THE dramatic rural setting of Cubley Hall, nestling in the Pennine green belt on the edge of the Peak District National Park, sets it apart from the competition.
The freehouse pub, restaurant hotel, function and wedding venue is to be found on Mortimer Road, on the outskirts of the market town of Penistone. It is in fact the last building on the left as you approach Cubley from the town centre.
Cubley Hall’s spacious gardens have expansive views over open countryside and feature a unique Victorian pavilion and bandstand and outdoor trestle tables which now set the scene for special events.
The garden pavilion is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships, but is also proving popular for christenings, birthday parties, anniversaries, charity events, music business functions photo shoots and club meetings.
Old stone, high ceilings with large exposed oak beams and slate floors set the scene for the restaurant/function room, which has a rustic feel with old pine tables, chairs and pews.
In the main building there are rooms off, the traditionally comfortable Lockley Lounge and Blue Room and a spacious, stone and glass fronted dining area which takes maximum advantage of the spectacular views.
Cubley Hall is steeped in history. The mansion evolved through the centuries from being a moorland farm on the Pennine pack horse routes of the 1700s to a fine gentleman’s residence set in four acres of mature gardens, woods and grounds during the reign of Queen Victoria.
It then became a children’s home from the 1930s to 1980 and then, in 1982, it was transformed into the now well-known freehouse pub.
The year 1990 saw the addition of the restaurant and function suite, converted from the spacious oak-beamed, hewn stone barn.
Then, in 1996, the hall was extended to incorporate the hotel which has been sympathetically designed to compliment and enhance the original architectural features, mosaic floors, stained glass, old oak panelling and ornate plaster ceilings.
And Cubley Hall even has its very own ghost. Miss Florence Lockley, who was married at the hall in 1904, is now the resident ghost, affectionately known as Flo.
Cubley conveys a comfortably relaxed atmosphere, with friendly, helpful staff, good food and real ales.
Carol and I discovered the hall many years ago, but more recently we have become fairly regular visitors, often on a Saturday lunchtime.
The menu is extensive, but for lunch we usually settle for one of the choice gourmet paninis, bacon, brie and cranberry, tuna, mayonnaise and mozzarella, rump steak, mushroom, onion and Yorkshire blue cheese, roast ham cheddar cheese and tomato, chicken tikka, wild rocket and mint or the veggie option of yoghurt or sauteed woodland mushroom, red onion and feta cheese. All are served with chunky chips and a side salad. I’ve tried them all and they come highly recommended.
We have also sampled most of the club sandwiches featured, roast ham and mustard, cheddar cheese with beetroot onion and/or tomato, roast topside of beef with horseradish, roast turkey and cranberry (actually I prefer it with mustard), tuna and mayonnaise, salmon and cucumber or prawns and Marie Rose sauce. All come served with white or brown bread with salad, mayonnaise and steak fries.
We like to eat in the main bar area, where you can order your meal at a separate counter which features the wide variety of blackboards specials.
Lunchtimes and evenings there is always a choice of appetisers, proper home-made big burgers, home-made pizza a wide choice of mains, salads pasta dishes and curries.
Last week we took two friends for an evening meal at Cubley and it did not disappoint. The portions are usually generous so we opted to go straight into the main course.
I fancied the veggie pizza – with extra mushrooms, olives and chillies. It was delicious. Carol ordered the oven baked Scottish salmon steak with asparagus spears, new potatoes and Hollandaise sauce. Barry went for baked trout, a blackboard choice, and Mavis couldn’t resist the traditional fish and chips – a whale on a plate with ‘steak fries’.
We all agreed that this was good, wholesome value-for-money Yorkshire pub grub, although Carol commented that she thought the salmon steak – unlike the giant fish dish – was a tad on the small side.
Last weekend when I visited the restaurant blackboard was featuring such mouthwatering specials as guinea fowl breast; rainbow trout and salad; home-made turkey, leak and mushroom puff-pastry pie; charcoal-grilled chicken breast wrapped in bacon rashers in a smoky barbecue sauce topped with mozzarella cheese; the chef’s own sausage with Mediterranean vegetables pasta bake with garlic wedges and salad; wok fried strips of pork with Atlantic prawns and stir fried veg in a chilli sauce with rice and prawn crackers; wok fried asparagus spears, tomatoes and button mushrooms, a light tomato and basil sauce in a porcini mushroom filled ravioli; oven baked giant Yorkshire pudding filled with beef and vegetable casserole, creamy mashed potatoes and garden peas. The soups of the day were cream of broccoli with goats cheese or cream of mixed vegetables with sage.
And for the those with a sweet tooth, who could resist trying some of these – Chilled lemon drizzle cake served with a duo of coulis and fresh cream; hot chocolate fudge cake with strawberry ice cream; individual chocolate toblerone truffle with creme anglaise; or homemade vanilla cheesecake topped with summer berries?
All this adds up to good food with a view and Cubley Hall does not disappoint.