Address: Blackburn Road, Whittle-le-Woods

Phone number: 01257 263966

Lancashire Telegraph review by John Anson from February 29, 2008.

The Red Cat makes great claims for its modern English cuisine and ran up a bill for £74 for three of us.

It certainly looks the part with its thick whitewashed stone walls. Although we hadn't booked we were given the friendliest of welcomes and shown to some extremely comfortable sofas to enjoy a drink while we perused the menu.

Don't expect a vast array of choices. Instead there are a handful of starters and mains using fresh local ingredients, the sign of a confident chef.

I went for the turkey breast with dauphinoise potatoes at £15 while the better half opted for Goosnargh duck breast with sage dumpling and chestnuts at £16. Although no vegetarian options are on the menu, a veggie brother-in-law discovered the chef only too willing to create him something from any of the ingredients of the day and a pea risotto with asparagus was the result.

Dining at the Red Cat is a truly relaxing experience. The service is first rate without being obsequious and although you may fear the pretty patterns on a plate' syndrome, from our experience the mains were beautifully prepared, full of flavour and substantial.

With just enough room for pudding I went for rhubarb crumble while our visiting veggie chose the white chocolate cheesecake.

Again they were superbly presented and my exploding pieces of rhubarb - remember Space Dust from when you were a kid? - were a real surprise. But I did feel that the puds were almost a little too clever for their own good.

There is a thin dividing line between a quality dining experience and pretention.

The Red Cat manages to stay just the right side of that line and the welcome is so warm and surroundings so relaxed you can forgive the odd minor indiscretion.

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