A recipe for Pancake Day

If you're feeling adventurous this Shrove Tuesday, here's our recipe for crêpes suzette; the classic French dessert, consisting of crêpes flambéed in orange liqueur, which was allegedly created by accident for the future King Edward VII at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1895. It's quite a tricky recipe, so in case you don't fancy making it yourself, we'll be serving these in the restaurant on Tuesday.

Classic Crêpes Suzette (makes about 16)

For the crêpes
215g plain flour
A large pinch of salt
4 large eggs
400ml semi-skimmed milk with 150ml of water added
75g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan.
The zest of a large orange

For the sauce and to flambé
400ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about 5 oranges)
The zest of 2 oranges
50g caster sugar
120ml Orange Liqueur (we use a premium version made with Armagnac called ‘La Grande Josiane’, which you can find it in TOTI)
100g unsalted butter

Vanilla ice cream to serve

To make the crêpe mix, begin by sifting the flour and salt together in a big mixing bowl and make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Then whisk the eggs and flour together slowly, trying to get rid of any large lumps in the mixture. It’s important not to whisk too much though, particularly if you don’t have time to let the mixture rest before cooking. Add the milk and water mixture in small amounts, whisking until smooth after each addition (This will prevent lumps). Continue to add the milk and water until the mixture has the thickness of thin cream. Add the melted butter and whisk. Leave to rest for a few hours, or overnight.

When ready to make the crêpes, take a frying pan with a large diameter (about 20cm) and place it over a medium-high heat and allow to become hot. Grease the base with a small amount of unsalted butter. When hot, spoon (or use a ladle) enough crêpe mix into the pan to form a layer on the bottom. Tilt the pan so that the mixture forms an even coating. They shouldn’t take long to cook. As the mixture is cooking, use a palette knife to lift the edges of the crêpe to check how it’s cooking. Eventually you should be able to loosen it completely from the bottom of the pan and the bottom of the crêpe should be golden. At this stage, it’s time to decide whether you want to opt for amateur dramatics and flip your crêpes, or alternatively use a palette knife to lift and turn them over. Either way, once they’re flipped over, they’ll just need a little while longer to finish cooking. You can stack the crêpes and reserve for later.

To make the sauce, begin by adding the sugar in a large frying pan. Heat this over a medium heat, and watch it until the sugar begins to caramelise. When it does, shake the pan so that the whole mixture becomes liquid. Be very careful as this will be very hot. As soon as the sugar has become caramel, add the orange juice and zest and stir to make a sauce. Add the orange liqueur to the pan and allow the sauce to catch a flame from the stove. Again, be careful, because the liquid can ignite quite dramatically. Allow the flames to burn out.

Introduce the crêpes to the sauce one at a time, folding each one into triangles before adding the next one. Allow the crêpes to heat from gently and become soaked in the sauce.

To serve, place the triangles on warm plates, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on each. Enjoy!
 

Burns' Scotch Whisky Dinner

Last Friday, we hosted a celebration of Scotch food and whisky in our River House venue as an alternative to a traditional Burns’ night. The evening began with bagpipes, tartan and a spirited recital of ‘address to a haggis’, but the focus was very much on showcasing some great Scottish produce, cooking and, of course, whisky.

Here's what the menu looked like (with whisky pairings):

Canapes:

Haggis bon bons, crab on Perthshire oatcakes

Soup:

Scotch broth

(Knockando 12yo, Speyside)

Fish course:

Highland Park and honey cured salmon, caviar, lemon pearls, creme fraiche

(Highland Park 12yo, Orkney)

Meat course:

Venison tartare, venison scotch egg, heather oil

(Balvenie Double Wood 17yo, Speyside)

Haggis:

Homemade haggis, neeps and tatties, whisky jus

(Talisker 10yo, Skye)

Dessert:

Chocolate terrine, honey and raspberries

Lagavulin 16yo (Islay)

The Bridge Project Christmas

This Christmas, along with several others, we shall be providing for the Christmas dinner at the Salvation Army Blackpool Citadel, which is organised by their 'Bridge Project'.

