“ Address: 21 Castle St, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2BT / Tel: +44 (0) 8721 077 077 „
Clitheroe is a lovely quaint town surrounded by historic buildings and stunning views of the Lancashire countryside, and when we went there last week, we decided that we'd like some good old traditional pub fare to fit in with the day. There are plenty of places to eat in a fairly small area, but we decided on the Rose and Crown for two reasons. Firstly it's name; it may seem like a silly reason, but what better name for a traditional English pub? Secondly, there were people sat in the window who seemed to be enjoying themselves - always a good sign if you ask me.
It seems though that the old adage 'never judge a book by its cover' (or in this case, 'never judge a pub by its name') is a well-used and accurate rule of thumb in this case. From the outside, the pub looks very promising - it's an old building with plenty of character that could have come right out of Emmerdale. It has a beer garden that offers fairly spectacular views over the town and beyond. It's in a very central location; mere metres from Clitheroe's crowning glory - the castle. The menu is exactly what you'd expect; sandwiches and light meals that are homemade and tempting.
That's where the pros pretty much end though unfortunately. Inside is a completely different kettle of fish. The interior is well worn, to be polite, and is in dire need of a lick of paint. It looks like a lot of the traditional features are still there, such as the open fireplace and the detailed coving on the ceiling, but I would guess that they are still there because the owners don't want to spend any money on redecorating, rather than that they appreciate what they have. Again with the furniture, there has been no thought to what would suit the building - it is merely what could be bought on the cheap. The furniture doesn't match either the surroundings or indeed the rest of the furniture. A little effort has been made to spruce the place up a bit, with flowers (albeit artificial ones) placed around the pub, but even they manage to look withered somehow.
Another thing I couldn't fail to notice was the fact that the place was so badly lit and extremely cold - a great shame since there is a great open fire as I said earlier. This put a big dampener on the meal because I can't stand being cold and it isn't very comfortable eating a meal in your outside coat.
The service was mediocre at best. You find a seat and then order drinks and food from the bar. The staff were nice enough when they finally finished their own conversations and got round to serving you - a real bugbear of mine, so they were fighting an uphill battle from the very beginning. The place wasn't particularly busy with it being midweek, yet it still took just over twenty minutes for our food to come after we'd ordered it - even more annoying was the fact that we'd ordered cold sandwiches. When a table who'd sat down after us got their hot dinner before us, my other half enquired as to the whereabouts of our meal, only to be told 'it's on its way' with no apology.
The food itself was, in my eyes, the only redeeming factor, although this may be due to the fact that I was so hungry by the time it came that I probably would have been happy with anything. Nevertheless, I have to say the food was good. We each ordered a sandwich (mine was prawns with marie rose sauce and the other half's beef and onion) and they were well filled and accompanied by a fresh salad and handmade crisps. For just under £5 each, they were very good value for money and very satisfying. It would seem that the chef was the only person there that took pride in what he was doing as well, since the presentation was as good as it gets with a sandwich and salad.
Overall, despite the fact that the food was good, I'd have to say that the Rose and Crown was a disappointment. There was no atmosphere or cosiness about it and the service really wasn't good at all. If you are ever in the area (and you should because Clitheroe is lovely) I'd recommend that you give this one a miss and take advantage of one of the many other places to eat.