This was my first visit to the Cartford Inn for over 40 years (when it was the Cartford Arms and just a drinkers’ pub). We booked at short notice for Saturday lunch for three and had a table in the nice dining room, which looks out over the River Wyre and distant fells.
The menu is extensive and includes some interesting and unusual items. Some dishes have an Asian influence, and black pudding features prominently in a number of dishes, including my wife’s starter of scallops and black pudding gnocchi! Wines are reasonably priced, especially the better ones. Choice of draft beers is excellent, including Moorhouses’ Pride of Pendle.
Service was friendly and competent, although the dishes were a little slow to arrive – main courses just over an hour from entering the premises. My starter of calamari was exceptional – beautifully tender with a nice crispy salted crust.
Mains overall were good – oxtail and beef suet pudding, a monkfish special and slow-cooked belly pork (three enormous slices an inch thick of the latter with delicious crackling – enough to serve at least two people!). The one exception was the portion of chunky chips my wife ordered. We spotted these being delivered to another table, looking crisp, golden and delicious in a separate container. Hers arrived overcooked, looking brown and tired, and floating in the sauce accompanying the monkfish. Quite unpleasant.
We didn’t manage desserts but had excellent Illy coffee, which was served “on the house” when we mentioned the poor chips. Our (mild) complaint was greeted with real concern and an obvious desire to improve.
The bill including drinks and tip was a reasonable £80-odd.
Overall, this could have been a top-notch 4 star meal, but just one or two details needed attention, so it gets just a 3 from us this time. Hopefully we will be able to return and upgrade our score in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We hope that, like us, you will be captivated by our idyllic setting and be seduced by the charm and ambience of what we believe is a unique venue.We look forward to greeting you!Patrick & Julie Beaume ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cartford Hotel Little Eccleston
- The Cartford Inn Little Eccleston, Lancashire