As the shooting season approaches, kitchen maestro aims for some ‘Glorious’ grouse, writes Diane Cooke

THE Freemasons at Wiswell will be celebrating the biggest day in the shooting calendar among agricultural enthusiasts and foodies on August 12 – The Glorious 12th as it’s known by aficionados.

Leading the way for the Ribble Valley restaurant this year, head chef Hywel Griffith, affectionately known as ‘H’, is renowned in the community for his keen hunting skills. This year, he is determined to bag the first grouse of the historical season.

The skilled craftsman will then pluck, cook and serve it up in the restaurant as a delicious three-course meal designed to complement the fresh bounty.

Since the early 1800s, The Glorious 12th has been a pinnacle event in the Lancashire country pursuits calendar.

Proprietor Steven Smith, his wife, Aga, and the Freemasons’ team are proud to continue the tradition, taking their passion for the sport to the next level with a full day of interactive shooting and gastronomic creativity – paying homage to the ritual in true Freemasons style.

Hywel said: “This event means a great deal to a keen huntsman, chef and of course, the Freemasons’ heritage as a whole. I aim to be the first out there on the day. It will be great to see the reaction from our customers.”

Tickets for the event are £50 per person, which includes a three-course menu starting with Veloute of Sweetcorn and Roast Chicken Soup with Foie Gras Hotdogs. The main course will feature the first of the season grouse, poached and roasted, beetroot and local brambles with a toasted croissant and, finishing the menu, soufflé of roast banana with sticky toffee sauce.

Winning a multitude of awards over the past five years, including The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants and proud owners of three rosettes in The AA Guide, The Freemasons at Wiswell has become a sought-after destination for food and drink.