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Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill.

 On Friday we bobbed over the road for lunch ,to the  recently opened Bowland Food Hall in Holmes Mill , a popular new eating, drinking & leisure destination, in my home town of Clitheroe.  The mill is already home to Britain’s longest continuous bar, in its spacious Beer Hall , an attractive cafe , gelateria and  of course the Bowland Brewery.  Also set to open in the next few months are the Spinning Block Hotel, Bar & Grill  and The Weaving Shed Gym, Pool & Spa.  Phew!  Thats alot to take in !

Bowland Food Hall is on a mission , to showcase the best of Bowland and Lancashire’s  local produce. It’s a great space to wander round and ooooh and ahh at all the lovely goodies.  There’s honey from Stonyhurst, cheese from Garstang, pies from Chatburn, meringues from Whalley, Bowland brewed ales,  cordials from Rawtenstall etc etc etc. Of course it’s not only Lancs that gets a look in, but the emphasis is firmly on locally sorced food and drink. 🧀🍠

We did buy ourselves a few treats!  A wedge of Nicky Nook Blue Cheese, A Lancashire Cheese Bomb and a small bottle of Whinberry Gin, also handcrafted in Lancashire. And not to forget Hugo! He has a packet of  homebaked biscuits from Millie & Ruby’s Bakery for Dogs . 🙂  We are currently holidaying in The Lakes and are all  enjoying our purchases , immensely!  Reminding us of home. 🙂

So what is the dining experience like in the Food Hall?  I think Holmes Mill have got the right idea, in keeping things simple.   Bowland Boards are the order of the day. £8.50 for a Cheese Board,  Fish Board , Meat Board,  Vegetarian Board or Lancashire Board. Food is prepared in front of you , whilst you enjoy a coffee, tea, soft drink or maybe a glass or two of wine.  You are seated round a raised slate top counter  and the service is friendly and efficient. Wil is a big cheese fan and loved his cheese platter, all the cheeses are produced in where else, but Lancashire. 😉 . My Lancashire Board contained Roy Porters Pork Pie, Heritage Piccalilli,  Lancashire Cheese Quiche and Lancashire Crisps.  Mmmmmm delicious!   If you have enough room for dessert, the patisserie menu looks very tempting too. 

Picture credit ~ Workhouse Creative Marketing.  Holmes Mill Layout.

Bowland Food Hall is definitely worth a visit, to pick up a few treats or  just indulge in a Lancashire Lunch fix. 

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Bowland Beer Hall ~ Clitheroe.

So what is a girl to do when a new bar opens, literally yards away from her house. Frequent it enthusiastically of course!  Three days on the trot. 🙂

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Dining area next to the Brewery.

The sympathetic restoration of a former textile mill in Clitheroe has been speeding ahead. Lots quicker than anyone would have thought possible, Bowland Beer Hall inside Holmes Mill, opened it’s doors this weekend.  Bowland Brewery have been busy brewing their ales on site over the last twelve months or so. I’ve often smelt the hops when I’ve nipped home from work in the week. But now the brewery has a more than suitable home to showcase its full range of Bowland Beers, as well as a huge number of guest ales. There are in fact 42 hand pulled cask ales on tap!

The Beer Hall houses what could be Britain’s longest continuous bar. It is thought to be a  tad longer than the 104ft and three inches ‘Horseshoe Bar’ in Glasgow. Die hard ale fans can buy Circumnavigation Tickets and work their way round Clitheroe’s bar. If you are not a real ale fan, don’t worry , there are plenty of wines, spirits and ciders on offer. I was keen to try a medium fruity cider called ‘ Lily The Pink’. 🙂

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Opening night outside.

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If amazing original features are what you are after, then Bowland Beer Hall has them in abundance. Many of Holmes Mill’s industrial fixtures and fittings have been retained or incorporated into the interior.

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The red telephone box was actually used a as a means of communication on the spinning room floor. It was quite a surprise to see it inside by the entrance. 🙂 The ‘Piece des resistance’ of original features though , has to be the HUGE steam engine. You cannot miss it!

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I looked up the engine here  and it is apparently a Blackburn- built Clayton, Goodfellow & Co. Ltd horizontal cross-compound type Nos 544-5 built in 1910. There you go!  A Friday night drinker ( who may or may not have been circumnavigating the bar) claims the engine’s name is Elizabeth. She is certainly handsome.  I could not help but imagine this part of the mill, to be the perfect venue for a steampunk gathering or photo shoot. What do you think?

Despite bobbing in Opening night ( Thursday) out of curiosity , and then last night as part of a ‘proper night out’ 😉 , we couldn’t resist but try out the menu for lunch today. Here’s what you can nosh with your beer.

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Wil ordered the Moules & Frites ( mussels and chips) and I decided to try one of the veggie dishes , the Mac ‘N’ Cheese Burger.

Our food came out in durable but bang on trend enamel ware and was beautifully presented. Wil said his mussels were sublime and after tasting one, I agreed, they were juicy, tender and sweet. The Mac N Cheese Burger was perfectly adequate. I do think the menu could do with a few more vegetarian options.

So Bowland Beer Hall is only one of the businesses that will reside in Holmes Mill. A Bakery, Pop-Up-Cinema, Ice cream Parlor, Food Hall, Deli, Gym, Pool, Spa and Boutique Hotel are all planned in phases with 2018 as a final completion date. Watch this Space!