Rocking up in the picturesque village of Aughton in West Lancashire, renowned chef Tim Allen (whose Flitch of Bacon bagged Essex’s only Michelin star in 25 years) loved the sandstone building and sunny terrace of the former Seafood Pub Company Wine Bar, and Sō-lō was born.
Now back in his native north (he was born and raised in Huddersfield), Tim is working with some of the best producers around to put the finest fresh, local ingredients centre stage. Surrounded by rich arable land, both the à la carte and the tasting menu for the restaurant (a stone’s throw from Moor Hall) will help you eat the seasons, serving a modern take on traditional dishes and British cuisine borrowing influences from around the world and from Chef’s classical training (he’s worked around the country, from Cambridge’s Midsummer House to South Kensington’s Launceston Place). Plant-based options are definitely on the cards. His vision is “nothing too outlandish”, creating something truly unique that will appeal to people from around the region and beyond: offering a casual dining experience and informal surroundings accessible to everyone, yet serving top-quality, well-executed food “that your taste buds are going to go crazy for” plus a well thought-out drinks offer (a signature gin is on its way, we hear). Even the bar snacks are tempting, with slow-cooked pork and tacos one of the nibbles to accompany tipples in the small area just for drinks. There’s even draught beer to add to the approachable, non-elitist vibe.
With numerous accolades in all the major guides, and featuring in the Top 50 Gastropubs and the Top 100 Restaurants lists, Tim Allen’s latest venture is bound to be worth a trip – and rooms for stopovers might even come to fruition at some point.