This month’s review focuses on a fine, village hostelry that is, once more, part of the local community. The Bay Horse in Roughlee has thankfully re-opened its doors, after being closed for two-and-a-half years. And it looks very impressive, both internally and externally.
It was only a few months ago that this historic landmark was looking run-down and abandoned and was up for sale. Fortunately, it was saved by two local businessmen, Chris Whitwam and Peter Waters. The latter having the Craven Heifer at Kelbrook.
The pub has been restored to a very high standard, with spacious areas for dining, and boasts a unique viewing window and a most attractive wood-burning stove, in the main dining room.
Chris’s wife, Judith, said: “The open-plan kitchen with its viewing window has created lots of interest. And tables close to the window are very much in demand. The open kitchen has also provided quite an attraction for the children, while they are dining.”
The bar area is bright, well-lit, and has a nice contemporary look about it. However, it still retains its traditional charm, with stone flagged floors and a beautiful piece of restored ash running the length of the bar.
Four cask beers were being served in this area. All are locally sourced, and include Thwaites Wainwright, Moorhouse’s Blond Witch, Timmy Taylor’s Landlord and one of my favourites, Reedley Hallows’ Old Laund Bitter. The latter was sampled, and was in excellent condition.
Chris said: “We are pleased with how popular the real ales are, as well as the four lagers on offer. We have made provision down in the cellar for two more hand pumps to be accommodated on the bar .”
The pub is very much food-orientated and I could not resist sampling a dish from the extensive menu. I plumped for the steak and kidney pie, with dauphinois potatoes, chunky chips and seasonal vegetables. It was a gastronomic delight.
The restaurant, not surprisingly, has proved an instant hit. Chris said: “We were so pleased to see so many people on our first weekend. We served 160 meals on the Saturday and 180 servings were ordered on the Sunday.” Judith added: “It was also nice to hear all the positive and complimentary comments from our customers.”
I predict exciting times ahead for the Bay Horse. Chris and Peter are obviously astute businessmen with vision, who identified that, with investment and lots of hard work, this popular Pendle landmark, in idyllic surroundings, could once more be an asset in the community and beyond.
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