Food – Thyme Out Deli & the Freemasons Country Inn

After what seems like months of rain, this weekend was a complete delight. To be able to sit outside and eat, enjoy both the morning AND the evening sun without even a hint of a torrential downpour, result!

One breakfast stop was at West Didsbury’s Thyme  Out, recently nominated for Deli of the Year and provider of the one thing (apart from a stiff Bloody Mary) guaranteed to soothe that post-wine feeling – Eggs Florentine. I’m not sure what Ben puts in his hollandaise, but it’s the creamiest, richest, most luscious sauce I’ve ever dipped my toast in, plus it’s topped with a crust of melted parmesan. Heaven in a pot.

Thyme Out's Eggs Florentine

And not only that but diners outside now get to enjoy watching a mini-allotment grow and ‘Ben’s hens’ scratch around in the sun….

Watching over the allotment

Next month's salad leaves 🙂

Bit weird, all those wooden men staring at the hens....

The first chick grows up, but unfortunately is leaving for pastures new soon. Turns out he's a little boy so will soon start bothering his aunties and in not a good way.....

Then after a full weekend – new tenants in, paperwork sorted, Project Squeeze photographed to within an inch of its life, Rip Rap’s operation a success and a climbing party full of ten years old, phewf, it was time for a chilled out snack at The Freemasons, which is tucked away in a pretty village called Wiswell just near Clitheroe, Lancs. I remembered the pub years back from when my best friend at school lived in the village but I wouldn’t imagine there are many smokey lock-ins now *recalls early drinking years with a grin* 🙂  It’s now a very sophisticated yet still relaxing country inn run by chef Steven Smith with a gorgeous interior, private dining spaces and friendly local staff – hi Becky 🙂

The Freemasons, Wiswell

We only wanted a snack, but my idea of a snack is slightly different to my boys – Mr M wolfed his chicken liver starter down in about 45 seconds and Mini-M’s comment ” I have 9 chips. In a pyramid.” is still making me smile. Bloody heathens, the pair of them, they’re just used to my huge portions 😉

Although it would appear having had a little Google search that Mini-M was lucky to get 9…..

http://ribblevalleypubs.blogspot.com/2006/05/freemasons-arms-wiswell.html where one of the comments was : The food when it came was of a high quality, nicely cooked and presented but came in ridiculously small portion sizes. My 8 year old son with a notoriously small appitite was dismayed that he only got 7 chips with his 2 slices of monkfish.

To be fair to the place, we’d rocked up at 5.30 on a Sunday evening and had missed the lunch/snack menu where Mr M had set his sights on a large steak sarnie. The parfait was utterly delicious and I’d like to head back for a full sit down feast very soon.

A fluffy cloud of chicken liver parfait with a side order of apple-ness

There had clearly been a lot of thought put into the refurbishment. The beautiful sash windows seemed new and had been painted a very stylish shade – this seems a silly thing to comment on but many exteriors have a major #fail when it comes to colours and someone had thought this choice through. It was the perfect colour for the surrounding stone work, the rich green of the box planting and the setting sun.

New sash windows with window boxes

Inside the decor managed to be rich and sumptuous without being too stuffy and uncomfortable. A bit special to dine in the room below if your normal evening meal is an M&S tagliatelle in front of Corrie 🙂

One of the private dining spaces upstairs at the Freemasons

The stone floor’s random mix of sizes was spot on and gave the Inn that country feel to balance some of the more ostentatious decor and keep it’s feel firmly on the ground. Loved the stone and very well executed. Even the finish in the loos was considered, with the floor / wall joint neat with tiling and timber, though I can’t believe I notice these things!

I ADORED the stone ground floor

Right, enough reminiscing over a lovely weekend, I better get on with some more work…

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