Yes, I know I haven’t told you about Lancaster yet. But you can only really follow Chorley Cakes with Horwich pies.
Lots of lovely contours for this one (Note to Cambridge readers ; they indicate hills).
Horwich was heaving on Saturday, full of road racers, leisure cyclists, horse riders, and families walking from car to tea room at Rivington. The Hall was staging a teddy bear fair; it’s amazing how little it takes to pull a crowd in Bolton.
But we came to walk. We managed 90 minutes up to Yarrow and the Meetings of the Waters (top centre on map), before a Meeting of Squelchy Mud and Inappropriate Footwear started a series of arguments that Chorley cake couldn’t resolve. 95% of family arguments are about inappropriate footwear or phone chargers.
Luckily, beer in a new Guide tick can resolve any family difficulty, and so it was at the Blackedge Brewery Bar.
Labelling the Blackedge entry the “Brewery Bar” is just asking for BRAPA-style confusion with Bank Top’s “Brewery Ale House” yards away.
None of this philosophical debate meant much to Mrs RM, who just wanted a cosy seat and a big beer.
She was in luck. This is as cosy a Brewery Tap as I’ve been in, with comfy sofas that on this occasion I’ll forgive. The music choice ranged from ZZ Top (that one) to “Fill me up Buttercup”, which should not surprise you.
It also had the cheeriest barman of the year, perhaps ever (except Brad), who managed to sell us not only four pies (not each) but persuaded our sons to try those Fitzpatricks cordials they sell in the Temperance Bar at Rawtenstall. Blood orange and liquorice it was then.
It’s a high quality set-up, and the hot pies (top) were even better than the beer (NBSS 3 for the Pike). I would go back just for the pork and black pudding one. But I’d walk to Rivington Pike first so at least I’d feel like I’d earnt them.
NB I can’t be alone in being bemused at the plethora of pubs in the tiny centre of Horwich, six of them in the Beer Guide in as many years. Hordes of lycra-clad Lancastrians were invading the Holts house; they could smell a bargain pint.