HERVEY’S Wine Bar may well be one of Holmfirth’s best secrets, tucked away as it is in Norridge Bottom.
But even many of those Holmfirth regulars, who like to think that Hervey’s is their own little hidden oasis, may be unaware that, as of three weeks ago, their favourite wine bar is now serving gourmet food!
Until a new chef walked into the premises last month, owner Hazel Shaw had put on the occasional special, or ‘winter warmers’ as she likes to describe them.
But with the recruitment of David Salter, who has previously worked in the Lake District before returning to the Holme Valley at the Butcher’s Arms in Hepworth, Hervey’s is now producing a small, but select gourmet menu.
Salter’s idea is to use fresh produce from local suppliers at an affordable price and vary his menu each week or two, depending on what is on offer at the time.
Last week for instance, sea bass was on the main course menu, while this week’s choices were venison, pork loin medallions, chicken breast and seafood pasta – which I considered the veggie option, despite what one of my work colleagues says – and included mussels, crayfish and clams.
For starters I chose the delicious warm salad which included pan fried mushrooms, black pudding, streaky bacon, topped with a poached egg and wholegrain mustard mayonnaise, served on a toasted crostini surrounded by mixed leaves.
The black pudding was particularly tasty, the poached egg a welcome addition to a salad, while the mustard mayonnaise was tangy without being obtrusive and set the whole dish off.
My wife chose – and enjoyed – the garlic mushrooms in a spring onion and white wine sauce, accompanied by garlic baguette and then also opted for the warm salad as her main course.
At this point I have to confess that I would not normally go for something as mundane as a ‘burger’ when eating out. But on this occasion, the venison burger braised in Madeira sauce sounded more than a little out of the ordinary. Iit definitely lived up to my expectations and was truly sumptuous, enhanced by a little pot of the chef’s onion and pepper relish and a portion of chunky chips to share.
At the moment, sweets are not yet an option (the chef explained he is weighing up the possibility of introducing something in the not too distant future) so Conise settled for an Espresso coffee, which was highly praised, while I quaffed another pint of the excellent Poretti Italian beer.
In fact beer is something that Hazel and husband Jon take very seriously with an excellent selection of cask and international beers (sometimes unusual to find in a wine bar), including the very popular Copper Dragon Ales, which has led to them being lauded by Cask Marque and CAMRA.
Obviously being a wine bar, they do have a pretty detailed and selective wine list, starting from £10-odd a bottle upwards with something there for even the most discerning wine drinker.
Hervey’s also has a very pleasant sheltered outdoor seating area with a canopy and umbrellas, with very effective wall heaters for the winter (ideal for that postprandial smoke) which I would imagine is also very popular in the summer months, giving the whole bar a very continental café bar feel.
A word of warning here. Inside it is a small and very cosy establishment, with only about six or seven tables for dining in a slightly elevated room which incorporates a beautiful (working) Aga cooker, so booking would be recommended, particularly if, like me, you are planning a Friday night visit when there is a band on at the nearby Picturedome.
As I remarked earlier, it may be a secret to those outside the area – but not to the Holme Valley’s more astute drinkers!
Venue: Hervey’s Wine Bar
Tel: 01 484 686925
Hours: October to April – closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays); Tuesday to Friday 4pm to 12.30am; Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 12.30am. May Day to September – closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays); Tuesday to Saturday 12noon to 12.30am; Sunday 12noon to 11.30pm.
Disabled access: Yes
The bill: £44.40 for two, including drinks
Would you go back?: Oh yeah!