The Bridge Project supports the most vulnerable adults in Wyre and Fylde communities. This often means they are homeless, suffering from addiction or impoverished. To do this they organise drop-in sessions where people can get meals, toiletries, bedding and other basic necessities. They work with the NHS to provide health checks, they help people to get into accommodation and to resolve personal difficulties, such as addiction and mental illness. They also deliver education programmes, with the aim of moving people from crisis into more settled circumstances. On Christmas Day this year, they will be providing Christmas dinner for seventy disadvantaged people in Blackpool.

The Bridge Project receives no government funding. In order to deliver this indispensable service, it therefore relies on generous donations and volunteers. At this time of year in particular, their work is crucial in lifting the spirits of thousands of less fortunate people in our community. We encourage you to take a look at their website and Facebook page to learn more about the vital work they do all year round.

www.blackpoolcitadel.co.uk/bridge-project

The Cartford Inn named 'Best Inn' in Britain

Wednesday saw The Great British Pub Awards 2016 held at London’s Park Lane Hilton and we are very proud to announce that The Cartford Inn won the title of ‘Best Inn’!

The award recognises our overall high standards and the visitor experience of our guests, but in particular our luxury, boutique accommodation, outstanding food, drink and service and the unique pub environment.

The Great British Pub Awards are considered the pub industry’s most prestigious awards and are organised by The Morning Advertiser, the industry’s premier publication. This year they were hosted by comedienne Katherine Ryan, star of Mock the Week, 8 out of 10 Cats and QI.

We competed against five other finalists in the ‘Best Inn’ category to win the overall title. The rigorous judging process included a written application, site visits and interviews about the business.

The awards were a great evening for Lancashire as The Freemason’s in Wiswell also took the title of ‘Best Food Pub’. We are delighted that this combined recognition is contributing to Lancashire’s deserving reputation as a destination for food lovers from across the UK.

Read our winner's article here: http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Running-your-pub/Events-Occasions/Pub-Awards-Best-Inn-Winner-The-Cartford-Inn-Lancashire

 
 

Help make the community safer and get the chance to win a private Sunday dining experience at the inn

We’re raising money to buy an AED to help save lives in the local community.

Cardiac arrest occurs when a person’s heart goes into a life-threatening rhythm and stops pumping blood around the body, often caused by a heart attack. Over 30,000 cardiac arrests happen each year in the UK outside of hospitals. Once in cardiac arrest, a person requires immediate CPR to stay alive and their only chance of survival is if their heart can be shocked back into a normal rhythm. This requires professional medical attention and the use of a defibrillator.

Sadly, still less than 1 in 10 victims of a cardiac arrest outside of hospital survive. A person’s chance of survival often depends upon how soon they receive emergency treatment; for every minute a person is in cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 10%. So unfortunately, waiting for an ambulance, particularly if you happen to be in a remote location, might take too long. This could be the case at The Cartford Inn.

Thankfully, along with early CPR, an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) can significantly improve someone’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. An AED is a compact and portable defibrillator, which can be used by anyone to try give an electric shock to somebody suffering a cardiac arrest, to try to restore a normal heart rhythm.

We want to raise the money to purchase an AED so that we have one at The Cartford Inn in case of such an emergency. We also want to make sure that the local community has access to it, so we want to raise additional funds to purchase a box so that we can mount it on an external wall. In total, we anticipate we will need to raise nearly £2,000 if we purchase one through the Cardiac Smart initiative with the North West Ambulance Service, so we're aiming to raise this amount and any funds left over will be donated to The British Heart Foundation.

To raise these funds we’re going to be holding a raffle. We’re offering you the chance to win a private dining experience for sixteen people in our River House venue (wine included*). The price of an entry into this raffle is a £10 donation.

**Businesspeople who enter can opt for a day's corporate hospitality for up to 16 delegates, including lunch, if they win.**

There’s no limit on the number of times you can enter (eg. for £20 you will get two entries), and we’ll stop selling tickets once we’ve raised our target, and a winner will be picked at random.

You can enter the competition in several ways. You can make a donation in the pub, notifying a member of staff. You can telephone and donate by calling us on: 01995 670166. And we’ve set up a Just Giving Page so that you can donate online. Just make sure to leave your email address so that we can contact you if you win. You can of course make an anonymous donation.

