The magnificent 1823 Bar & Grill was where we enjoyed Chase grapefruit gin aperitifs ahead of a memorable meal. Photography: Robin Lyndon
The phenomenon that is Holmes Mill in Clitheroe has just opened the stunning new 1823 Bar & Grill, a British seafood and steak restaurant in the original cotton-spinning block. On our arrival we were amazed at the spectacular bar and restaurant – it is spacious and incredibly beautiful, certainly unlike anything else in the Ribble Valley or for miles around. If it was in London you would be impressed, in Clitheroe it is almost beyond belief.
The vision of converting the old mill into this incredibly stylish place is an absolute credit to the team at James’s Places! Just to see it is worth the visit, but we had food and drink on our minds.
We started with aperitifs from the superbly well-stocked and comfortable bar – all the staff were delightful and very helpful. After a long discussion Chase grapefruit gin and Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic was our tipple of choice, and delightful it was too.
The menu, as promised, had all manner of seafood and meats sourced in-house from the Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill. Local suppliers and produce are key and the philosophy is to take the best ingredients and treat them with respect to deliver superb dishes.
Judith started with half a grilled lobster, cooked to perfection and served very simply, it was delicious. It was Burns Night so I opted for a small portion of haggis, very tasty with neeps and tatties. Tedd opted for the hand dived scallops, uniquely cooked with beetroot, leeks and watercress – a superb combination! Liz decided a portion of calamari off the nibbles menu would be sufficient and the charming tower of golden crispy rings didn’t let her down. Served with a spicy chilli and lemon jam, it was an excellent choice.
Onto mains and you guessed it – a 20oz Porterhouse steak with salad and buttered spinach was on Tedd’s list from the minute we set off – it was big, juicy and tender, cooked medium rare and very tasty. My lamb rack was pink and succulent with the fat slightly crispy, it was absolutely to my taste and I could have eaten it again! We shared a bottle of Zinfandel from California, which was delightfully fruity with big blackberry flavours and just enough tannin.
The ladies were on fish – Judith a simple turbot dish, the king of the North Atlantic, it looked and tasted fabulous. Liz chose a sea bass fillet simply pan-fried, accompanied by linguini, chicory and a prawn and herb sauce. This vied with the Porterhouse for dish of the night! Another superb wine, a Roussane, was made in heaven to go with fish, and it did so marvelously!
The dessert menu is simple and the choice of panna cotta and treacle tart followed by lashings of coffee made a perfect end to a great meal and a lovely experience in magnificent surroundings. Maybe Valentine’s night next?
Clitheroe BB7 1EB