Sunday, 8 February 2015

Parkers Arms - Newton-In-Bowland, Nr Clitheroe

My wife and I live in a 1960’s built ‘Police House’, which was once home to Greater Manchester’s former Deputy Chief Constable, Sir John Stalker.

After spotting a set of Hilda Ogden-esque ‘Beswick Flying Ducks’ and a Lava Lamp for sale at Shoredicth Vintage Market, a couple of years back, we decided to redecorate with a retro swinging sixties style (albeit with added mod cons such as an oversized smart TV and remote controlled central heating.)

Room by room, we have been turning the house into something off the set of ‘Life On Mars’ – perfect if John Stalker had a bump on the head and was sent back in time to his re-live days as a Detective Sergeant.

When my wife saw a vintage headboard for sale on eBay, she knew it would be perfect for one of our spare rooms. When I saw its location in Lancashire, I knew collecting it would be the prefect excuse for a lunch at one of our favourites, Parkers Arms.

What they say: ‘A contemporary country inn. The perfect destination to eat, drink and sleep in the heart of the Trough of Bowland.’

What Michelin say: this is where I usually quote from Michelin’s entry in their red guide… sadly, and bizarrely, in their 2015 edition, Michelin seemed to have overlooked Parkers once again.

As a pub with glowing reviews from the likes of J. Rayner and Sophie Dening, as well as accolades such as the ‘North West’s Best Food Pub’ and an entry in the Top 50 Gastropubs, this omission from Michelin seems, at best, absurd.

What I ate:

Wild Local Game Hearts with butternut velouté – a dish like this is such a wonderful and rare thing to see on a menu; its’ even more wonderful when it comes so beautifully prepared, seasoned, cooked and presented… duck hearts, partridge hearts and teal hearts… sublime.

Potted Manx Kippers in Parkers’ famous spiced butter and toasted soldiers – this was my wife’s choice… as usual, I asked for a taste… then another… then another… (I don’t think she was overly impressed). The warmed spiced butter soaked into a toast soldier with smoky kipper was an absolute joy. 

8oz Bowland Ox Heart with damson dressing, Parkers’ chips and dressed watercress – some may question my choice of hearts for starter and main course but pubs and restaurants local to me rarely have such produce so I like to make the most of a visit to Parkers. Again, this was simply perfection, paired with a sweetly acidic damson vinaigrette and excellent chips.

Hand raised caramelised onion & spiced celeriac pie with beetroot leaves, creamed mash and seasonal vegetables – perhaps to balance my rapacious choices, my wife opted for the ‘vegan’ pie. It was a delightful thing… the creamy mash (not vegan) was some of the best mash either of us can remember having.

Slaidburn Eggs & Gisburn Cream Portuguese style Custard Tart with blood orange and Chantilly cream – after eating the lion’s share of the #TweetTreats (see below) I was too full for a dessert but my wife loves Stosie’s Portuguese style custard tarts.

We also ate a selection of #TweetTreats which Chef Stosie regularly sends out to anyone (not just bloggers) who follow, support and interact with @ParkersArms

My posts are generally food focused - I don’t always bother prattling on about décor and service - but I can’t end a post about Parkers Arms without mentioning the delightful AJ whose heart is as warm as the fireplace he diligently tends.   


  1. Did Stalker embrace the brand and have his house entirely clad in roller shutters? I do hope so. Those telly commercials are fondly remembered and were part and parcel of growing up in the North West. ;)

    1. Ha! No roller shutters here... I think he lived he a bit before that. When we first moved in we'd regally get post for him... often a handbag catalogue if I remember correctly.

  2. What a cracking meal....Amazing pub food. Im well impressed with the Game hearts , never seen that. As for the Ox heart , well they say that its like the finest and most tender steak that money can buy. Nice pairing with the Damsons too....I really do need to try this.
    Nice treats as well , all in all it was a fantastic spread.


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