Just Giving link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thecartfordinnaed

Good luck should you choose to enter and thank you for helping us make the community safer.

 

*click here for a list of terms and conditions

Visit England Awards Case Study

We were selected by Visit England, along with a few other award-winners at this year's Visit England Awards, to be the subject of several case studies about good business practice in the tourism sector.

Listen to Patrick talk about the importance of developing a strong team and the power of social media to enhance relationships with customers.

Finalist: The Great British Pub Awards 2016 ('Best Inn')

We're delighted to announce that we've been named as a finalist at this year's Great British Pub Awards in the 'Best Inn' category.

The awards are the UK pub industry's most prestigious awards and the 'Best Inn' category honours great pubs across the country with outstanding accommodation.

We'll be looking forward to attending the awards ceremony at the London Hilton later in the year, and be hoping to be named as national champion. Wish us luck!

 
 

The Year in Review (Highlights of 2015)

2015 was a momentous year here at The Cartford Inn and one that will be remembered fondly for many special moments, occasions and successes. The year seemed to get better and better as we completed several developments on-site to improve the overall experience for visitors and we continued to receive recognition for our food, drink and hospitality with the receipt of several prestigious awards and in the press too. The kitchen was also as vibrant as ever; using the best local produce they created more exciting dishes than ever before and we went out around Lancashire, to food festivals and shows, to showcase these and further contribute to the region’s thriving food and drink culture.

From what was such an eventful year, it’s difficult to pick out just few highlights to list here. Nevertheless, we’ve settled on these as our five favourite moments of 2015:

 

5. Special Events in the River House

Admittedly not one, but several special events, each hosted in our new two-floor facility for private and corporate events: The River House, overlooking the outside dining areas and with views of the riverscape and countryside beyond. Last year we organised a collection of popular events including wine tastings, a fish, chips and Champagne dinner and an evening celebrating the music and food of Spain with internationally acclaimed Flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore.

These events were particularly memorable as our first forays into using the recently opened River House for our own exciting events. The popularity and success of these events means that we'll be hosting more in 2016. So make sure you look out for upcoming events throughout the year.

For more information on the River House and private and corporate events, click here.

 

4. The Lancashire Game and Country Festival

Throughout 2015 we attended many regional food and drink festivals and shows. Together, Patrick and head-chef Chris impressed audiences by cooking dishes that wouldn’t be out of place on the menu here at The Cartford Inn, offering advice to people wishing to replicate the results at home. It was repeatedly thrilling for them to demonstrate newly created recipes, often devised to showcase particularly outstanding seasonal ingredients. We were frequently billed alongside top regional and celebrity chefs too; notably at the Great British Food Festival at Stonyhurst college and at Great Eccleston’s own annual show.

The pinnacle of these events for us, however, was The Lancashire Game and Country Festival. The festival, celebrating Lancashire’s rural heritage and game sports culture, took place for the first time near Scorton over one weekend at the end of summer and significantly, we organised the festival’s ‘Theatre of Food’. This included a demonstrations theatre, where we showcased a multitude of game recipes alongside our butchers Honeywell’s, who showed crowds how to expertly butcher and prepare a variety of game.

In addition to the ‘Theatre of Food’, we also had a food tent and pop-up bar where we sold hot and cold take-away food, appropriately including venison stew, hand-raised game pies and fresh oysters too. And you could enjoy these with a pint of Giddy Kipper, a glass of Champagne or one of our a home-made fruit sodas.

The festival itself was well attended, impressively well organised and benefitted from largely pleasant weather throughout the weekend. The success of this event for us means that we’ll be doing lots of similar events throughout 2016.

 

3. Tourism Pub of The Year at The Lancashire Tourism Awards

In November of last year we were again a finalist at the Lancashire Tourism Awards, organised annually by Marketing Lancashire. We were shortlisted for a second consecutive year in the ‘Tourism Pub of The Year Category’. This time however, we were delighted to be awarded the title!

We were particularly honoured to win this award (in such a competitive category) as it recognises our contributions to Lancashire’s vibrant food and drink culture and the affect this has on boosting the region’s valuable tourism sector.

