The Cartford Inn, Cartford November 2017

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A chance read of the Observer on this crisp Sunday morning and we were off to try this place, as Google Maps told me it was but 30 minutes’ drive and Jay Rayner could not have been more impressed with their food.

I can see why.

This is a lovely Inn sat beside the River Wyre with views across to Bowland. Beautifully designed inside, the very welcoming staff found us a great table in the River room for Sunday Lunch.

Now my wife has destroyed eating Sunday Roasts out. Since we have been married, I have not once felt the need to eat a roast dinner other than hers. So when we found ourselves in this highly reviewed Inn, and I saw a few other diners receiving what looked like an immense roast, I had to give it a go. A perfect pint of Lakeland Gold was enough to keep the taste buds turning over whilst we awaited our food. I ordered the ½ roast chicken and my wife went for the chargrilled chicken breast & smoked streaky bacon sandwich. This was served on artisan bread with thin fries.

So how was the roast? This Jay Rayner knows his stuff doesn’t he, and this northern part time blogger would agree with Mr Rayner’s assertions that this is excellent food. Again apologies to the chef, I had eaten most of it by the time the iPhone came out, but flavoursome chicken, perfect roasties and delicious vegetables and gravy made this the best roast I had eaten outside of the house in years. I will be eating this again asap.

My wife declared her sandwich excellent, I was too full for a bite but it did look good. Still there is always room for dessert is there not?

And what a dessert it was. We shared their bread and butter pudding. Delicious dark fruit and melt in the mouth pudding was truly fantastic.

This is the best “pub food” I’ve eaten since I moved back to Lancashire and this is now a firm family favourite. We ventured into their wee shop TOTI (Taste of the Inn) to take home 2 of their choux buns that Mr Rayner raved about. Again – he knows his stuff.

We enjoyed this lunch so much a repeat visit the following weekend was in order. This time I went for the Bury black pudding doughnut to start which was incredible, although I think it might be an idea to ensure you like both components of this dish!

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My wife had the home made crackers and dips which having had my customary taste of were light with very tasty accompaniments. For main it was the small portion of ribs for her and the Oxtail, beef skirt and real ale suet pudding for me.

Having had the ribs since, I can attest that these are incredible ribs. The meat literally falls of the bone and the generous amount of delicious deep BBQ sauce is immense.

The pudding is a treat, as the meat is tender and the flavours in the sauces inside and out are deep and rich. This might also be the nicest mash I’ve ever eaten. Olive oil mash is how it is described on the menu – I’m just going to say they must have a good masher! Smooth and light and perfect for absorbing that incredible jus and pudding filling. There would be no room for dessert on this visit!

I can highly recommend the Cartford Inn. The best of Lancashire produce skilfully prepared in beautiful surroundings by a young enthusiastic team and thoroughly deserving of all the praise they have received. Love it!

18/20

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