The Barn at Moor Hall is the more casual, lower-priced sister site of the newly Michelin-starred Moor Hall restaurant, that’s set within the same grounds. Propelled by the well-deserved praise of Moor Hall which overlooked from across the path, The Barn enticed with a three-course lunch menu at £23 plus service.
It was a long lonely walk from the car park to The Barn at Moor Hall table. The well-maintained grounds, deep ponds, and an empty patio area provided a peaceful, although strangely quiet atmosphere. Inside the large, handsomely converted barn, guests walk passed the glass-fronted room where meat is hung. Something to do with cheese is going on beyond another closed door. Everywhere was silent, everything was spotless.
The restaurant itself was well-crafted. Charming low wooden beams supported the ceiling creating a cosy atmosphere. Exposed brick walls and natural wooden floors with matching tables provided a modern-country look that worked well. Once seated, I had a good view of the open kitchen, meaning I didn’t have to make eye contact with the Mrs. The young chefs were all beavering away in a focused fashion and the clean worktops put my own kitchen to shame.
The Barn at Moor Hall’s frugal set lunch menu afforded a choice of only three starters, mains and desserts. Fine; however, one dish was out of stock. I thought it was poor that something else couldn’t have been whipped up, rather than removing 33% of the starter options.
Regarding food, the amuse-bouche was a posh slice of sausage roll, something I thought local rival Northcote had trademarked. Very good it was too, apparently. I’ve been pescetarian for the last year and wasn’t offered anything else. I politely asked for a bread roll instead, not too much to ask surely, but it was. At least I had some excellent tropical tasting Sauvignon Blanc before the starter to keep me going.
Seduced by lobster mentioned at such a reasonable price point, two Lobster Muffins started the three courses. I keep making this mistake. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s too expensive a raw ingredient, restaurants (generally) aren’t stupid, and therefore punters don’t get enough of it. The lobster muffin was daintily arranged with pretty greenery; however, it annoys me when the main ingredient(s) are hidden. If you have to immediately decapitate the top level or rearrange the plate before the first bite is taken, it’s been plated up in too fiddly a way to begin with in my opinion. Anyway, the lobster itself was fresh, meaty and well-cooked, and the muffin was supple and evenly toasted.
For mains, the no-nonsense Roast Beef using Lake District cow seemed appropriate for a Sunday. The quality of the beef was very good; although, perhaps could have been served pinker. The chunky veg were fine but without note. I really liked how the mash was neatly housed within the Yorkshire pudding. Although proudly towering above the plate, the Yorkshire pudding was too dark and dense. The Goosnargh Chicken was bright, summery and elegantly presented. The meat was succulent, and the vegetables were full of life. The potatoes were excellent, gently paddling in delicious herb-packed dressing.
Desserts at The Barn at Moor Hall provided a neatly prepared Lemon Tart and Gin & Tonic Sorbet being a novel accompaniment. The tart was well-baked but was generally unremarkable. The Raspberry Meringue was completely covered in Champagne Sorbet which sounded awesome but was a waste of time. It was raspberry and meringue, nothing not to like, but far from memorable.
Service at The Barn at Moor Hall was fine but with zero rapport. There was an altogether lack of any sense of occasion. The well-presented front of house team were pleasant, but in an anonymous kind of way. A smart-looking young restaurant manager quietly patrolled the dining room, deftly overseeing a well-organised service, although provided no interaction.
The Barn at Moor Hall Wine Prices
The Barn at Moor Hall Wine List is relatively small and crowd pleasing, consistent with the food menu. The majority of the pricing is what most diners would consider sensible. The cheapest bottle of wine, excluding half bottles and service charge, are either a young Italian Pinot Grigio or Portugese Vinho Verde (White), an Italian Pinot Grigio Rosado (Rose) and a Chilean Carmenere (Red) all for £26. Spend a tenner more and you could consider half the menu. I very much enjoyed the smooth yet complex Valpolicella Ripasso by Cantina di Negrar which sneeked under my £40 budget. The most expensive bottle of wine, excluding service, was a 2003 Dom Perignon Champagne at £255.
The Barn at Moor Hall Restaurant Review Score
It’s unfair to compare the Barn to Moor Hall when the price point is different; although, probably natural when it’s next door. The Barn Set Lunch offered very good value albeit from a very limited selection of simple dishes. None of the dishes stood out and the atmosphere fell short of expectations; although, everything was certainly enjoyed.
Atmosphere 7 Cost 9 Quality 8 Service 7