Four Alls Inn, Higham
The Four Alls Inn, the pub in Higham where I grew up, has just re-opened with a bit more of a focus on food than before. So I thought it worth giving the food a bit of a write-up.
Photo CC-BY-SA Neil Clifton
The photo above doesn't show it since the refurbishment but it does show the original sign that illustrates what the "Four Alls" actually means (see closeup here). The original sign is preserved of course for historic interest.
Inside, they've got some tasteful new upholstery and carpet, but of course it's still a fairly small place with about 7 tables in the main area (apparently it's sometimes been difficult to get a table booking - everyone's been trying it since the relaunch). They've still got decent local ale on tap (Moorhouse's Pride of Pendle, recommended) and an open fire.
Of course I had to try the black pudding starter. A single slice of black pudding but perfectly done and served with a poached egg and some delicious mustard mash. The mustard mash was excellent, and the poached egg was cooked just right (though it had cooled a bit by the time it got to me).
(My dad thought one slice of black pud wasn't enough, but in combination with the mustard mash and the egg I think it's the right balance. If there's one thing that a food place can do to disappoint me, it's cock up the black pudding starter! So I'm glad to report they've done a good job with it...)
For main course, I was definitely tempted by the butternut and ricotta ravioli but one of my sisters ordered that, so instead I had the steak and ale pie, and snaffled a taste of the ravioli. The pie was great, really tender meat; and the ravioli was also lovely - the pasta perhaps a little thick, and perhaps swimming in a bit much sauce, but the filling was very nicely flavoured, and overall my sis said it was lovely. My other sister had the cheese and onion pie and grandma had the chicken, both of which were apparently good.
For afters, the sticky toffee pudding was fine, as it should be; and the cheesecake was "alright" apparently (not very strongly flavoured - not always a bad thing IMHO, but then I didn't actually sample the cheesecake).
Everyone in this area knows that the Fence Gate just down the road has claimed a massive slice of the gastropub territory round here. (And justifiably so, it has some really good food.) So it's nice to report that the Four Alls has good food worth the mention. There's no reason that all pubs should be gastropubs, of course, but the Four Alls was having trouble staying open as it was, so it'd be good to see it develop in this slightly different direction. Since there's a whole new set of commuter-village houses being built next door to it, it seems like a canny move. Oh and just so you know, they've still got the pool table in the little room.