Sunday, 22 January 2017

Mitton Hall Lancashire Taster Menu

Recently on a wintry evening we popped along to visit Mitton Hall for their Lancashire Taster menu, the hall dates from the 15th century and is situated in the stunning Ribble Valley countryside just outside Whalley nr Clitheroe.

Now run as a country house hotel by the James Places Group, the property features stunning interior design which complement the ancient architectural features yet creating the atmosphere of a contemporary country house hotel. A favourite for weddings and romantic get aways....

Sumptuous decoration greeted us and the hall was warm and welcoming, the fire dancing in the impressive fire place. After a quick tour we waited by the fireplace for the taster event to start.

The Luxe bar is home to a wide range beers, wines and spirits and a resident mixologist, who will whip you any cocktail your heart desires, for you to enjoy in the comfortable relaxed environment.

Another 14 diners were joining us to experience the Lancashire Taster  in the sumptuous dining room, beautifully decorated. I loved the opulent yet modern chandeliers.

Country house yet, cosy. A lovely space to enjoy dinner...

So on to our menu for the evening, 10 courses of Lancashire's finest flavours.

I'm not a great fan of brief menus, whilst appreciating that this is the current trend and this is a taster menu, I do like to know what I am getting, when one or two of the dishes came out I must admit I was a tad perplexed with the resultant dish. May be this is just me.

Cockles, damson and black pudding.


Crispy cockles served with a black pudding and damson puree, a nicely balanced dish with earthy savoury black pudding and the sweet fruity damson complementing the sweet salty cockles.

Lancashire Curd, burnt onion and grapefruit


Milky slightly salty Lancashire curd coated with burnt onion powder, sweet red grapefruit and tiny burnt onion leaves and begonia flowers. The onion and grapefruit worked well but the Lancashire curd was rather bland and (sorry) a little diaryleaish in flavour.

Corn Beef hash, brown sauce


A deconstructed corn beef hash, a ball of rich meaty corned beef wrapped in spiralized potato and carrot, deep fried and served with egg yolk ( mine was a little cold) and a spicy brown sauce. Tasty savoury hit, dish balance was good.

Elderflower, pear and popping candy


Both Mr LF and myself thought this was one of the best dishes of the evening, possibly in the wrong position on the menu as a palate cleanser but lovely all the same. The elderflower foam perhaps could have been a little thicker and slightly more flavourful but it balanced beautifully with the hidden pear sorbet, the popping candy gave the dish a little sparky finish.

Surf and Turf, whitebait and venison

Well flavoured fishy whitebait served with perfectly pink venison, the salmon caviar provided little salty bursts along with the black olive puree. I love whitebait and this was hot and crispy but my venison was a little cool.

Goosnargh Duck, salsify, turnip and lavender.


Nicely presented dish but most of the items on my plate were cold, the duck was still slightly pink but cold and therefore very chewy, the puy lentil accompaniment likewise, But the puree and vegetables were hot, I also couldn't detect the lavender flavours. Sorry but I was disappointed as I really like Goosnargh duck.

Smoked Haddock and morecambe bay shrimps, lime


A novel approach to serving fish , a perfectly soft boiled egg, wrapped in smoked haddock and shrimp force meat , deep fried and served with a lime sauce. Overall a nice dish , maybe the smoked haddock could have been a little more smokey and the lime sauce a little less limey but the balance was good.

Nannykins Goats Cheese, candied fennel

Next up was a Lancashire take on a burek, a spinach and goats cheese filled pastry cigar, the pastry was a little heavy and the goats cheese was a little lost against the spinach in the filling, the cigar was I also felt over sized for a taster menu. The candied fennel was very tasty and contrasted well with the rest of the dish cutting the heaviness of the cheese cigar.

Oops I dropped my Manchester Tart


Deconstructed Manchester tart, lovely fruity jammy sauce, vanilla custard, coconut ice and dessicated coconut and a short biscuity disc, all the essential flavours of the traditional tart.

Chocolate and Chestnut


Our final course, a celebration of chocolate, parfait, mousse, cherries, chocolate sauce, chestnut mousse, cherry jam. Deliciously decadent and a nice end to the meal.

Overall we enjoyed our visit to Mitton Hall, I was a little disappointed by the cold dish I was served (I did point this out on the evening) and Mr LF was left a little flummoxed when his beer glass was removed whilst not being empty and not questioned as to whether he would like a replacement, a minor point but slightly off putting.

Also apologies for some of the quality of the images particularly of the food, as the table we were sat at had very poor lighting , lovely and intimate but difficult to take good images. We also didn't want to use a tripod as we feel this is off putting to other diners in the restaurant.

Mitton Hall is situated just outside Whalley nr Clitheroe, bookings can be made via their website


Our tasting menu was provided on a complementary basis by James Places however I was not required to write a review (positive or otherwise), all comments, views and opinions are my own.
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