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Review: Fisherman’s Retreat, Ramsbottom
1:10pm Saturday 20th August 2011 in Latest restaurant reviews
Address: Riding Head Lane, Shuttleworth, Ramsbottom, BL0 0HH.
Phone number: 01706 825314.
Lancashire Telegraph review by Jemma Humphreys from August 20, 2011.
Anyone would think the Grand Designs team had called by The Fisherman’s Retreat.
The once old-fashioned, traditional-looking pub has been catapulted headlong into the 21st-century with a comprehensive makeover.
Now, after an extension and refurb it boasts a stylish restaurant complete with modern furniture and a new image.
But thankfully this hasn’t been at the expense of the old charm.
The bar area with its cask ales and the whisky shop remain the same.
And the extensive menu still boasts the old favourites including the catch of the day from the on-site fishery.
There are few establishments that can be in more beautiful surroundings, although it does mean it’s not exactly the easiest place to find for the first time diner.
Set in 80 acres of its own land, the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the new restaurant makes it an ideal setting for an early evening meal overlooking the uninterrupted greenery.
Four of us went along to sample the new surroundings and we weren’t disappointed.
After much deliberation, we decided on two portions of fish and chips, a lasagne, and stuffed peppers.
All were mouth wateringly delicious and despite the large portions we managed to wipe our plates clean, and find space for dessert - after all, who can resist a homemade apple crumble?
For around £20-£25 a head for two courses and drinks The Fisherman’s Retreat offers good value for money considering the quality.
And if you’re on a budget the views alone are worth the extra couple of pounds for a weekend treat.
The Bolton News review by Kat Dibbits from March 24, 2011.
DRIVING to the Fisherman’s Retreat, down lanes that could be described as spooky at best, it’s hard to escape the feeling that, were this a film, and were the car to unexpectedly break down, there would be running and screaming involved, and undoubtedly some kind of gory end.
Luckily, I had a boy with me, who I could at least hide behind.
Happily, of course, this is real life, and so nothing of the sort occurs.
Instead, we pull up at a traditional-looking pub building that disguises one of the North West’s most renowned eateries.
Expectations were, it’s fair to say, high.
Were we further south, someone would have done something horrendously pretentious with the décor.
Happily, it is Ramsbottom and so instead it is traditional pub styling with plenty of wood panels and rows and rows of bottles (more on which later).
I do, however, plump for the somewhat poncey-sounding starter of tiger prawns with lime and chilli (£6.95) from the specials board.
The prawns were plump and juicy and the dipping sauce left a sharp but clean taste in the mouth.
The boy opted for barbecued pork ribs (£7.50). Although billed as a starter they could have easily passed as a light lunch, and gave some hint as to the portion sizes to come.
For weeks before we went, all we had talked about was the steak.
The cattle who selflessly provide every cut you could wish for, from fillet to T-bone, are raised by the restaowners of the restaurant, in the 80 acres surrounding it.
They are award winners in their own right, and the meat is dry-aged for at least six weeks.
If you want, you can have a look in their meat fridge.
So, naturally, I ordered lamb (£14.50), and the boy had a roast dinner (£12.50).
The lamb shoulder was meltingly tender. Serrated knives were provided, but thoroughly unnecessary — one poke and the meat simply fell off the bone.
The roast dinner was equally top notch, with all the traditional trimmings done to perfection.
To drive to a whisky specialist was a tactical error.
The bottles sit row upon row behind the bar — taunting me.
The whisky menu is of phone-book proportions.
As a compromise, I choose whisky truffles for dessert.
The boy went one better, and simply ordered a whisky — at which point a long and involved conversation ensued between him and the owner which culminated in a business card for his brother’s place in (where else) Islay, being gratefully received.
That’s what I call salesmanship.
Driving home, with full tummies and happy, satisfied smiles, I lock the car doors — just in case.
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