This week we were lucky enough to embark on a tour of the Ribble Valley (and beyond) on an exciting tour of the area, focusing on the wonderful food and drink producers of the area.
Guided by Katie Wilson, the founder of Bowland & Bay, Artisan Foodie Adventures we got to sample some of the gastro delights that give Ribble Valley its name as 'Food Capital of the North'. It was fantastic to learn more about some of the areas famous and much-loved attractions but we were delighted to uncover some hidden gems, making this a truly memorable day.
Stop 1. Bowland Food Hall - Holmes Mill
A jewel in the Crown of Clitheroe with it's showcase of food and drinks from local producers all under one roof. It's certainly a feast for the eyes, with wonderful displays of meats, cheeses, deli items, baked treats and dry goods. We kicked off our day with a selection of pastries and speciality coffees.
There is nowhere else I would rather be at 10am than this Aladdins Cave of fine wine. In this beautiful cavern of thousands of bottles, we sampled Benedictine. Learning why this French Spirit Liquor is strangely popular in our parts.
A popular place for adults and children to indulge in sweet treats, especially on the 3rd Sunday of each month when the kitchen transforms to a huge pop-up-shop, overflowing with cakes, brownies and meringues (not towards closing time mind you- you have to be quick!) Gemma Rafferty gave us insight to the success of her much-loved business within the community and we got a sneak peak of her newest wedding cake creation. She sent us away with a box of her delicious macarons to enjoy on route.
Stop 4. Mrs Kirkham's Cheese
Just on the outskirts of Goosnargh Village (looking out over Beacon Fell) lies this little treasure. Here we got to see the cheesemaking process and hear about the collaborations with other producers that feature in their farm shop. We tasted their beautiful range of Lancashire Cheeses, and even got to take a generous sample home with us.
Stop 5. Ye Horns Inn - Goosnargh
The recent renovation of this historic inn has retained the existing charm and simply added the wow factor! Here, in impressive surroundings, we tasted a number of small plates that gave us an idea of their delicious a la carte menu. I simply cannot wait to return.
Stop 6. Wild Fox Distillery - Inglewhite
The last stop was certainly not the least. I loved everything about this little gem, not just the gin. We were met by the owner and gin maker Lizzie. Her passion for this product was infectious as she talked us through the history of the family farm and the creation of this 'farm to bottle' distillery. What a great place to visit and enjoy a tipple. Here you can sample and buy gin that has been crafted with ingredients foraged from their land. We enjoyed one of their tasting sessions in this modern space with hints of traditional features.
Look at Bowland and Bay for a tour that suits you. With over 200 artisan suppliers, no two tour are the same
Perfect for up to 8 guests, ages 12+ (over 18 only for alcohol experiences). Join a group tour or book bespoke for 4-8. Awaken the senses, on luxury food tours for all seasons.