Up until a few months ago there was every reason to call at this pub, and one very good reason not to. Dropping down a steep, leafy lane off the main road, a tiny community appears; a pretty church, a row of stone cottages, one or two big old houses. The handsome Hinchliffe hoves into view and you think 'how is it I don't come here every week?' Not to put too fine a point on it, the chilly reception. No children. No dogs. No fun. Now and again I'd go, imagining things might have warmed up a bit. They hadn't.
But the good folk of Cragg are once more beating a path to the door: there's a new regime and a very cheery one it is too. Miles and Linda Laprell are a local couple who have previoius at the pub; Miles pulled pints here in 1979 and Linda's family have marked many milestones there. They're not planning a major overhaul - it really doesn't need one - but they've imbued the place with charm and fun. Hooray! Food is classic pub grub with one or two bistro-y additions (asparagus in Parma ham & poached egg, broad bean, parmesan & lemon risotto) and doorstep sarnies arrive on chunky home made bread. A special mention for the twice-cooked chips; marvellous. On busy nights part of the bar is kept just for drinkers (great beer: Magic Rock ‘Rapture’ from Huddersfield, Maid Marian from the Springhead Brewery and Dark Star’s Hophead are on tap, along with regular Jeffrey Hudson Bitter from Oakham Ales) and here's a cracking idea. Before six, a fiver will buy you haddock goujons & chips, a towering BLT or a pear & blue cheese salad. So it's not only safe to return to the Hinchliffe, it's a priority.
Cragg Vale, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX7 5TATel 01422 883256
Review by Mandy, 4 September 2012blog comments powered by Disqus