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.