The nostalgic dessert menu, which includes both an Arctic roll and a rhubarb and custard-inspired pudding, was also a winner.
He wrote: “These are proper desserts that have required care, consideration and a childlike glee.”
The Alan’s review concluded: “The Alan is a hotel restaurant with which you can be on first-name terms. Right now though, it needs a few more pals. Not least because what is going on here is thoroughly alluring.”
Featured image: Supplied
Cruel irony as beautiful country pub is named one of the UK’s best – two days after it closed for good
One of the north’s most beautiful country pubs has been crowned as one of the best gastropubs in the country – but the news came just as it closed for good.
In a bittersweet turn of events, the Moorcock Inn – just half an hour from Manchester – received a nod from the prestigious Top 50 Gastropubs, which took place on the same weekend that the pub shut down.
While the other winners on the list were celebrating their accolades, The Moorcock staff were throwing one final farewell party in their windswept corner of Norland Moor.
The cosy Sowerby Bridge restaurant, famed for its local and wild ingredients, announced its closure with an emotional statement last spring but saw out the rest of 2022.
Owners Aimee Turford and Alisdair Brooke-Taylor wrote that the decision to shutter The Moorcock Inn was prompted by the end of their five-year lease, as well as the ‘unstable world’ of rising costs, supply issues and ‘looming recession’.
In the end, the raft of awards and critical acclaim it has earned over its years wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat.
The platform said: “Unfortunately the pub has had to close its doors just days before the list announcement, but read all about it below.
“The pub offers an ever-evolving seasonal menu alongside views over West Yorkshire’s Ryburn Valley and is an all-round charmer of a gastropub.”
Upon reviewing The Moorcock Inn, our food and drink editor found the venue to be full of surprises and warmth, from the outdoor barbecue where a chef cooked meat over coals in a blizzard to the snug bar itself showcasing an extensive drinks selection.
She wrote: “Let’s just say, the locals here are blessed.”
Our review of The Moorcock Inn’s food offering celebrated crispy potatoes served split in a heap of small dish of yeasty mayonnaise, a whole charcoaled flounder smeared in butter, and crispy pig tails with apple sauce and artichoke.
The restaurant was famed for its nose-to-tail ethos, from the butchering and dry-aging taking place on site to the homegrown vegetables to the handmade crockery.
The Manc’s review concluded: “This is a glorious pub, serving glorious food. This new offering feels wonderfully relaxed, combining the best of both restaurant and bar menus. We completely see what all the fuss is about.”
The Moorcock Inn was one of the greats and will be sorely missed – but at least it got to go out on a high.
Featured image: The Moorcock Inn
This Manchester restaurant serves an all-vegan roast with ‘meat’ and all the trimmings
A Manchester vegan restaurant is serving an all-vegan roast with mock ‘meat’ and all the trimmings, putting an ethical twist on the British Sunday classic.Keen to see if it’s worth the hype, I took a trip down to try it out for myself – and left feeling pretty impressed.
Not being a vegan personally, I enlisted the help of two friends of the plant-powered persuasion to accompany me to get a real feel for every option.
Suffice it to say, it was a success and, whilst I won’t be converting to veganism any time soon, it’s nice to know that there are options out there for when I feel like being ‘good’.
With three different roast choices on offer, Wholesome Junkies is the first restaurant in the city centre to venture past the usual vegan choices of mushroom Wellington and roasted squash and go all-out with a variety of mock meat options.
Meats have been created in partnership with Liverpool vegan brand CB Sushi, using their mock beef and turkey joints to give vegans the feeling of a ‘proper’ roast.
Think glazed ‘turkey’ filled with stuffing, medallions of ‘beef’ and crispy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, all served with lashings of onion gravy, ‘buttered’ seasonal greens, glazed carrots and parsnips, deep-fried stuffing balls, crispy roasties and fluffy Yorkshire puddings created by Mabel’s.
Having tried all three, I have to say that my favourite was the turkey. It’s actually my least favourite meat to eat, so it was something of a surprise to find I enjoyed the vegan version much more than the real thing.
The texture was spot on, and there was none of the dryness you typically associate with the bird. Washed down with a pint of locally-brewed Cloudwater Fuzzy Hazy Pale Ale, it absolutely hit the spot.
Coming in a close second was the deep-fried oyster mushroom roast, which was so packed with flavour that it almost felt like I was eating fried chicken with my Sunday dinner.
As for the beef, it didn’t really do it for me – tasting more of herbs than red meat, but then, I don’t suppose there are many vegans queueing up the block for a bloody meat substitute.
Wholesome Junkies has long been a favourite with Manchester vegans. First shooting to fame in 2018 with an appearance on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, owner Chelsea appeared on the show to ask for 95,000 to open her own vegan junk food restaurant.
Prior to that, she’d been running her Wholesome Junkies concept as a street food pop-up at sites like Grub and Ancoats General Store.
Whilst her bid to impress the BBC judges was not successful at the time, the TV appearance put her on the map and within a year she had her own Arndale market stall.
Fast forward a few more, and in 2022 she opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant – taking over the former Umezushi site at 4 Mirabel Street.
Since moving in, she’s completely transformed it: decking it out in bright colours and filling every corner with quirky little ornaments and decorations.
Strings of fairy lights, hanging mushrooms and frames filled with pictures from local artists all make the small space feel incredibly warm and welcoming – and our visit the restaurant was absolutely packed.