Tag Archives: Parkers Arms

War Of The Roses – Lancashire v Yorkshire :-)

It’s just a jape, don’t worry, nothing too serious. Let me explain.

Last year The Flame and I beckoned friends across the border from Yorkshire to enjoy some Lancastrian hospitality. Yours truly tasked with organising the binge played his ace. He tripped the team into the beautiful Trough of Bowland and set up a Sunday afternoon sesh in The Parkers Arms. Full details of the sumptuous scran are already available elsewhere on the blog. It was a triumphant scheme, Charlie The Greek and his lovely wife Julie were bowled over and considered it the best meal they had in years.
Last week a return leg was organised. The Yorkshire troop were convinced that a repeat performance could be arranged. The Cooktwit decided to run a friendly competition, could Yorkshire overcome the lofty bar that had been set by Lancashire’s Bowland crew?

Parkers Arms, The Cross Keys
Parkers Arms, The Cross Keys

The planned set up was to quaff and stuff on Saturday night at The Cross Keys in Leeds and then round off with a Sunday lunch at The Roebuck in Otley. First off it was into the up and coming trendy enclave of the Leeds granary wharf basin. Saturday night at The Cross Keys was Yorkshires first effort to lever the crown. Set in a run of terracing it has been spruced from the front with the obligatory tin of Farrow and Ball. And rather pleasant it looks too. It didn’t disappoint inside either. Trad gastro pub fittings downstairs with a swirling, rickety staircase up to the dining room above. A pint of Kirkstall ‘North Prototype’, a light, golden ale soon had The Cook Twit settled and raring for his Yorkshire feed.

Crab parfait, cheese soufflé - Parkers, Squid, hens egg and asparagus - Cross Keys
Crab parfait, cheese soufflé – Parkers, Squid, hens egg and asparagus – Cross Keys

I opened at The Keys with pan fried squid, black pudding, beef dripping croutons with a lemon emulsion! Whilst the flame chipped in with a glorious deep fried hens egg on fresh asparagus. I wasn’t sure about the croutons as they had a strong taste of the oil. The hens egg worked well, it spurned its yolk over the greens right on cue.

In comparison at The Parkers we recalled a sublime crab parfait and a three cheese soufflé, both crafted and presented with aplomb.

Starters : Lancashire 8/10 Yorkshire 7/10

Pheasant, venison pasty - Parkers, Hanger Steak, Mutton pie - Cross Keys, Roebuck
Pheasant, venison pasty – Parkers, Hanger Steak, Mutton pie – Cross Keys, Roebuck

For the main event I’ve had to bring a selection of the best from Yorkshire to compete with Lancashire. According to our Canadian waitress Jen, The Crosskeys menu changes almost daily depending on what has been acquired from the area. A laudable aim I’m sure you’ll agree. However, out of eight dishes, three were pig based, two were veggie, which left us a little short on variety.
I had the hanger steak on Saturday night, a cut I’ve only read about before. It came rare and covered with two bone marrow butter discs. The butter was used in small doses to add further flavour and moisture to what was a decent steak. For Sunday lunch The Roebuck pub in Otley served up a minted, mutton pie which I’d have to say was pushing hard against the Great Northern Pie Co efforts that I occasionally imbibe as a treat. It came with a lovely gravy to set it off. Given the rabbit pie that I originally ordered had run out it was a cracking back up. The waitress pointed out that they had the rabbits but had not turned them into pies yet!
Sadly for Yorkshire all this had to stack up against Stosie’s boned pheasant done two ways, the leg in a pasty the breast rolled in a ballotine. A good effort from Yorkshire but….

Mains : Lancashire 10/10 Yorkshire 8/10

Plum sponge, Wet Nellie - Parkers, Coffee treat, sticky berry fool - Roebuck, Cross Keys
Plum sponge, Wet Nellie – Parkers, Coffee treat, sticky berry fool – Roebuck, Cross Keys

Despite being absolutely rammed The Cook Twit (purely for research purposes) stepped up to the plate and devoured a desert on Saturday night and Sunday lunch. The Cross Keys put up a strange but nonetheless tasty offering of sticky toffee berry fool. Essentially a glass bowl of sticky toffee pudding swimming in a berry compote with berries on top. It was too much really. Could have been a smaller portion with some ice cream. The Roebuck presented some real quality. Labelled as ‘coffee sweet treats’ it turned out to be a coffee with a selection of four of the deserts. An Eton mess, sliver of lemon tart, chocolate Ganesh and a sensational local banana ice cream. I managed to take down the lemon and the ice cream but got stawed with the rest.
The Parkers tipped up with a Victorian plum sponge, and it’s famous wet Nellie. Two stonking deserts. It’s a close call but I think Lancashire seals it again. The Roebucks offer nearly taking it.