Winning this award means that we now have the chance to compete for a national title at the Visit England Awards for Excellence later in the year. Wish us luck!

 

2. Leisure Business of The Year at The BIBAs

One of our greatest achievements this year was being named Leisure Business of The Year at Lancashire’s most prestigious business awards: The ‘BIBAs’.

The awards, organised by the North and Western Chamber of Commerce, are known for their rigorous judging process. Progressing to the finals involved an initial application, followed by a panel interview, followed by a visit to the business by the judges. Along with the long-established BIBAs brand, this makes them Lancashire’s most coveted business awards - ‘the one everyone wants to win’. This made winning the award feel like a particularly significant accomplishment.

The glittering ceremony, held in September at Blackpool Tower ballroom, was attended by a team of staff members and winning the award ensured it was one of the best nights of the year. Learn more about the BIBAs by visiting: http://www.thebibas.co.uk

 

1. TOTI

Probably the most significant event of our year was the launch of our new on-site delicatessen ‘TOTI’. In case you didn’t know TOTI stands for Taste Of The Inn and it was created by transforming a previously disused building next to the inn’s outside dining areas with characteristic style.

TOTI is the realisation of a big idea and the result of many months planning and work. It aims to be one place where you can find outstanding quality deli ingredients, speciality foods, excellent wines and other things of gastronomic interest, all carefully chosen by The Cartford team, alongside our own bakery and patisserie items and hot and cold foods to take away.

The plan is that TOTI will develop and grow continuously. So over the next year expect to see the shelves filled with more exciting produce, more of our own freshly prepared food and more help and inspiration for recreating a taste of the inn at home.

For more information about TOTI click here and keep up to date by following our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

A few more of our favourite memories from last year...

Introducing TOTI

 Our new on-site shop and delicatessen TOTI is a destination like no other in Lancashire for regional food lovers to find outstanding produce, carefully sourced specialist ingredients and our own-made artisan products; allowing you to recreate a flavour of the inn at home.

 We've recently revealed the latest highly anticipated development at the award-winning country inn set in the picturesque Fylde countryside - a shop and delicatessen named ‘TOTI’ (short for ‘Taste of the Inn’). TOTI brings together fine food and drink, deli produce and speciality ingredients, all knowledgeably selected by The Cartford Inn team for their quality, provenance and exclusivity. It also sells a range of our own freshly made bread, pastries, cakes and hot and cold food for you to take home; all of the same high standard that you've come to expect from the inn.

The project aims to be a unique attraction for people in the area who enjoy great food and drink. The emphasis at TOTI is on quality and selectivity. So you’ll find all the things you’d expect from a great deli: fine cheeses, antipasti, preserves, store-cupboard essentials, wines and spirits, but everything’s of the choicest quality.

You can also expect to find things you won’t have seen elsewhere in Lancashire. For example, there’s a wide range of cured meats from pioneers of British charcuterie Trealy Farm and Moon’s Green and fine flours for bakers from Shipton Mill. We’ve exclusively imported farmed caviar from France and where else can you find smoked Gigha halibut; a favourite of Michelin star chefs around the country?

Customarily, TOTI stocks a range of staple Mediterranean ingredients, but there’s an unconventional focus on British speciality foods here. Apart from eschewing continental charcuterie in favour of British counterparts, the deli’s cheese selection, from Bath’s Fine Cheese Co., is almost entirely British. And of course we’re championing local produce too! You can get your Atkinson’s coffee, freshly ground, Fitzpatrick’s cordials and handmade Lancashire chocolates.

Naturally, ‘Taste of the Inn’ has been brought together with the same individual style and eccentricity expressed throughout the rest of the inn. It’s been created by converting a weathered red-brick barn at the pub’s main entrance. With its multi-pane window front and moss-mantled slate roof, it has the appearance of the quintessential village shop. Inside it features reclaimed wood panels and shelving and racing green enamel lights hang from oak beams alongside dried ingredients. The multicoloured tiled floor, inspired by the boulevards of French seaside resorts, accents the colourfully stocked shelves. A tangerine coloured, cast iron and shiny stainless steel meat slicer is a focal point.

