Restaurant review: The Higher Buck, The Square, Waddington, Clitheroe BB7 3HZ

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Waddington, a picture postcard village in the heart of the Ribble Valley, was the spring setting for a lovely family meal out.

The historic tiny village, two miles from Clitheroe, is blessed with three fantastic gastro pubs, but for our review we opted for The Higher Buck, which also boasts seven individually designed rooms.

Ours was but a flying food visit, though, accompanied by my partner and very hungry three and five-year-old girls after a day playing and walking in the spring sunshine. We were not disappointed.

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Dining out with small children can be a trepidatious experience, as children’s menus in pubs can be a bit hit-and-miss, or even absent, but the Higher Buck surpasses itself.

Steak and ale suet puddingSteak and ale suet pudding
Steak and ale suet pudding

My eldest, Sienna, unbelievably, is a lover of steak and so was delighted to see it on the menu. When it arrived char-grilled, accompanied with fresh French fries, she was equally excited to see its size. A clean plate, from a sometimes fussy eater, was the very best kind of verdict to give.

My youngest, Amelie, opted for the fish fingers, but again, these were generous clearly hand-made portions full of white fish.

Naturally, dessert for both was the highlight. Sticky toffee pudding with sticky toffee ice cream was not for sharing, according to Sienna, while Amelie was equally reticent about sharing her two scoops of chocolate ice cream.

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As for the adults, well I opted for the steamed steak and ale suet pudding with spring greens, hand-cut chips and gravy. A fine choice, which would have been just the trick on a cold winter’s day, but lovely any time of year.

Higher Buck burgerHigher Buck burger
Higher Buck burger

The pudding itself was packed with chunky, tasty, pieces of steak and a pot of great gravy. My only quibble was that the spring greens, cabbage in this instance, could have been a bit more plentiful.

My partner Andrea, meanwhile, opted for the Higher Buck Burger – complete with smoked bacon and Lancashire cheese, smoked tomato and red pepper relish, skinny fries and onion.

As per usual, I managed to persuade her to part with a part of it, and I have to say it was very delicious.

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Children's char-grilled steak and French friesChildren's char-grilled steak and French fries
Children's char-grilled steak and French fries

The menu itself is very varied with other options including some very tempting salads of tandoori roasted chicken breast, chili and ginger roasted king prawns, and beetroot and goat’s curd.

Heartier options included a range of steaks and marinated breast of chicken. Some very impressive looking vegetarian options included chickpea and red lentil dhal, as well as crispy halloumi and mushroom burger.

We didn’t opt for dessert but if we had it would have been difficult to choose between the sticky toffee pudding, triple chocolate bar with salted caramel and honeycomb ice cream, blackcurrant cheesecake with liquorice ice cream, vanilla pannacotta with rhubarb jelly and rhubarb compote, shortbread, warm caramelised rice pudding with cardamon poached apricots, or a selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets.

The Higher Buck is a traditional rustic eaterie with elegant modern decor. And, of course, the true star is its superb setting in wonderful Waddington.

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