<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Lancashire Life Luncheon - Gibbon Bridge Hotel

PUBLISHED: 13:33 27 June 2011 | UPDATED: 22:01 21 October 2015

Lancashire Life Luncheon - Gibbon Bridge Hotel

Lancashire Life Luncheon - Gibbon Bridge Hotel

Lancashire Life's latest luncheon was at the Gibbon Bridge Hotel, a venue that just keeps getting better. Roger Borrell reports Photography by Kirsty Thompson

Samantha Butcher, Loraine Jones, Janet Mulligan and Michelle Smith Samantha Butcher, Loraine Jones, Janet Mulligan and Michelle Smith

Any business relies on the ability of the boss to surround themselves with a great team and Janet Simpson has certainly done that at the Gibbon Bridge Hotel on the outskirts of Chipping.

However, no one could deny that Janet is a self-made woman. At the age of 14 she was told she would never amount to much and that was the spur she needed, starting out working in the kitchen of a local pub, the Dog and Partridge, and working her way up to be the chef.

She and her parents recognised the potential of an old farmhouse, a barn and a bit of land in glorious Bowland. They bought it and started selling their produce.

Janet and her mother developed it as farmhouse accommodation and then Janet took it many, many steps further, creating a luxury destination hotel.  

Gary Buxton, Janet Simpson and Philip Holland Gary Buxton, Janet Simpson and Philip Holland

However, while the hotel is now well-established with a loyal band of returning guests it has never lost that attractive, country house charm.
Its gardens are stunning with Longridge Fell as their backdrop and the public rooms are stylish and smart without ever being vulgar. In the last decade, Janet has acquired the sort of trophy cabinet rarely seen outside Old Trafford and the Gibbon Bridge is the current Lancashire Life hotel of the year. It’s quite a record.

However, Janet has never been one to rest on her laurels. The success of the venture has been down to her ability to adapt and develop the hotel to keep pace with modern tastes. It was appropriate, then, that the Lancashire Life Luncheon was held in the new Orangery, a development which has provided a cutting edge venue for weddings and family celebrations.

The white grand piano and handmade, dramatic glasswear bought by Janet in South Africa are a clever contrast to the beautifully painted old cast iron pillars that hold up the roof.

These sentinels were the columns that once supported the old Public Hall in Preston. Janet’s parents went to farmers’ dances there and when it was demolished she rescued them and, for sentimental reasons, she always intended to make use of them. Today, they are quite a talking point.
However, our visit was all about food and great service - another part of the Gibbon Bridge DNA.

The menu The menu

The kitchen is presided over by the accomplished Gary Buxton with Janet, an ex-chef, still taking a keen interest in the hotels’ cuisine. It relies heavily on locally-produced food and, no wonder, when Bowland is full of farms and cheese-makers. The hotel’s immaculate gardens are packed with vegetables and fruit, which is used in most of the dishes. The bread is baked on the premises.

Delicious canapés set the bar high for this lunch and they were accompanied Tanners Brut Extra Reserve introduced by Adrian Patterson, of Tanners Wines. Our starter was a nicely poached duck egg on smoked haddock with asparagus and hollandaise - a classic combination. A top quality Chardonnay proved this wine doesn’t have to be the perfect accompaniment for 20 Benson & Hedges.

Pink lamb on a pea puree was a great example of how to cook this most flavoursome of meats and it came with an equally juicy Tanners Claret. Three different desserts - sticky toffee pudding, coffee and honeycomb parfait and a fruit jelly - would have brought the house down if it hadn’t been for those wonderful old pillars.

The Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Green Lane, Chipping, Forest of Bowland. PR3 2TQ. 01995 61456.

The Dining Room The Dining Room

The print version of this article appeared in the July 2011 issue of Lancashire Life 

We can deliver a copy direct to your door – order online here


More from Food & Drink

Mon, 00:00

There is no challenge too small for cake maker Molly Robbins, writes Mairead Mahon

Read more
Sunday, November 12, 2017

It’s the home of the UK’s longest running vegetable box scheme and is showing no signs of slowing down. Mairead Mahon reports

Read more
Lancashire Food
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Beat the Autumn chills with Soup and a Sandwich for just £7 all throughout November.

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Throughout November The Top Lock will be serving up some delicious Vegan dishes for you to try!

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Curry Club at The Top Lock - All throughout November!

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Burger Week at The Butlers Arms - 13th to 19th of November 2017.

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Cheese & Wine Offer at The Butlers Arms, Pleasington - November 2017.

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

After the success of our Curry Week in October we were asked to bring it back...

Read more
Friday, November 3, 2017

The beautiful woodland John Collinson’s hens explore on Longridge Fell is what makes Bowland Forest Eggs taste so good. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Lancashire Food Bowland
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The inaugural Taste Lancashire conference united the county’s food industry

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Saddleworth actor is relishing a new career as a restaurateur, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tom Parker and the team at The White Swan are taking flight, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

You don’t have to go to Michelin starred venues for a fine dining experience. Foxholes Restaurant at Runshaw College is coming up rosettes, as Mairead Mahon discovered

Read more
Lancashire Restaurants
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harvey Nichols doesn’t just do fashion darling, it does fab food too, as Janet Reeder discovers

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Lancashire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search