Well, what crossed my mind first when driving through the scenic hills leading to our destination was that despite the county being just a short journey away – I had never ventured in to Lancashire. And let me tell you – the beauty it brings is hard to beat.
I suppose that’s one big perk of being ‘one with a blog’ (the term ‘blogger’ or ‘influencer’ still makes me cringe on the same level as the word ‘moist’) – you can be given chances to do great things you would not usually even think to do – and seen as though I made mid-late year resolution to be more spontaneous, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to come and see what Lancashire is all about. Precisely, The Lawrence Hotel.
Still new to the hotel game, The Lawrence Hotel opened their doors in August and has since been fully booked by romantic couples, people on business and those simply curious to explore the nearby towns for a night or two of much needed luxury located in the heart of Lancashire. The delightfully cosy 200 year old home was renovated by owner Mike, who after years of having a dream to go in to hospitality finally decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Fair play to him – he has so far done a pretty good job, not only managing to secure an idyllic spot but to deck it out in a way that makes one feel at home as soon as I they walk through the door.
First you walk through in to ‘The Green Room’, the front room of the hotel where you can help yourself to a drink from the honesty bar (you can write down what you drank and sort it out later – a very trusting move on Mike’s behalf).
I would say that the interiors would be best described as ‘traditional English meets modern sexy’; the leather and velvet seating, classic rugs and subtle touches of tweed are reminiscent of a private country club, but with out the pretentiousness; you don’t have spaniels trying to play ball with you in those places, you see. Needless to say I felt right at home.
As we walked in to our room we had warm scones ready for us to butter up, in addition to a coffee machine, tea station, flat screen TV and tablets on either side of the King sized bed. But the real creme-de-la-creme? Well, it had to be the upstairs bathroom, which help a stand alone bath tub that had me swooning – and gave me the perfect opportunity to trial one of the homemade bath bombs we picked up from a local shop en route. Rude not to, right?
Sadly, the delightful spaniel you see here was not included in the package – however Hettie was more than welcome to join us as we watched Mr Bean on Netflix with a G+T in hand. Living the dream, I think you’ll agree!
And then it was time for dinner. OH, THE DINNER!
After a luxurious soak in the bath and a quick earring change/make up touch up – we were ready to go and try out the local gastro pub ‘The Freemasons of Wiswell’; famous throughout Lancashire for their unique and innovative menu full of dishes using locally sourced ingredients – created by their passionate award winning chef Steven Smith.
After wetting our appetite with a generous glass of rhubarb gin and tonic (locally made, ’cause nothing less will do round here), we were more than ready to get stuck in to the snacks sent out by Steve himself leading up to the main event.
After an obligatory menu analysis, we were ready to order. Sure, our expectations were relatively high – but we couldn’t have quite prepared ourselves for the delights that were about to come our way…
First up – beetroot, Lancashire goats cheese, hazelnut and orange tarts. Divine.
Next, smoked salmon and scallop ‘nuggets’ with wasabi mayo. Salty, moreish and down right delicious.
Warm hand made brioche buns.
Wild game nugget with pickled veg and pine mayo for starters.
And for mains? Mum opted for the Steak and ale pie baked in their own brioche with a sauce of dark beer and soy. A side of their duck fat roasted chips is highly recommended.
As for me – I was instantly tempted in to the daily fish special of Brill in brown butter with leek fondue, shrimps and heritage potatoes.
And just because we were feeling extra extra this night – desserts were a must. Self care and all…
Pineapple poached in caramel with dark chocolate and a rum and raisin sorbet!!!
I guess you could say that their take on a lemon meringue pie was acceptable too.
Needless to say, we we were feeling very well fed by this point. A pot of fresh mint tea for two was in order before we called a taxi back to the Lawrence, took a night time stroll around the village and retired to our bed as we fell in to the dreamiest of food comas.
If you’re looking for a weekend get away with your friend, your mother or your lover – then I can highly recommend looking closer to home and exploring the delights that Lancashire has to offer. The locals are super friendly and because there are so many independent businesses thriving in through out all the towns there is a real sense of community that makes you want to keep coming back. Not only is the food scene a big thing over there, but there is also so much to do when it comes to taking scenic walks, shopping in unique boutique-y stores and generally having a bloody good time.
If you have ever had the chance to dive in to the endless pool of hidden gems that Lancashire holds, then I would love to hear your favourite spots to visit – as I think it goes without saying that I was truly stunned by the place and will most definitely keep it on the top of my list for an easy breezy weekend break!