The Villa

The Villa

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True Italian flavours... with a tasty modern twist

Published in The Villa Blog

Returning to the Ribble Valley from Australia, chef Tom Byrom is bringing his signature flair and flavours to Clitheroe restaurant The Villa.

Established for over 10 years, The Villa has built a reputation for authentic, rustic Italian and Mediterranean food served in their charming candlelit restaurant.

The recent appointment of Head Chef Tom Byrom marks a new direction for the menu, with an emphasis on the true flavours of the food with a fusion twist.

“The new menu features the pizzas and pastas that people expect from an Italian restaurant, alongside new dishes that bring those authentic flavours of Italy but with a twist on the traditional,” Tom explains.

“We make everything in-house, from our famous pizza dough to pasta and desserts, and we only use the freshest produce from trusted local suppliers. The Ribble Valley has so many excellent producers and we want to champion that. We also source the finest Italian products, from cured meats to Prosecco, so customers know they are getting the most authentic experience.”

Alongside the updated menu is an extensive wine list featuring both Italian and New World wines, as well as a selection of spirits and Proseccos.

The Villa also has an intimate private room and relaxing bar area that comfortably seats up to 20 for any occasion. Owner Pino tells me: “We can cater for any requests, from tapas and sharing platters to a full roast dinner. It’s the ideal place for a celebration with family and friends.”

Pino summarises: “We are really excited to be taking the restaurant forwards in this new direction whilst retaining the high-quality food and service that we are renowned for.”

Spaghetti Bolognese: The Classic Italian Dish – Or is it?

Published in The Villa Blog

Spaghetti Bolognese has come to epitomise popular Italian cuisine the world over: A rich meat sauce sat on top of long strands of pasta, dusted with finely grated Parmesan cheese. Sound familiar? But what if I told you that ‘ragù alla Bolognese’ is traditionally served with Tagliatelle?

The Sauce

‘Spag Bol’ as we affectionately know it, probably has as many recipe variations as there are countries in the world. One of the earliest known ‘ragu’ recipes was recorded at 18th century Imola near Bologna, the former home of F1 Grand Prix racing.

In the late 19th century, Pellegrino Artusi published his cookbook with a ‘Maccheroni alla bolognese’. Although this was a meat-based pasta sauce recipe, it barely resembles the dish we eat today: for one thing it didn’t use tomatoes!

Around 100 years later, with wildly varying Bolognese recipes, the Italian Academy of Cuisine (Accademia Italiana della Cucina), sought to preserve the heritage of the dish. They submitted their recipe to the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (La Camera di Commercio di Bologna) as the most authentic ‘ragù alla Bolognese’, to which all other recipes should conform. But of course, Mommas and Nonnas, (& Papas) the world over have their own ‘secret’ ingredient that makes theirs the best.


Welcome & Terrace

Published in The Villa Blog

Welcome to The Villa Blog where we chat about everything Italian – from the stylish curves of a Ferrari to the haute couture of Milan: From the fine paintings of the Renaissance to the choral strains of the modern day tenors: From the ancient ruins of the Colosseum to the sandy beaches of Tuscany. If it’s Italian, we’ll blog about it.

As you can imagine though, being restaurateurs, our greatest passion is Italian food and wine - so expect a lot of talk about traditional Italian dishes and drink. We’ll look at the origins of recipes and ingredients along with exploring some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world. From Artichokes to Zucchini, Amaretti to Zabaglione we’re sure to tickle your taste buds.

We’ll keep you up to date with events at the Villa and let you know about what’s new and what we’re up to; When new menus are being launched and updates on any events you may have missed.

What's been happening?

April kept us busy with Easter and our first ‘Wine & Dine’ evening. Chef Steve created a delicious 5 course dinner that was expertly complemented by 5 different Sicilian wines, courtesy of Planeta. Diners Elaine and Andy said after dinner “We really enjoyed it. The food was excellent. The wine really brought out the flavours in each course and it was such good value for the price.”

We had a little fun on St. George’s Day with our diners getting a free tomato and mozzarella garlic bread in the style of St George’s flag. Did you know that George was a soldier in the Roman army and that the legend of his slaying the dragon can be traced back to the early 11th century? He’s also the patron saint of the beautiful island of Sardinia and Genoa in Italy. The cross of St. George adorns both coats of arms yet mystery surrounds the origins of the four Moors pictured on Sardinia’s flag.

Looking Forward

This week we have been very busy spring cleaning our beautiful terrace. The flags have been power washed and pointed, the parasols have been dusted off and the planters have been weeded in readiness for their summer blooms.

For the May Day holiday and Spring Bank holiday Monday’s we shall be open for food and drink all day. Throughout the summer months we will be open every day, serving lunch and dinner and offering our ‘Il Menu Terrace’ in the afternoons. Check back soon for a preview – it’s going to be a little different but we think you’ll like it.

And so, until next time...

Well, I think that should get us started for now but I’ll leave you with a little brain teaser:

What is the connection between Pinocchio’s pet cat, film star Stewart Granger and the 4 largest moons of Jupiter?

If you think you know, send your answer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 14th May 2015 for your chance to win a complimentary bottle of Fiabesco, Prosecco to enjoy with your meal when you next dine with us.

Where there is more than one correct entry, winner will be drawn at random. The winner will be notified by e-mail on 15th May 2015. Employees of The Villa Clitheroe or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition. . No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

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