A Michelin Star dining experience has been on our wish list for a while. So we visited Northcote Manor on the night of my lovely husbands 60th birthday last month. I had booked and planned this as a surprise for the actual night itself. We are both foodies and love dining out as well as watching hours of cooking on TV. He knew I’d booked an overnight stay but not where however, as the day grew nearer I was a bit panicky about surprising him and revealed the venue and Michelin Star experience the week before.
Northcote Manor is a renowned small luxury hotel with a Michelin star restaurant situated on the edge of the Ribble Valley, in the heart of Lancashire. Lisa Goodwin Allen is the Executive chef after taking over from Nigel Haworth, both seen regularly on TV Cookery programmes, including the Great British Menu.
We traveled by car and the journey took less than an hour. It was easy to find and is a manor house set just off the main road in expansive gardens which include an area where they grow some of their own produce.
Our room was in the Garden Lodge set aside from the main Manor house housing the restaurant. We had booked the Tasting Break which included an overnight stay, a 6 course dinner and breakfast the following morning. We were allocated room 21, which was huge, a large double bed, sofa and doors to a private terrace fully surrounded by a hedge for privacy. The bathroom was fabulous with complimentary Temple Spa toiletries. Check in was super smooth and there was a birthday card from the hotel waiting for John in our room.
Dinner was booked for 7 and we had a pre dinner drink in the bar in the Manor House, this was so cosy and inviting. The short walk from the Garden Lodge to the Manor house is lit up and well paved, umbrellas are available in each room in the event of inclement weather. As it was October the terraces were bare but it was clear to see that there were many outdoor chairs and tables available to enjoy a drink outside in the summer admiring the surroundings and views. We were served 2 small hors d’oeuvres in the bar before being invited into the main restaurant.
The restaurant is luxurious to look at with attentive service. It is a high end experience as expected by a Michelin Star restaurant. Every course was explained to us as it was served. I chose to purchase the wine flight for myself, John stuck to beer, and the Sommelier provided a choice for a couple of courses. The service was excellent but a little too formal for our liking, after all we are only humble people who like to experience a taste of the good life and good food occasionally.
Our menu was:
AGED HAND CUT BEEF
Roasted Celeriac, Smoked Marrowbone
Maison Antech, Crémant de Limoux, Rosé Émotion, Languedoc Roussillon, France, 2015 (125ml £8.50)
WEST COAST SCALLOP
Clam ”Chowder”, Bacon, Chervil
Cottanera, Etna Bianco, Sicily, Italy, 2016 (125ml £10.00)
Dry Sack, Amontillado, Williams & Humbert, Andalucia, Spain, NV (70ml £11.50)
Orchard Apple, Watercress, Walnut
Chardonnay, Heitz Cellar, Napa Valley, USA, 2014 (125ml £15.75)
RED LEG PARTRIDGE
Leg Bolognaise, Mushroom, Squash
Reserva, Viña Tondonia, Rioja, Spain, 2004 (125ml £15.25)
FLAVOUR OF ECCLES CAKES
Muscat Grapes, Caramelised Pastry, Tea
Monastrell, Dulce, Bodegas Castaño, Murcia, Spain, 2010 (70ml £8.00)
Neither of us like pink meat, we could be classed as old fashioned as we love all meat dished ‘well done’. The Aged Hand Cut Beef was a version of steak tartare, so we asked for an alternative if possible. The request was no problem and we were given the equivalent course from their plant based menu, which was:
HAND CUT ROAST CELERIAC
Horseradish, Smoked Butter
Maison Antech, Crémant de Limoux, Rosé Émotion, Languedoc Roussillon, France, 2015, 125ml £8.50.
The courses were small but very rich with fabulous mixes of flavours and textures. The Partridge wasn’t really us, although we did eat most of us. My favourite course was the Cornish Turbot, absolutely delicious.
Following dinner we had one final nightcap in the lounge bar, with its roaring fire and dimmed lighting. Before retiring back to our lovely room. We were both full and satisfied from this luxury experience.
Following a great nights sleep we returned to the main restaurant for their version of a Full English Breakfast. Service was a little slow at breakfast but the food when it arrived was just the right portion size after the previous nights hearty dinner.
Overall this was a one off experience for us for a special occasion, it was expensive, costing just under £600. There are large service charges added to each aspect of service. Our after dinner drinks of a pint of cider and a Baileys cost £24! We were really pleased to be able to experience this dining experience but would not repeat in a hurry. The one downside for me was that the temperature in the restaurant both at dinner and breakfast was too warm, I appreciate that being in the throws of the menopause this was my problem, but Mr Fitz also felt uncomfortable at times in the heat.
In summary though it was a fabulous experience for a pair of foodies like us for a one off celebration. If you were looking for a top class venue with Michelin Star food I would highly recommend it.
Dining out is our favourite pastime.
Have you had a luxury dining experience or a similar treat for a special occasion let me know what you did or where you dined at. We are always looking for places to visit to stay and dine. Leave me a comment or email me, I love to hear from you.
Thanks for popping in today