Holmes Mill in Clitheroe is a firm favourite for both locals and visitors, it really has something for everyone, writes Liz Walmsley
For some, it’s the Bowland Beer Hall with its amazing bar (famed for being one of the longest bars in Britain) with 42 hand pulls and a minimum of 24 individual cask beers at any one time.
For others, it’s the fabulous Food Hall with its amazing selection of fine food and drink from Bowland, Lancashire and further afield, all brought together under one roof.
For me, it’s the Bistro Bar & Grill. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I last visited but co-incidentally it was with the same friend I visited with this time around. In many ways not much had changed, the same warm welcome on arrival and lots of room to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in, comfy leather sofas and a huge bar – why change a winning formula? If you’ve never visited the bistro, the old mill has been carefully and sympathetically renovated to create a large bar and dining area from the original industrial structure but with a ‘palm court’ feel to it. There is a huge grand piano, art deco style lighting, parquet floors, plush velvets and drapes – industrial and decadent in style, thrown together seamlessly, to create a unique and welcoming environment.
I was the designated driver for the evening and Trina didn’t need much encouragement to order one of her all-time favourites – a Pacific Pornstar, which she declared to be the best she’d ever had! There was also a great choice of mocktails for the abstemious amongst us but having seen the menu and the wine list, I decided to save myself for a glass of wine for the main event.
Praise should be given to Roxanna, who with the patience of a saint, managed to get our order at the third attempt – primarily as we were catching up on the last six months and secondly, we were a bit blown away by the choice.
We decided to skip the nibbles and go straight to the starters. For Trina, the pork and lobster wantons (which would also have been my first choice) but on the basis that she agreed to share, I went for a simple heritage tomato salad with smoked goats curd and crispy croutons.
Both were delicious.
I was torn when choosing my main course. I always tend to order something I would not normally have at home so as a real fish fan, I opted for the tandoori spiced whole bream, which was beautifully presented, piping hot, cooked beautifully and accompanied with Bombay potatoes.
Trina, a true carnivore (and married to a vegetarian) went for a simple 8oz, 40-day dry-aged rib-eye steak which I have to admit looked delicious. It’s all about the cooking with something as simple as steak and it arrived bang on brief – medium rare. Sides of rustic chips, portobello mushrooms and blistered tomatoes were the perfect accompaniment.
As a rule, I’d never normally have three courses, but the cardamon crème brulee was a must for me and I’m glad I made an exception to the rule, it was silky smooth and totally delicious. For Trina it was the coconut panna cotta with honeycomb and rum prunes, which also seemed to hit the spot!
This is a great menu offering a variety of more robust mains alongside a wide selection of lighter options as well as vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Quality food in beautiful surroundings at little more than pub food prices, makes the Bistro Bar & Grill one to add to your list.
Also worth mentioning is the wine list, reasonably priced with a selection of wines by the glass, and judging by the steady stream of customers while we were there, it seems that the Bistro Bar & Grill wasn’t just a hit with us. My only regret? Leaving it so long between visits.
Greenacre Street, Clitheroe BB7 1EB