Towngate Tearoom, Heptonstall
Sometimes we want to take a step away from gastromadness and share a simple, genuine caff with you; here in this quiet little hilltop tearoom there are no gimmicks (they don’t even exploit the Sylvia/Ted connection) not too many frills, just fab home made cakes, pies and flans. Sit in the window with the papers and watch the Hughes haters walking purposefully up the cobbles towards Sylvia’s grave. The menu is simple: home roast ham salad, sandwiches, jacket potatoes – you know the sort of thing. But the flans are things of beauty: fabulous pastry brimming over with soft local cheese & herbs bound together with free range eggs and nicely dressed leaves on the side. The lasagne looks so good I feel like buying the entire pan – sometimes it’s not worth making when someone else does it this well. The deli shelves are well stocked and you can buy smoked goodies from Mackenzies and locally made preserves. A couple of times a week I walk the dog through the village and down past Lumb Bank where the Hughes’ lived, call in here on the way back and treat myself to a pot of Earl Grey and a slice of gorgeously moist lemon drizzle cake. Stare out of the window a bit. They’re friendly in here, and no-ones going to move you on. Time stands still in Heptonstall. For an hour or two anyway.