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“A little courtesy would help?” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Freemasons Arms

Freemasons Arms
8 Vicarage Fold | Wiswell, Clitheroe BB7 9DF, England
+44 1254 822218
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Ranked #31 of 105 Restaurants in Clitheroe
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: English, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A little courtesy would help?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We have been to Freemasons Arms numerous times. Sometimes there is a feeling that you're rushed, on this occassion the timing of the delivery of food to the table was nicely paced and the waiting on staff friendly and attentive, which we thank them for.

Unfortunately we had three problems. Being sat next to the open fire on the first floor seemed a very nice idea, it wasn't. Approx. half way through the meal the soot from the fire became an irritant, we spent the rest of the evening with the feeling of space dust up our noses. The second problem we have is with the way the waiting on staff have their tea towels. We find it odd that they have them tucked in at the back of the apron, next to their rear end. We don't know about anyone else, but the idea of those tea towels anywhere near our food is shocking. Whether they do or don't is irrelevent, the mere fact they have them there makes us question their hygiene practices.

The third problem is the worst of the three. Some hours after returning home one of us was violently ill. The following morning we contacted the Freemasons Arms to inform them of this problem. We had concerns that one possible cause of the illness could have been the scallops. If it was, we didn't want anyone else to be ill. Although we got an automated response from Freemasons Arms, there has been no further contact from them.

We don't think we're expecting much, but the lack of customer care or courtesy from our perspective isn't great.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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382 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Refined and elegant in a country pub.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We have been several times to the freemasons and have enjoyed ourselves every time. We particularly enjoy visiting in the warmer months when we can sit in the sunshine and dine outside. We dont take our children with us as i dont think they would appreciate the presentation and quality of the food and as other reviewers have said its not cheap. But you get what you pay for.
We had the seasonal set menu two courses for £17. The service is excellent and the staff are very polite, professional and attentive. We both had the ham hock for starters which i dont think sounds that exciting but it was delicious. Everything is always well presented and tastes superb. The bread selection you are offered is normally lovely too but was a little disappointed there was only one choice on this occasions. For main course i had the hake which was nice but would have prefered to have the lamb which my husband had which was amazing. Overall another lovely, relaxing, quiet, a little bit special type of meal. Thoroughly enjoyable and i even like the lovely glasses that the wine is served in. Will return for the lamb soon.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Bolton, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Like a brick to the face”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

In some restaurants and the food dances around your pallet like a symphony flavour with all the subtle little combinations coming together to make a wondrous dining experience, In other restaurants it’s like being hit in the face with a brick of flavour, Freemasons definitely falls into the brick in the face category.

Do not be mistaken in thinking food is bad, it is in fact the food is quite the opposite but with it being both pub and a restaurant you should go there with the expectation of strong bold flavours that will enlighten your pallet even if you order a pint of bitter.

My most recent trip to Freemasons was 01/04/2013 but I will confess I have attended this restaurant probably 10 times in the last 2 years and it is a favourite of mine.

The menu at Freemasons is a 3/3/3 so, 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 deserts now the menu changes pretty much weekly so if you don’t like it then don’t worry there will be a new menu next week, if you are a vegetarian Freemasons does not cater for you, even if you are one of those PESKY’tarians who eat fish it comes with duck fat chips and all other unhealthy loveliness so probably best you stay away.

Now onto my meal

To start I ordered the Munster Crab which slapped my around the face with fishy crabby amazing’ness, the fennel and apple puree offer a sweet and crunchy contrast in both flavour and texture making it a amazing starter. My parter ordered the pea soup with smoked haddock cream again the flavours were amazing with pieces of haddock in the soup some sort of haddock rice crispy on top to add texture.

For main we both ordered roast beef and when it came it looked fantastic with a little pot of cauliflower cheese came for the side. The flavours in the sauce were unreal it had power and punch everything on the plate was perfect.

My only slight complaint if I was being critical would be, I think the beef was cooked in a water bath and while that gives you perfectly cooked pink meat, the flavours you can impart using other methods sometimes makes for a more intense flavour.

This however is the only thing I can pick on about the food, everything else from the mash, the Yorkshire, the parsnip, THE ROAST POTATOS IN DUCK FAT, everything was cooked perfectly and that incredible sauce made sure everything combined perfectly on the fork no matter what you decided to have a taste of.

WARNING: The horseradish sauce could launch a rocket into outer space be careful, but get it as it is amazing.

For desert I ordered the Chocolate Pave with hazelnut I cream which I thought I was onto a winner, rich chocolate nutty yet refreshing ice cream and popcorn (they don’t make it like that at the cinema) which was rich refreshing and light enough to end the meal.

I then made a mistake I tried my partners lemon tart with pistachio I cream, I think I will carry this food envy with me to the grave. The tart had a brulee top to it for texture, so after the initial crunch you would get this smack of sharp lemon which you think it a little too strong but a milky ice cream taste mellows out the pallet and just as you think it’s finished this pistachio flavour coats your mouth in a nutty hug, My partners desert was one of the nicest things I have tasted in a long time and I only got one spoon full..

This is not the place for fussy eaters or vegetarians but if you like flavour this is without doubt the place for you. Finally whatever you do if you see the words lemon & tart on the menu order it, otherwise you will be living in a eternal state of food envy!

Bill with no alcohol was £60

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Happy Punters”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

After a 2 hour walk up to Pendleton from Wiswell and up to the Nick O Pendle we were rest for our meal. Crab starters were simply delicious, one lamb main and one fish pie. Again thoroughly delicious. Attention to detail was great. It's cosy inside and our chef-patron was out seeing how people were enjoying themselves. Great real ales too. I would definitely return. The menu isn't large but the good was great quality.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Ribble Valley
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Inedible steaks”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We went to the Freemasons for my Fathers 90th birthday treat. Wish we had gone somewhere else. All three of us ordered ribeye steak (either medium or medium-rare), it was a struggle to cut it with the steak knives provided, we all three had to remove the chewed steak from our mouths (tried a little more which was the same). We told the young lady the the steaks were inedible and that we would like something else to eat. We then had fish of the day halibut which was good costing £22.95 each. We were told that they would speak to their suppliers about the tough meat. The bill arrived for the full amount which I was surprised about given how bad our first dish was. At my request they did knock the price of the bottle off wine off the bill but weren't forthcoming to do so. The young lady was apologetic but unfortunately the Manager was less so. Overall a very dissapointing 90th birthday treat!
Will not be returning.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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