CRICKET tea rooms really are the most hidden of dining out gems. Obviously they have seriously limited hours (only open in the summer and then only on match days) but if you can find one open, boy are you in for a treat.

Okay, they are not restaurants but the food is always good and for a price that defies belief.

One of the stand-out tea rooms in East Lancashire can be found at Rawtenstall Cricket Club and few people can resist heading into the hut at the end of the banked terracing for a meal.

On my visit there was a wide array of sandwiches, all of them freshly made on ‘proper’ bread and tea cakes, and other assorted snacks.

But the main reason for trip to Rawtenstall is to sample the home made cheese and onion plate pie. I like pies, I like to think I know pies....this is as close to the perfect pie as you are likely to find...and on a cricket ground of all places – and all for less than £3.50.

Served red hot with mushy peas and chips on a proper plate rather than in a polystyrene dish, you can sit down at one of four or five tables in the tea hut or sit outside watching the cricket if you prefer. A pot of tea is the ideal accompaniment to the dish – and I have been known to sneak back for a second helping.

But a word to the wise, if you head to Rawtenstall get your cheese and onion pie ordered early – it won’t last the afternoon.


  • Food: 10
  • Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 10