craig Bancroft. All of this in a wonderfully relaxing environment for eating out – with al fresco dining in the summer and crackling logs fires in the winter.
The Inn at Whitewell, Forest of Bowland
The Inn at Whitewell is a chic rural inn in the stunning Forest of Bowland, providing 23 glamourous bedrooms, seriously good local ingredients cooked well and a top notch wine list. Offering a relaxed and friendly service, it found fame on Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s The Trip. With 5 AA stars and a Quality in Tourism Gold Award, this pub can be found in the most renowned food guides like the Michelin Pub Guide and The Great Inns of Britain. It may be some year’s since Coogan and Brydon visited for The Trip, but it remains one of Lancashire’s best loved and most eautifully situated inns.
Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom
Under head chef Ben Morris, the Eagle and Child seek to serve the best seasonal Pennine foods using traditional recipes and home-grown vegetables. It’s won more awards than is possible to mention including Best Food Pub by the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, Alastair Sawday’s Pubs and Inns Guide 2014/15 Community Pub of the Year and it was listed in the Independent’s top 50 Sunday Roasts. With a great range of quality cask ales, this quirky and modern pub offers the perfect environment to sip a pint and enjoy some of Lancashire’s most popular dishes. The pub has a recently added five boutique rooms and an orangery with views across the Irwell valley.
Red Pump Inn , Bashall Eaves
This luxury B&B and gastropub is tucked away in the Forest of Bowland in the tiny village of Bashall Eaves. Its reputation is spreading swiftly however, with particular interest in its culinary speciality – steak. Recommended in Alastair Sawday’s Secret Places and the Good Pub Guide, it’s the perfect place for a night of good food in the heart of the Lancashire countryside. It’s elegantly rural interiors may even tempt you to stay the night.
And finally, here’s one of the best new Lancashire pubs to watch out for in 2018
The New Inn Yealand, Carnforth
This country pub beloved by locals was once under threat of closure. The community bravely banded together to save it, but economics defeated them. A local businessman stepped in to save it and now, you’ll find great food combined with chic décor without losing that treasured village pub and its history. That careful balance means the New Inn has been an almost overnight hit. Chef John Conner’s menu is full of pub classics and his signature dish, a flavoursome beef cheek with a suet pudding containing kidney, is much in demand.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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