TOTI offers freshly prepared food for you to enjoy at home, including soups, salads and familiar items from The Cartford Inn’s menu such as our homemade crackers and rustic dips. Particularly at the weekends there are freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries and irresistible rotisserie chickens to take away. Everyone should try our specially created signature pastry, the ‘TOTI bun’ (a mouthwatering creation of choux pastry filled with hazelnut cream and topped with bourbon caramel), that is sold daily.

Knowledgable and friendly staff are present to inform you about all that’s on offer at TOTI. This extends to help and advice on using ingredients and getting together all that you need to prepare a meal for friends and family. With the aim of inspiring peoples’ home cooking, it is planned that you will soon be able to pick up recipe cards along with all you need to create a taste of the inn at home. So sign up to our mailing list when you're in and follow our social media pages for news and updates in the future.

Lancashire Tourism Awards 2015. Winner: Tourism Pub of The Year!

Thursday was the annual Lancashire Tourism Awards and we are very proud to have been awarded the title of 'Tourism Pub of The Year'.

The event was hosted in the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool's Winter Gardens. Several staff members attended along with luminaries from across Lancashire's thriving tourism industry.

It's very special to win such an award and be recognised as an outstanding contributor to Lancashire's burgeoning food and drink culture and the affect this has on attracting high value, sustainable tourism to the area. The award is now proudly displayed in the entrance to the pub.

Success at The Lancashire Tourism awards means we'll have a chance to win a national accolade at the Visit England Awards for Excellence next year in London.

Wish us luck at the nationals and thank you for your continued support!

A memorable weekend: Success at the BIBAs and The Lancashire Country and Game Festival

 

The weekend just passed has been a remarkable affair for everyone involved here at The Cartford Inn. It began on Friday night with winning 'Leisure Business of The Year' at arguably the region's most prestigious and vigorously judged business awards, the 'BIBAs'. On both Saturday and Sunday we hosted the 'Theatre of Food' at the inaugural Lancashire Game and Country Festival, which proved to be an unreserved hit by all accounts.

Friday night was the most anticipated awards ceremony of the year: The BIBAs. The sparkling event was hosted by actress Stephanie Beacham at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. These long established business awards are organised by the North and West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and recognise outstanding businesses of all sizes and across all industries from all over the county. The rigorous judging criteria, along with the illustrious BIBAs brand means that the awards have achieved a particularly coveted status.

We were delighted to be in the finals of two categories: Leisure Business of The Year and Medium Business of The Year. Given the outstanding calibre of finalists in each category, although we were hopeful, we certainly weren't expectant of success.

But it came to announcing the Leisure Business of The Year, the finalists were listed and as we waited with bated breath for the winner to be revealed, The Cartford Inn was the name that was read from the card! Naturally we were completely elated as we went up to collect our golden statuette. The rest of the evening was fittingly revelrous and the spirit of the night carried over to the weekend.

On both Saturday and Sunday we were one of the main exhibitors at the first Lancashire Game and Country Festival at Scorton along with our butchers Honeywell's. This impressively well organised festival celebrated the shooting and rural culture of Lancashire.

Focussing on local game and country customs, this brand-new event featured gun dog shows, shooting exhibitions, dressage, falconry and fishing. Food and drink also featured prominently and there were lots of regional producers showcasing in the food hall along with stalls selling hot and cold food.

In collaboration with Honeywell’s we were excited to produce the festival’s ‘Food Theatre’, where both ourselves and Honeywell’s demonstrated how best to prepare and cook locally shot game. Chris and Patrick demonstrated three recipes: A pigeon salad with black pudding, beetroot and a pancetta and pickled shallot dressing; Loin of wild Scottish mountain hare with fresh pappardelle and a wild mushroom velouté with Lillet and traditional hand-raised water crust game pies. Recipes for which are attached below.

Next door we created a pop-up bar with suitable fare for the festival including venison stew and our hand-raised game pies that could be enjoyed with a pint of Giddy Kipper or oysters could be washed down with a glass of with Prosseco.

Traditional hand-raised hot water crust game pies.

A pigeon salad with black pudding, beetroot and a pancetta and pickled shallot dressing

Check here later for other recipe.