It's the meal of the weekend where the shackles of calorie counts are thrown off in a bid to soak up hangovers and fill a few hours with the family.

Yes, Sunday Lunch is certainly something to look forward to for most of us.

So when it comes to eating out on the ‘day of rest’ you don’t want to take any chances.

With only two other pubs within walking distance, one might fear the Traveller’s Rest in the semi-rural village of Upper Hopton above Mirfield to have become complacent.

Thankfully that’s very far from the truth.

While it’s not likely to win a Michelin star with its hearty pub grub, the resident chef is clearly an adventurous and creative cook who hasn’t lost sight of tradition.

What can easily be a dry and tasteless choice, a bog standard chicken dinner, arrived with piles of succulent white meat, expertly seasoned and crisped up roasties, a decent Yorkshire pudding, and a new one to me, leek and bacon mash with an individual jug of nicely spiced piping hot gravy – always a nice touch.

The imaginative approach continued for the container of the rudimentary root vegetables as my steamed broccoli and cauliflower arrived in mini-colander instead of a bowl.

I appreciated the presentation but it would have been nice to have something a touch more exotic such as roasted carrots, mange tout or perhaps a cheesy leek bake or cauliflower cheese.

The other half’s steak and chips were a surprise, an impressive stack of red meat and carbs, akin to a major construction project.

The perfectly cooked sirloin came balanced on top of the thickest chips any of us had ever seen and a large flat mushroom to boot.

Pan fried asparagus criss-crossed and a grilled tomato completed the towering meal.

Personally I’m wary about ordering steak in a non-specialist restaurant as they can easily be over-cooked, tough, and to be frank, tasteless. With it’s £17.95 price tag, this was a gamble too far for me.

Thankfully the ‘other half’ has no such qualms about splashing out and we were delighted to find the medium cooked cut of meat was the best we’ve tasted in a long, long, long time.

The chips too, were up there in the upper echelons of potatoes I’ve ever eaten.

Travellers Rest, Upper Hopton. Fillet of pork with mash.
 

The effort put in to arranging our third diner’s main course, fillet of pork, also grabbed our attention, prompting us to pull out our mobile phones to snap a quick pic.

Three medallions of juicy fillet wrapped in bacon, nestled on a bed of mash with a rich reduction made an extra special impression.

Having opted for no starters, desserts had to be tried, and again what arrived exceeded our expectations, at least in terms of artistic approach.

An apple and blackcurrant “strudel” with “proper” custard sprang out at me on the menu.

Unfortunately the chef had run out of his custard and I was asked if cream would do.

I reluctantly agreed.

My anxiety over my decision was compounded when the “strudel” arrived looking nothing like a strudel.

What is normally a puff pastry dominated pudding had been modified to four small discs stacked with a warm fruit compote.

A scoop of ice-cream with apple crisps spiked in was perfectly nice but my disappointment was palpable.

Ten out of ten for presentation but in this situation I think I’m a traditionalist.

The other dessert ordered, a rhubarb and cinnamon apple crumble, was also divisive, arriving in the very individual pot it was baked in.

Clearly homemade, the crumble was well, crumbly, and I imagine the rhubarb was from the famous triangle just down the road near Wakefield.

My mother dubbed it “imaginative and fun” but I felt cinnamon and rhubarb was a combination that didn’t quite work.

But let’s not end on a sour note, although ironically, I did feel the dish needed more sugar.

Travellers Rest, Hopton Lane, Mirfield.
 

Simply put – we were very impressed with the effort the kitchen team had made to make the food they produced stand out from the stuff that most pubs are churning out.

Service was a little slow with us waiting almost an hour for our dinners. But I’d happily trade an extra 10 or 15 minutes of waiting for a higher quality dish.

My sentiments were clearly shared by locals who had packed the place out.

Price wise, it’s not the cheapest, but it’s by no means the most expensive pub lunch in WF14, with roast dinners priced at £9.99 and puddings £3.95 a piece.

All-in-all we walked away for a stroll on the nearby River Calder most satisfied with our lot.

The Traveller's Rest

252 Hopton Lane, Mirfield

Tel: 01924 493898

Email: info@travellersrestmirfield.co.uk

Website: www.travellersrestmirfield.co.uk

Restaurant opening hours: Monday-Friday, noon-3pm and 5pm-9pm. Saturday noon-9pm.

Sunday, noon-7pm.

Children: Welcome

Disabled access: Yes and disabled toilet

The bill: £53.54

Would you go back? Yes