As we head further north on our road trip we have reached the point of our first overnight stay. We are staying at The Cartford Inn in Little Ecclestone and this blog will cover both our dinner and our breakfast experiences. The Cartford Inn, originally a 17th century coaching inn, is set in the heart of rural Lancashire. The current owners, Patrick and Julie Beaumé, have extended and refurbished the place over the last 10 years to create a venue that has won several food, drink and pub awards.
Arriving on a bright sunny late afternoon we are immediately offered tea and cake and feel very welcomed. After a walk on a still super hot day we soon need something to help cool us down. Rock chooses a Sipsmith gin mixed with Fentiman’s rose lemonade – perfect. I have a Moorhouse’s Pride of Pendle, an amber ale – which is very pleasant but not exciting.
I am more than ready for food but the heat has had a real effect on Rock’s appetite. For her dinner she chooses a starter! Her hand-rolled bread crackers look spectacular and come with a harissa hummus and a green lentil & onion paté. That is all she needs and she is happy. I have the Goosnargh duck breast with pickled green strawberries, elderflower, nut granola and chicory. The duck is beautifully pink. The pickled strawberries are slightly tart but work fantastically well with the duck and the slightly sweetened nut granola.
The playlist here tonight is a little uninspiring – basically hits of the 1980s. Now I love music from all eras but there are very few occasions when I feel ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran is what I want to listen to while I’m eating dinner. I move on to a pint of Giddy Kipper brewed especially for the Cartford Inn. This is more exciting – a hoppy pale ale with notes of grapefruit. Rock’s appetite may have waned but I still have room for dessert and I’ve chosen the apricot clafouti with honey ice cream. I love a good clafouti! This one is very pleasant but the batter has the consistency of a thick custard ….it probably needed a few more minutes in the oven.
After a decent night’s sleep we are ready for breakfast. We have good Atkinson’s coffee and exceptional croissants. Rock has the vegetarian breakfast (see featured image) – fresh asparagus, poached egg, sautéed potatoes, cherry tomatoes & mushrooms. I have the English breakfast – the asparagus and potatoes replaced by black pudding and Honeywell’s bacon & sausage. The poached Ryan Bee’s free range eggs and the Honeywell’s sausage are both excellent.
We had great service in the evening from James, Danny and Ellen and at breakfast from the very chatty Craig. We also loved the fact that Patrick & Julie take a real interest in their guests.
Great place to stay, great place to drink and a pretty good place to eat too!