Friday, 25 September 2020

Nest On The Hill Clitheroe Road Sabden 25th September 2020

Nest on the Hill is a small cafe located on Pendle Hill, with breath taking views of the beautiful Ribble Valley and is a lovely place to chill with a coffee or tea.   The cafe is quaint and quirky with lots of things to buy such as candles, lanterns, bags, scarves and many of the items are made locally.

Nest On The Hill has five tables inside and lots of seating outside in a beautiful garden and is fabulous on a sunny day.

Owner Rebecca offers overnight oats, porridge, pancakes, plant milks, smoothies and when I visited had avocado and tomato jam on toast and carrot and coriander soup on the menu and was hosting a MacMillan coffee morning, with a peanut butter bite on offer, which I could not resist.   Rebecca is  so enthusiastic about looking after customers with dietary requirements and all vegan dishes are made separately to avoid cross contamination.   

The peanut butter bite was stonkingly scrumptious, not too sweet with a slight salted flavour from the pretzel base and with two Americano coffees, was a perfect mid morning munch, before I had a browse and bought a gorgeous chilli plant and soy candle.

I think Nest on the Hill is brilliant and Rebecca is a very enterprising young woman, especially opening an establishment in these difficult Covid times but keeping busy, evident by the constant stream of customers.   I was also impressed with the Covid precautions in place, sanitiser at the front door, NHS track and trace QR code available to scan, socially distanced tables and table service.

We returned to Nest on the Hill for breakfast, before a long walk on Pendle Hill and chose blueberry compote porridge with chocolate sauce and porridge with banana and maple syrup, both served with oat yogurt.

Its hard to make porridge look sexy, so the photos do no justice to these creamy, comforting creations, they were stonkingly scrumptious, no other way to describe them.   I loved the eco-conscious packaging too, easily compostable within ninety days, made from renewable plant materials.

I know Rebecca has loads of plans for further vegan options and I cannot wait to see what else she puts on the menu.   Highly recommended.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Northern Relish Lomeshaye Industrial Park Nelson 24th September 2020

Northern Relish is a cafe and takeaway on a busy business park and was a welcome haven whilst getting our car fixed, as there is not much else in the area and we were on foot.

Northern Relish has a retro industrial kind of feel to it and we got a warm welcome from the staff as we walked in, proper northern friendliness.

There are no vegan options labelled on the menu, but they did a great sounding houmous filling for sandwiches, which you could also have on a jacket potato.

I placed my order with a lady who I think was the owner, she was very helpful especially about allergies and double checked things to make sure I was happy.  We ordered two houmous maximus wraps with a tea and Americano coffee and I was pleased you got a big mug, not a small cup you drink in a flash.

The wrap was a generous portion, with perfectly roast vegetables, fresh salad and houmous, I could not fault it and with the tea, was quickly demolished and enjoyed.

The covid precautions in place were excellent too, track and trace on entry, hand sanitiser available, well spaced tables and table service, we felt very safe.

If I am ever back in the area, I would definitely revisit.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Secret Garden Cafe New Market Street Clitheroe 12th September 2020

Secret Garden Cafe is a vegetarian cafe, adjoining a health food shop, with a lovely walled garden for sitting out in the sunny weather.   

The cafe is light bright and welcoming, with lovely flower decorations on each table and plenty of room, so we sat in the corner overlooking the garden.

The menu has vegan options, a specials board and there was a good selection of vegan cupcakes on the counter.

I called in for breakfast with Steven and we both chose the vegan pancakes served with banana and maple syrup.   I took some yogurt and cinnamon with me, although drizzled with maple syrup, the pancakes did not need it.

The pancakes were so light and fluffy, I was quite jealous as mine are always quite dense, so I will be stealing chef's secret of using frothed Oatly barista oat milk to make the batter.   The pancakes were absolutely scrumptious, with warm maple syrup, banana and two large decaf Americano coffees, making a perfect to start the weekend.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Secret Garden Cafe and will definitely revisit when next in Clitheroe.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Brizola Bar & Grill Swan Courtyard Clitheroe 5th September 2020

Brizola Bar & Grill is owned by chef/proprietor Rachel, in the market town of Clitheroe located in Swan courtyard, with plenty outside seating for warmer weather, close to a car park and a short walk from rail and bus stations.

Brizola have a vegan menu, with some great sounding dishes, with a couple of good desserts, not just sorbet or fruit salad.

Since my last visit the wine list now has vegan wines clearly labelled, which makes choosing wines so much easier.

We shared warm dolmades and courgette fritters to start, dolmades are always a winner with me I love them, the fritters were delicious with a crunchy batter and not oily or greasy at all.

Mains were jackfruit pitta for me and falafel pitta for Steven, with a side of fries to share and I took some hot sauce to go with it, as I love spicy food.

The pittas were so tasty with two kinds of houmous, roast vegetables, falafel or jackfruit and with crisp chips they made a scrumptious main course.

We did not have a dessert, we were too full but on our last visit we shared the vegan baklava and I took some vegan squirty cream to have with it.   The photo speaks for itself as to how delicious it was.

I love Brizola and obviously others do too, as its number one consistently on Tripadvisor, beating off stiff competition in the area.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

The Dog Inn Belthorn Road Belthorn 4th September 2020

The Dog Inn is registered as an asset of community value, owned by the villagers and is the hub of Belthorn, with all kinds of events, services and facilities offered, including a coffee shop and store selling a small selection of provisions.

I contacted The Dog Inn and chatted with chef Jamie Evans about my allergies and was reassured I would be well looked after, so booked a table for dinner.

The Dog Inn is the unlikeliest place to find vegan options, so I was impressed with this selection, especially as most places have reduced the vegan options drastically due to Covid.

The restaurant has a deck to the rear, with awesome views of the countryside over the distant rooftops of Darwen towards Winter Hill .

I understand the pub and restaurant are run as separate businesses, so you order drinks which you pay for at the table in the restaurant, as they are unable to run up a tab which was fine.

I fancied the leek and potato soup served with bread and vegan spread, with onion bhaji and cucumber and mint raita for Steven.

The soup was gorgeous, a lovely velvety texture, packed with flavour, a good sized portion and perfectly seasoned, I could not fault it.   The onion bhaji were huge, crisp on the outside, moist in the middle and went well with the dip, and were quickly polished off.

We both chose the cauliflower steak for mains, although I was going to have risotto, which was different to the online menu and sadly not vegan.

However the cauliflower did not disappointment, it was perfectly cooked with a slight bite, nothing worse than overcooked cauliflower with fantastic triple cooked chips, mushroom and tomato, we demolished every morsel.   There is nothing fancy about this dish, just simple ingredients and I can think of several chefs who work in pubs near us, who would have made a proper carve up of this dish, so well done to The Dog Inn team.

We were absolutely fit to burst, so did not manage a pudding, although I was unsure whether it would have been suitable for me anyway.

I think The Dog Inn is a great place, the hub of the village and well used, apparent by the number of people there early on a Friday night, how lucky to have this place on your doorstep.   I will definitely be making a return visit.