The Freemasons at Wiswell
“Refined Lancashire food in a smart village inn” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
A cream-painted inn on a lane in well-heeled Wiswell, The Freemasons has a pleasantly bucolic air, with small carpets thrown over the flagged floor, stressed bare tables and rolled-up kitchen cloths for napkins. The preference for rustic flavours such as those that pickling produces means that pub food meets cutting-edge gastronomy halfway, and Steven Smith plays his part with appetisers of Lancashire cheese tartlets topped with pickled mushrooms, before a first course like planched foie gras on toast with smoked eel and Yorkshire rhubarb in beer vinegar. Fortifying main dishes are the norm, as in slow-cooked suckling pig with crispy belly, sticky cheek and black pudding, alongside silky sweet potato purée in fish-savoury XO sauce, or cod poached with seaweed, served with salt cod cannelloni and wild mushrooms in buttery chicken stock sauce. Finish with Cluizel dark chocolate mousse, served with pineapple poached in PX sherry with raisins and razor-sharp passionfruit sorbet.
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 70
- Private dining available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Closed: false
- Wines under £30: 56
- Wines over £30: 108
- Wines by the glass: 30
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
Lancashire was at the centre of the British cotton industry in the 19th century, which lead to the urbanization of great tracts of the area. The cotton boom came and went, but the industrial profile remains. Lancashire’s resorts, Blackpool, Southport and Morecambe Bay, were originally developed to meet the leisure needs of the cotton mill town workers. Blackpool is the biggest and brashest, celebrated for it tower, miles of promenade, and the coloured light ‘illuminations’. Amusements are taken very seriously here, day and night, and visitors can be entertained in a thousand different ways.
The former county town, Lancaster, boasts one of the younger English universities, dating from 1964. Other towns built up to accommodate the mill-workers with back-to-back terraced houses, are Burnley, Blackburn, Rochdale and Accrington. To get out of town, you can head for the Pennines, the ‘backbone of England’, a series of hills stretching from the Peak District National Park to the Scottish borders. To the north of the country is the Forest of Bowland, which despite its name is fairly open country, high up, with great views.
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