Sweets : Lancashire 8/10. Yorkshire 7/10

Hen Harrier, Northern Prototype, Saltaire
Hen Harrier, Northern Prototype, Saltaire

Service and surroundings both hit the rustic mark. Open fires at The Parkers, whilst tudor beams support The Cross Keys. All three pubs offered quality real ale. As you would expect The Parkers Arms opened its account with a Bowland effort called Hen Harrier. A lovely golden ale, but I’d have to say the Yorkshire twins offered the Kirkstall brew and then one called ‘Saltaire’. Both were absolutely superb, light session ales that I could have quaffed all day. Yorkshire steals the ale comp.

Beer : Lancashire 7/10 Yorkshire 9/10

So there you have it Lancsahire 33/40, Yorkshire 31/40 a splendid effort. A word to The Cross Keys and The Roebuck it’s no disgrace finishing behind The Parkers Arms. There’s an experienced team there serving amazing food.
We had a great time in Leeds and we certainly ate and drank well. We would definately go back to both places. They are both on our radar. I notice today there is chicken on the menu at The Cross Keys. The Flame would have been a little happier.

Parkers Arms
Newton-in-Bowland
Nr Clitheroe
Lancashire
BB7 3DY
01200 446236
http://www.parkersarms.co.uk

The Cross Keys
107 Water Lane, leeds LS11 5WD
Tel: 0113 243 3711
http://www.the-crosskeys.com

The Roebuck Pub
Roebuck Terrace
Otley
West Yorkshire
LS21 2EY
Telephone: 01943 463063
http://www.Roebuckpub.co.uk

Parkers Arms – Newton in Bowland – Part 2

I can’t believe it, the latest trip to the Parkers Arms was even better than last time shock! 
The Flame and myself enjoyed a wonderful Sunday lunch a few months back. When faced with where to meet a couple of Yorkshire foodies I made the call to get them into the heart of Lancashire with the promise of some top home cooking. So no pressure then! I needn’t have worried. Suffice to say Stosie, AJ and the team turned up trumps once again.
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We met in Clitheroe for a stroll round the old town. During the time there I was constantly pressed and niggled that lunch better be good. We wound up through the pretty village of Waddington and over the moors before the now familiar sight of The Parkers Arms hove into view. I had booked online for four. We were shown straight to our bay window table by a young, fresh faced slip of a lass. Our table groaned by a simmering log fire. Candles flickered. Two pints of ‘Hen Harrier’ ensured the male half of the scheme were bang in fettle. Wine and water put the other half at ease. Starting to feel at home it was left to AJ, the genial host, to put our slippers on and order our grub. 
Just to explain AJ is the front of house part of the trio that make the Parkers Arms what it is. Stosie and Katie head up the foodie bit. It is a winning team. AJ, spectacled, with a full shock of curly locks, ‘Wallace & gromit’ cardie/cordrouy trousers and broad Lancashire brogue is arguably the friendliest and most eccentric host you’ll ever meet. His explanations of the wares on offer are a delight and had our guests chuckling like new born babies. He convinced our guest Julie to have the pheasant as ‘you can have beef anytime’.
We had three menus to go at! The Sunday special, the seasonal specials and the normal menu. It all adds up to a wonderful Lancashire feast. We pretty much all went from the seasonal menu. 
The Flame had a wonderful slab of game terrine. I have never been allowed to taste a finer one. The Yorkshire cove wolfed into a three cheese soufflé with a cheese sauce. It was proper cheesy. The Yorkshire cove considered it highly beneficial to his overall wellbeing. Me and the Yorkshire lass had probably the smoothest, crabbiest, crab parfait you will ever imagine. It was sublime.
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Mains were a revelation. Between us we had either pheasant or venison and pork pie.
The pheasant came two ways. The breast had been rolled into a ballotine whilst the leg was encased in a pasty pastry. Set on seasonal veg with a creamy, buttery mash. I would argue this was the best dish I have had in years. It ticked all my boxes. My morsel of venison pie was gorgeous. The cove and the flame went away very happy with their pasty. It looked good as well with the hot, rail sleeper chips on a slim plate.
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Despite being satiated we decided (for research purposes) to have a go at a sweet! Going back to my childhood I ventured into a plate full of Victoria plum sponge pudding with custard and cream. Took some doing but golly it was good. The flame plumbed into Katie’s wet Nellie. Fruit, mince, nuts, treacle, it just has to be good.
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It really was a tremendous meal. Great company in a fabulous environment. Sat overlooking the countryside from our fireside table was a delight. What we really needed was a room so we could have stayed! A couple of cigars and a brandy might have worked as well but we had to drive away into the evening chill. I can imagine with snow on the hills and the Christmas tree lights on it would make the perfect Christmas card.
Our Yorkshire troop texted later that it was the best meal they had in years and thanked us for taking them there. They will definitely be back. And so will we. And so should you all.
 
Parkers Arms
Newton-in-Bowland
Nr Clitheroe
Lancashire
BB7 3DY
 
01200 446236