Escape to the northern countryside with Michelin-starred dining, stunning views, and tranquil gardens. This 26-bedroom retreat steeped in culinary excellence is a beautiful spot to explore the Ribble Valley in Lancashire or simply kick back, cocktail in hand, and soak in the vista.
Where is it?
Built in 1880 as a private dwelling for “local spinster” (and very lucky lady indeed), Mary Yates, Northcote changed hands only a handful of times before it’s grand transformation into the luxurious bolthole it is today. Perched on the doorstep of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Forest of Bowland, Northcote sits proudly amongst 300 square miles of lush countryside housing some of the best food and drink in the UK.
What about the rooms?
Boasting 18 guest rooms in the manor house plus 7 junior and 1 master suite in the garden lodge, accommodation at Northcote ranges from superb to sublime. The guestrooms are spacious, modern, and unscrupulously clean, with some featuring living flame fires, smart TV’s (from which you can sneak a peek at the kitchen live-cam, but more about that later), and the opportunity to adopt a rather charming teddy bear, should you so wish. All rooms include sumptuous bedding atop marshmallow-soft beds, plush soft furnishings, and complementary teas, coffee, and home-made ginger biscuits for dunking. With a variety of accommodations including two that are wheelchair accessible, all rooms are blessed with either panoramic views of the Ribble Valley or the lush greenery of the perfectly manicured gardens that envelope the building.
Michelin star with Northern soul
Whilst Northcote holds its own as a luxurious yet contemporary hotel, there’s no denying one of the key attractions of the property is the restaurant itself. Holding a Michelin Star for a stonking 26 years, Northcote’s trailblazing culinary offerings are undoubtedly what is driving a large portion of guests through the doors. With Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen at the helm, Northcote has become synonymous with sophisticated, yet unfussy, fine dining. The 5 course Autumn Gourmet Menu includes an Aged Dairy Cow Rossini (selected for its buttery, melt-in-the-mouth softness), Scottish Venison tossed in icing sugar for a gloriously crisp sear, and my personal favourite, the Slow Cooked Cacklebean Egg, which somehow tastes like Sunday nights in 1998. Lisa’s attention to detail and use of good ol’ Lancashire produce results in dishes that are high-end, yet familiar. With wine pairings by Craig Bancroft and a multitude of highly knowledgeable staff, Northcote provides a refreshingly friendly and informative dining experience perfect for Michelin newbies and seasoned fine diners alike.
In addition to the famed Gourmet Menu, Northcote offers a terrific selection of seasonal lunch dishes, an extensive wine list and multitude of artisan cocktails, a chef’s table experience right in the heat of the action, an in-house cookery school, and they can even arrange bespoke food tours with local gastro maestro Katie from Bowland & Bay. It’s safe to say, these guys know their grub.
Things to do
Other than eating (although you could quite happily spend 24 hours here doing nothing but that), Northcote is nestled in the perfect location for crisp autumnal walks through the countryside, leisurely bike rides, and scenic drives. Take an afternoon to explore local distilleries, cheese shops, and quaint bakeries, book in for a clay pigeon shooting session or go fishing along the River Ribble, there’s plenty to keep you occupied here. Alternatively, take a long soak in your deceptively deep bath tub, snuggle up with your (adoptable) teddy bear, order a bottle of wine to your room and soak in those lush, green views.
- Whilst all rooms are undoubtedly lovely, it’s worth splashing out on a junior suite, especially if you’ve something to celebrate. Featuring spacious terraces and balconies, sumptuous seating areas, and generously sized bathrooms, the lodge suites are the perfect place to unwind after working your way through the gourmet menu.
- The wine flight provides excellent value and elevates the seasonal menu to new heights. Highly recommended.
- If you’re new to Michelin dining, Northcote is the one for you. The dining room is elegant, but not pretentious, the dress code smart, not stuffy. The homely familiarity of flavour in Lisa’s menu makes this an excellent option for those looking to make their first foray into fine dining. Get it booked.
Rooms at Northcote start from £260 on a B&B basis and the cookery school from £225 per person. Seasonal Lunch starts from £48 for three courses. The Autumn Gourmet Menu is priced at £115 for 5 courses plus £69.60 for the optional (but highly recommended) wine flight. Bookings can be made direct at northcote.com