What’s happened to Clitheroe. When I lived there as a teenager there was nothing much to celebrate in the way of food and drink apart from the wonderful Byrnes wine emporium, now it has Holmes Mill and the amazing Bowland Food Hall. The former textile mill on the edge of town is a vast gastrodome with a butchers, a fish counter, a cheese stall with, among others, a dozen different Lancashire’s. I took home a beautiful Tasty Lancashire. Fresh fruit and veg tumble out of one of those old French delivery vans, continental sausage and hams are strung up above a counter stuffed with local pies and pastries. There are countless deli items: pickles, chutneys, jams and jellies. At its heart is a counter from where you can sit with a coffee and cake or as we did, with a sharing board of salami and cheese and a glass of chilled white wine.
Next door is the enormous beer hall that claims the longest bar in Britain with a raft of real ales along with their own Bowland Beer. It’s all been cleverly restored to retain some serious industrial chic: iron pillars, stone flagged floors, exposed brick and beam and the giant rusting Clayton, Goodfellow & Co. horizontal engine that once powered the weaving shed.
Next door is a bakery and an ice cream parlour and coming soon they promise, is a hotel, a pool, gymnasium and spa. It’s a terrific enterprise to rival other such places in Malaga and Lisbon, well done little Clitheroe.
Holmes Mill, The Food Hall, Clitheroe, Lancs. T:01200 407130