Follow The Pack
Opening in spring 2023 and quickly establishing itself as the dining pub of choice, Grindleton pub and restaurant the Rum Fox could be a tasty bet for success story of the year. Kate Bowyer drops in to find owner and head chef Bob Geldeard busy cooking up new surprises for 2024
If you think 2023 passed quickly, that must be nothing to Bob Geldeard. Taking on a derelict pub and overseeing its complete renovation was just the beginning.
Building on his previous reputation as head chef at the nearby Duke of York and the Higher Buck in Waddington, he promised to serve the finest food and drink available, with the emphasis on the seasonal, the local and the surprising at the Rum Fox.
This was proved immediately and deliciously, with fresh, locally sourced and inspired seasonal dishes with a twist, refreshed by weekly changes and surprises.
As word spread about dishes like scallop and prawn toast, partridge Kiev, Grindleton lamb, venison cottage pie and cod loin in oyster and champagne sauce, diners flocked to the new fox on the block, inspiring Bob – still just 37 – and his talented team to add more innovations. These include regular dinner and wine tasting events, where a sumptuous five-course tasting menu is matched with pairing wines and a talk from expert Richard Bracken from Milestone Wines.
The beautifully remodelled pub allows visitors to choose refreshment at the bar, relaxing in the glass-fronted casual dining terrace with fabulous views of Pendle Hill, or enjoying open-kitchen views of the busy chefs in the Scandi-style main restaurant.
Rich in Georgian-inspired elegance, The Den, a stylish and intimate private dining room for parties up to 10, provides the perfect setting for an intimate twosome, family get-together, formal occasion or party celebration.
With word building and national plaudits surely on the horizon, the tip is to get to the Rum Fox before the secret’s out. Open from midday Wednesday to Sunday, early booking is required to secure weekend tables, including the incredibly popular Sunday lunch.
“Mid-week lunches are proving very popular with guests enjoying the new season menus,” says Bob, in a rare pause. “Our two-course is £28 and a three course just £34, so there’s plenty to suit any budget. The bar is dog-friendly and becoming very popular with walkers enjoying a pint and seasonal pie after a Ribble Valley stroll, so I’d advise prebooking.”
Taking a peek at new specials for upcoming Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, it’s clear Bob intends continuing to cook up a storm this year. Bob said: “We’re going to continue doing what we do to our absolute best, and throwing in those surprises that we’re delighted to see are bringing people back for more.”
The Rum Fox
Sawley Road, Grindleton
Clitheroe BB7 4QS