May 22, 2023
Northcote Hotel, Lancashire – Michelin gastronomy meets hotel innovation
Situated on the edge of the beautiful Ribble Valley is a gastronomic paradise – Northcote Hotel. Famed for its Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant and beautiful interiors, it’s an ideal getaway for any occasion. We’re all looking for the perfect break, and with staycations rising by 73%, this could be the perfect bucket list escape.
Lancashire’s expanding foodie empire combines Michelin-starred dining with a bucolic rural location. Gourmet breaks remain the main draw, although Stay and Cook stay at the cookery school are increasingly popular. The hotel hosts Obsession, a 16-day showcase with guest chefs from around the world, each January.
Set amid the rolling pasture of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, Northcote has a country house feel yet it’s only 12 miles to Preston for West Coast Mainline rail connections. Views of the Forest of Bowland await as you pull back the curtains each morning, and it’s only eight miles to the M6 junction.
Many visitors to Northcote come for the Michelin-starred dining room, set in a cosy manor house, eight minutes’ walk from Langho station. Room rates include a five-course dinner (and a vegetarian equivalent), with wine pairings available. The spectacular landscapes of the Forest of Bowland lie just outside the door, crisscrossed with walking trails, ideal for walking off the wickedly indulgent meals.
Northcote, in the picturesque Ribble Valley Hills, Lancashire, is one of the original wave-makers – first winning its Michelin star in 1996 and holding onto it ever since.
This 26-bedroom retreat isn’t just your average hotel though, the warmth of the staff washes over you as soon as you walk in – an absolute joy. Northcote is part of the Stafford Collection of hotels, but this little gem of a hotel ensures every guest is made to feel like they are the only ones that matter. The hotel is breathtaking and contemporary and there are little luxuries that make you feel extra special whilst you’re there. This includes Temple Spa Toiletries, twin sinks, and the MD himself Craig Bamcroft.
I was taken aback on our final day that Craig was working hard in the greenhouse next to us, he popped his head around gleefully and told us a bit about what he was working on. Often with hotels at this level, the MD is far away from the day-to-day, but meeting him for a quick fifteen minutes showcased how much the hotel means to him and his team.
There are multiple reasons Northcote goes above and beyond, so let’s shine a spotlight on why you need to visit.
Food and Drinks
It goes without saying that you’ll have heard of the Northcote, and that’s highly likely because of the incredible culinary talent in the form of Executive Chef, Lisa Goodwin-Allen. Lisa is one of the most innovative and exciting chefs in the UK today.
Lisa has led the kitchen brigade here since the age of 23 and is a regular face on Britain’s tv screens, drawing inspiration from the beautiful Ribble Valley landscape to produce stunning dishes which showcase the wide range of incredible produce the region has to offer. Whilst there, we met the Chef in the flesh, who was as down to earth and humble as anticipated. Lisa said that she’s stayed at The Northcote because she ‘has everything that she needs here’ but also gets to go down to The Stafford in London regularly to train chefs and look at new menus. Having this connection to London means that Northcote can keep on top of exciting gastronomical trends.
Pre-dinner, we were invited to the cocktail bar, where we were greeted by Bar Manager Georgi Petrov, who wowed us by introducing an Edwards vodka old-fashioned. Georgi had such an amazing knowledge of cocktails that we could’ve chatted to him all evening, and after this innovative old-fashioned and classic penicillin we were ready for the evening.
I’d highly recommend dining to have the seasonal gourmet menu (lunch or dinner), as they’ve just launched their new seasonal menu which is absolutely stunning. The experience was absolutely wonderful, and the staff knew the story of all the produce when taking us through the food story. I’d highly recommend including the wine flight as part of your package for an extra £72.70pp, as the Sommelier was extremely knowledgeable which elevated the whole dinner.
Some of the standout things about Northcote include their Cookery School in which they’ll nurture your passion and enjoyment for cooking, which inspires and translate into imaginative creations to cook at home. Coming up, they’ve got a BBQ Masterclass in July with guest Chef Chris “Chops” Taylor, Dinner Party Secrets which is where you’re guided through the insider tips and tricks to make a dinner party one to remember. You can take a look at their cookery school calendar here to see what else they’ve got coming up.
Another exciting option is dining in the heart of the action at The Chef’s Table, where you’ll get the best seats in the house and be able to watch in awe as the culinary delights are made right in front of you, and you’ll have the unique opportunity to ask questions in the intimate setting of the Chef’s Table.
They also have an extensive events list where they partner with the likes of Coravin Wine and Louis Roederer too, if you’re looking to experience something incredibly unique.
You can book from £240 per night which includes breakfast or book for £490 and this includes the seasonal five-course Michelin-starred tasting menu. This is for a Manor House Classic Room, you can even add champagne, a gin tray, flowers, or a huggie the bear – perfect for a special occasion.
Looking for the best of both worlds?
Multi-staycations are going to be the next big thing, so if you’re looking for a mix of fine dining to eco-retreat, it’s worth going from Northcote to Everything Retreat which are 15 minutes apart. I absolutely adore the fact that both locations joined forces to promote their unique experiences instead of being in direct competition. Watch out for my feature on Everything Retreat which will also go live this week.
A: Northcote Road, Langho, Lancashire, England, BB6 8BE
T: 01254 240 555
Written by Kaya Cheshire for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International