Ribble Valley Sundays: The Aspinall Arms

Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Aspinall Arms at Mitton for Sunday Lunch. We had spotted this pub a few times, and from the outside, it looked lovely: a proper country pub, in a lovely rural setting, and chalkboards outside advertising food. It was one of the first to go on our list for Ribble Valley Sundays.

Although it was a cold, grey, January day, the pub was doing a good trade and the car park was busy – I was glad we had made reservations. The bar area was suitably traditional, with log fires burning, wingback chairs and dogs lying in front of the fire. Plus a few quirky little touches, like the dog biscuits and reading glasses on offer.

Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

The dining room is at the back of the pub, with huge windows that look out onto the River Ribble. There’s plenty of space, including a really large round table in the middle where a family was celebrating a birthday. I thought it would be a lovely place to have a multi-generational family celebration.

It being a Sunday, we skipped the starters, and went straight for the mains. I had the Roast Pork, which was excellent.

Roast Pork Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.comGenerous slices of pork, lots of vegetables and potatoes, and, of course, fabulous crackling. I know it’s really high in calories, but it was a treat!

Tim, being unconventional, had a burger.

Burger Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.comThere was also a good children’s menu, and Ben, to no-one’s surprise, confidently ordered his own pasta, which he wolfed down in about 3 minutes flat.

We stayed for both dessert and coffee, where Tim had sticky toffee pudding, and I had creme brulee. I really love creme brulee, and often order it if we’re out, as it’s something I wouldn’t ever really make at home. I can, and have in the past, but I haven’t done it for years.

Anyway, the Aspinall Arms creme brulee was lovely. It was definitely on the generous side though, and Ben may have benefitted from my shortbread.

Creme brulee Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.comTim’s sticky toffee pudding was delicious, but not quite so photogenic. In fact, with a lot of editing, it wasn’t very photogenic at all, so I’ve left the photo out. Instead, here’s a very Instagram-worthy photo of our coffee.

Coffee Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

I expect this place is teeming in Summer, with its views across the river, the picturesque bridge and it’s green tractor outside for children to climb over. Despite it being freezing, Ben (and Tim) were still keen to have a go before we left.

Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

I really enjoyed this visit. The Aspinall Arms is a proper gastropub, just what you want for a Sunday lunch. Yes, it was a bit pricier – £55.00 for the three of us – but it was really lovely. I may have my eye on that big table for a birthday later in the year.

Scores:

Food 9/10

Atmosphere 9/10

Service 9/10

Child friendliness 8/10

I’ll be honest – some of these aren’t 10 because I don’t want to go too high, too early in this series!

Aspinall Arms Ribble Valley Sundays itsafinefinelife.wordpress.com

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A Christmas Preview

SONY DSCLast Wednesday was a wild, cold and blustery night up here in Lancashire. As much as I wanted to stay inside in the warm, I ventured out into Whalley to a Christmas Preview night by Food by Breda Muphy.

Food by Breda Murphy is a lovely eatery in Whalley, opposite the train station. Part restaurant, part deli and part gift shop, I have already been in several times to find gifts and to eat. It’s a really lovely place, just outside the main village. The food is really high quality, and truly delicious. Plus, it’s a family-run, independent business.

The preview night was an opportunity to view their Christmas range of decorations, gifts and food hampers.

SONY DSCI love this beautiful pale blue glass jar. A lot of the items on sale were in icy tones of white and blue, with lots of sparkling lights and glass. It looked both festive and elegant.

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I could definitely see this clock on our mantlepiece!

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These socks hanging on the wall would make fun present. There were also lots of snuggly blankets and throws – necessary for chilly Lancashire evenings.

SONY DSCThese hampers had some lovely components. There was a real range as well, in size and price. I may have my eye on one or two of these for gifts.

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I did buy one of these signs, and they seemed to be very popular on the evening – most people had one or two in their basket! I think it’ll look great in our hallway.

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Christmas definitely needs a little sparkle, and this glass tree is just beautiful.

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These baubles look so beautiful in a group like this. They were really unusual.

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Stags seem to be very fashionable in home decor this winter. I thought this guy was gorgeous. I just need some furniture to put him on.

Add in some canapes, a glass of Prosecco, and by the time I left, I was feeling really quite Christmassy… is it time to start singing carols yet?