The Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland, Lancashire

I do love Twitter, recently I hit 10k tweets, and I was quite pleased with that. I commemorated it with a particularly banal tweet and a photo of me with “10k” on my hand. It was an exciting day. However, what I love about twitter, isn’t finding out what d list celebrities are doing, but I like following chefs (and other food bloggers, who are more skilled with a camera than me), because I love licking my computer’s monitor.

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One chef who I have been following for a while, is The Parkers Arms’ Stosie Madi, who is always worth a follow. You can find out what she is up to, what she is planning for the menu at The Parkers Arms, and the pictures of the brilliant food there. I’ve popped in for a drink there before with my dad, and have been nagging him to go for a meal there, and it finally happened recently.

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We arrived and met AJ at the door, who was just opening up for the evening and got ourselves some drinks. Being a boiling hot day, we all needed something to quench our thirsts, and AJ suggested the homemade Elderflower Pressé. This was the most refreshing thing ever, and now all ready made, bottled or canned Elderflower Pressés just don’t taste the same. We took our drinks outside so we could take in the view of the Trough of Bowland before going inside to eat.

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We then began to receive a few very welcome, and much appreciated extras, free of charge from Stosie, starting with Pork Crunch/Crackling, Crispy Potato Skins and Chutney. I have never had Pork Crunch whilst still warm, and it was amazing, especially when dipped in the chutney. I am a big fan of pork products, however I wasn’t ready for how delicious the crispy potato skins would be. Wow.

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We headed back inside after these ready for our meal, and were pleasantly surprised to get more extras, as AJ came through with a plate of Homemade Rice Crackers, with Loch Duart Salmon and Elderflower Jelly. I must apologise for the photo being a bit… clumsy, I was trying to get a photo before everybody dived in. You see the biggest one at the bottom of the photo, well, being the greedy guts I am, I grabbed that and unceremoniously shoved it in my facehole in one go, and deemed it delicious. I wasn’t messing about here, I couldn’t wait to taste it.

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More extras then came in the form of Homemade Pitta Bread with Tzatziki. I think I can safely say, I only want to ever have homemade pitta breads from now on. After this a bowl of delicious homemade bread rolls arrived, with some butter on the side.

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We were feeling really spoiled by Stosie’s generosity, and were already talking about how much we loved what we had eaten, and then our starters started to arrive.

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My dads starter was the Black Pudding Sausage Rolls, with Parkers Picalilli, owing to my dislike of black pudding, I didn’t try this, but my dad sure enjoyed it, which is always good.

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My friend, Mary, had the Local Estate Venison Carpaccio, which I can confirm was bloody gorgeous, and I wish I could have eaten it all, but I had my own starter to try…

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I had the Dunsop Bridge Trout, Dunsop Bridge potted trout, with toast and Duerden’s Watercress on the side. I’ve never had potted trout before, or potted anything (yes, not even potted shrimps, I just tend to baulk at the price of them, for such a tiny tub), but I couldn’t get enough of this. Chunks of delicious trout, submerged under a flavoursome, slightly spiced and clearly, very healthy, pool of warm butter.

2013-08-01 19.16.45Look at it, just look at how lovely that is. If nobody was watching, I would have drank that butter from the pot. I really would. I have no shame, but people around me do.

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My girlfriend, Sara, had the Mushroom Parfait, which had that heady woodland’y smell and taste of mushrooms, and a gorgeous smooth texture. I described it at the time as the king of mushroom patés, which is probably an understatement, in all fairness.

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At this point, we asked if we could have a breather before our main courses, as we were all struggling a bit, this was a wise choice, but soon we were ready for our mains.

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Sara went for the 8oz Gammon Steak with Triple Cooked Chips, which she describes as being “fucking epic”, especially after not having eaten pork for ages, having just returned to the UK after almost 2 years working in a Muslim country. I really wish I’d stolen a bite of her onion rings, because I love onion rings, and they looked amazing.

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I had the Hand Raised Pork and Local Estate Venison Pie, the chips were superbly crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, the veg tasty (including the fennel, which I am allergic to, but always forget to tell restaurants, but I don’t mind because I love the taste of it, and I can live with a bit of a red face if something is delicious), and the pie had the most delicious meaty filling, it had that distinct taste of game, but with that porky sweetness. If I had only one problem with it, I would have liked a jug of gravy. I put this down to me being such a northern monkey, pie without gravy just seems a bit wrong to me. I had to leave an embarrassingly large portion of the chips, veg and pastry, because despite loving food, I have an annoyingly small appetite, but I really did love it.

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My dad and Mary had the Grilled Prawns with Triple Cooked Chips and Salad, which looked pretty as a picture on the plate, and I was filled with envy that I hadn’t ordered them (but not too envious, because I had pie, yay). Mary took great delight in sucking the heads, where all of the flavour is.

We were planning on getting desserts, but we were absolutely stuffed full of delicious food, and despite it being a famous scientific fact that you have a separate stomach for dessert, none of us could quite face it. Plus, we had to shoot off to get to Carnforth Railway Station for The Snug Micropub‘s 1st Birthday Party, to play ukes and musical saw, and drink lovely beers amongst great people.

The Parkers Arms isn’t easy to get to, you need somebody who can drive to take you there, but it is so worth the drive, and it’s a beautiful drive through the Lancashire countryside, anyway, so I implore you to go try some of Stosie’s fantastic food.

I’d like to thank Stosie for the #TweetTreats, I can’t wait to visit for food again and try more of the delicious things on the menu, and AJ who was a delight throughout the meal, for the great service.

The Parkers Arms – http://www.parkersarms.co.uk 

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