<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">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 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


Our new columnist, Debby Donnelly-Addison is determined to fly the flag for produce from the county, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more

Making the most of the last of the winter pears, this lightly spiced cake combines the gentle heat of ginger with the sharp sweetness of cream cheese.

Read more

Two mavericks of the food and drink world collided with beautiful results at The Art School, Liverpool, writes Rebekka O’grady.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:43

The Boho Baker shares her hearty dish that’s full of Lancashire goodness

Read more
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Just back from the jungle, Jennie McAlpine on missing her family and serving tea fit for a queen. Mairead Mahon reports

Read more
Afternoon Tea Manchester
Friday, December 29, 2017

Gin tasting is increasing in popularity across the country, we round up some of the best events across Lancashire. Some of these events sell out fairly quickly, but the organisers do often host multiple events throughout the year.

Read more
Friday, December 29, 2017

Our guide to some of the best food and drink events in the county throughout 2018

Read more
Things to do in Lancashire Lancashire Food
Friday, December 29, 2017

John Loftus used to be tee-total. Now the farmer is making top quality gin with his son in law from his historic farm in Weeton. And it has exploded onto the market. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The latest Lancashire Life luncheon was staged in the magnificent setting of Samlesbury Hall.

Read more
Lancashire Life Luncheon
Friday, December 15, 2017

Lancashire cheese is perfect all year round but with so many brilliant makers which do you choose? Here is our guide to a few favourites

Read more
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

We’ve compiled a guide of top tips from culinary experts to help you with your festive feast.

Read more
Monday, December 11, 2017

Chefs, restaurateurs and food producers were honoured at this year’s prestigious Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Monday, December 11, 2017

Meet the artisan chocolatier creating the perfect Christmas treats in Mawdesley. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
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