Lancashire Life Luncheon - The Millstone at Mellor
PUBLISHED: 09:16 06 January 2012 | UPDATED: 22:03 21 October 2015
This Ribble Valley inn is ale and hearty after winning a Lancashire Life Food & Drink Award<br/>Photography by Kirsty Thompson
When you arrive at a lunch venue and there’s a large horse at the entrance drinking a pint of beer, then you could be forgiven for thinking the wife had spiked breakfast with magic mushrooms.
However, this particular beast was one of the famous Thwaites Brewery drays sent up especially to the Millstone at Mellor for an afternoon
After hauling a carriage all the way from the brewery, it seemed only right that he should be allowed to enjoy the fruit of his master’s labour in the shape of a glass of foaming ale. It was an example we tried to follow during the afternoon.
The venue was particularly apt – the Millstone has been celebrating the fact it was a winner at the Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards.
Chef Patron Anson Bolton and wife Sarah were at the glittering evening at the Midland Hotel to pick up their Hotel of the Year trophy and the Lancashire Life luncheon was held to celebrate the fact.
The Millstone has always had a great reputation and the recent refurbishment of bedrooms and dining area clinched the award. If a further independent opinion was needed, it came inj the form of a colleague from East Anglia who called me to ask where she could take her locally-born husband for a special dinner in the Blackburn area.
I’d suggested the Millstone and she phoned me later to say they loved the place so much that at the end of their meal they decided to book in for the night and they’d be back.
The dining room has also been upgraded – Anson describes it as having been ‘spruced up’ – and it has been transformed from county inn to country chic.
Anson’s kitchen is used to picking up awards – it has a very creditable 2 AA rosettes – so there was a high degree of expectation as guests gathered in this ancient Lancashire inn. They weren’t disappointed.
For starters, Anson’s team prepared a dish of long cut oak smoked salmon with poached king scallops, a warm potato salad and chive salad. The rich grapefruit flavours of a Southern Lights Sauvignon Blanc worked well this succulent dish.
The main course of roast guinea fowl was moist and melting and accompaniments, including celeriac mash with bread sauce and fondant potato, all received rave reviews on our table. It came with a soft, fruity Chianti Fontella.
Dessert, a highly charged dark chocolate pot with amaretto crumb and Huntley’s ice cream, came with an unexpected but brilliantly thought-out accompaniment – a glass of Liefmans sparkling fruit beer.
The horse would have approved.