I’m always a little late to the proverbial party when it comes to food trends: street food, kale, cocktails in jars… And so it is that I am the last food blogger in the north of England to visit The Parkers Arms in Lancashire. I’ve spent the last two years, seeing pics and reading reviews but never making it out there. But now I have and it was well worth the wait.
We went up late on a Saturday afternoon. About an hour from our house, it’s a great drive up to Newton in Bowland past Clitheroe, through Waddington and then past the sheep in the hills. The Parkers Arms isn’t a trendy gastropub with a soulless interior and identikit menu. This is a proper pub with proper ale, proper fire and properly lovely people working there. We were tucked in next to the fire which was lit even though it was a lovely warm day outside, but we didn’t mind as it just added to the general ambience of the place.
I can’t begin to tell you how good the food is. So I am pretty much going to let the pics do the talking.
They treated our table to some nibbles while we studied the menu and waited for our starters. They included baked potato skins sprinkled with sea salt and homemade salsa, black pudding sausage rolls, roasted local beetroot, and griddled tiny baby veg served with homemade mayo.
The Cornish crab starter was very generous in size – I’d have been happy with it as a main course. Served ‘French Caribbean’ style with a gorgeous herby salad and fresh chewy bread. Other starters round the table included the duck liver parfait, and seasonal pea purée with fresh peas, broad beans, pea shoots, bacon and toasted bread fingers.
I’d been told by a regular that the lamb kofta were excellent, so I couldn’t resist. I was not expecting the beautifully presented, heavily laden, board put in front of me. Two large kofta made of local lamb served with homemade falafel, baba ganoush, tzatziki, another gorgeous salad, flat breads and chips. Those triple cooked chips were amazing, but with so much else going on I only managed two. Sad times! The others had the lamb and cockle pie (salt marsh lamb, so the cockles were a natural pairing from the same coastline), the house burger and more kofta. The youngest in our party was more than happy with her freshly made giant fish fingers.
Even with the help of my husband I didn’t manage to clear my plate but there was no way I was leaving without dessert. The rhubarb pavlova was as beautiful as it was delicious. This kind of presentation blows the socks off any other ‘pub grub’. I’m assured that the decadent chocolate trifle and lemon posset were equally as good.
I walked out with a smile on my face and one in my belly. This was seriously good food shared with great friends, deserving of all the accolades it receives. The team there should be extremely proud of what they are producing. It’s well worth the drive and I am already waiting to go back for more!
The Parkers Arms. Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire. BB7 3DY
This post originally appeared on the Visit Lancashire blog. If you’re heading up to Parkers Arms, Visit Lancashire is a great place to plan your day.