This one's complicated. Bit of background for you - humour me. About six years ago we went to Northcote for the first time. It was our first Michelin star and gave us the fine dining bug. Around that time we found out that Nigel Haworth had a pub in Mitton called the Three Fishes. We went and were blown away. We took our friends Wayne and Vicki, and the deal was done. We were the biggest fanboys ever.
Then... Ribble Valley Inns opened the Clog and Billycock. This was much closer to home in the small town of Pleasington. Only half an hour away, this became our weekly stomping ground. We were there in the opening week to show our support, and saw a few familiar faces from the Fishes too. We eventually knew the staff by name, there were amazing weekly specials and you never had a bad meal. We took our families and friends from work, and recommended it to anyone who would listen. We went to all four of their pubs, just to sample the different menus.
Something changed. Familiar faces left, specials stayed a bit longer and we even had issues with the food. The Clog lost its magic. We went a few times and it was ok. Friends would go and say it was nice, but there was no sparkle like before.
Then came the rumour that they had returned to form. We heard it from a few reliable sources, so decided it was time to go back. We picked a dreary afternoon, and with hopes high, off we trot. We got there at 12pm and were greeted by Craig - a familiar face of old! We sat in our usual spot in the Chimney Room, and gazed at the new menu. Our waitress Cathryn introduced herself, and took our order promptly. Old favourites remain, the piri piri oddities had gone and there were new desserts!
The chipolatas are a mix of spicy pork, black pudding and cumberland, and come served with mustard mayonaise. We have a bit of a love affair with these. Served with crispy skins, they are some of the best sausages around. We even had them as nibbles before our wedding reception at Northcote. The soup was fresh with a subtle garlic flavour - very summery (despite the thunder outside).
Desserts were always the Clog's strongest course. I have happy memories of jam roly poly with custard and knickerbocker glories from summer specials. Although the 'glory' was there, I opted for a rhubarb bakewell tart with ice cream and Paddy had the apple pie with custard.
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