FEW weeks seem to pass by without a pub up for sale or its windows boarded up.
Times are tougher out there than they’ve ever been and it takes hard work, grit, determination and some innovative thinking to keep these businesses going. And, sadly, even all that’s not always enough.
The Rose And Crown has another quality – landlord Steve Kerr.
Many pubs offer ‘a warm welcome’ but do you always get it?
You do when you venture out into the countryside to Cop Hill above Slaithwaite. I’d never met Steve before and he had absolutely no idea who I was or that I’d be writing a review for the Examiner yet he welcomed us like old friends, wishing us a happy new year well after January 1 and making us feel as valued as many of his loyal followers.
Now that’s a proper welcome.
He’s a chatty soul who clearly still loves the pub trade, runs one with some of the finest views in Yorkshire and works on the theory that the customer is king ... or queen.
The pub has a main bar, a bistro and a dining-room – and all are inter-connected – with a function room upstairs.
Many eat in the bar but he’d put the fire on in the bistro and set our party of four up in there. Food is the mainstay of the Rose and Crown and the proof of that is in the pudding along with the starters and the mains.
I’d never think to go out and buy black pudding – it’s an acquired taste after all, which the rest of the family has yet to acquire – so it had to be the black pudding and bacon topped off with wholegrain creamy mustard sauce. Oh yes, now that’s a dish.
Thinking out of the box for breakfast at home? Look no further. It’d do lunch as well. Bacon and black pudding – could you get a better pairing – and there was plenty of creamy sauce.
Ruth had a prawn cocktail with a crisp, dressed salad that was as traditional as it was good while our friends had mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese and parma ham on top, and the fourth dish was garlic mushrooms. To say they were delighted with their choices would be to understate the word delight. They loved them both.
There’s always a busy specials board at the Rose And Crown and this one featured fish stew that promised – and delivered – monkfish but when it arrived had so much more, including salmon and prawns, and came as a solid yet not dry mix of them all together. Now that’s the taste of the sea in landlocked Slawit.
As with the black pudding, the chance of venison appearing on the menu in the Hirst household is more than a bit remote.
So the venison and red wine casserole with herb dumplings was a real meat lovers treat with a superbly cooked carrots that made them soft yet bristling with flavour.
Ruth’s strips of fillet beef in Diane sauce had a crafted mix of cream with a neat kick while the fourth was the vegetarian option with butternut squash risotto that was craftily moist along with garlic bread to give it the crunch factor.
There are quite a few dishes for our non-meat loving chums such as wild mushroom and asparagus risotto, vegetable Moussaka and roasted vegetable linguini.
There are also pastas, salads, several fish dishes along with special lunchtime and children’s menus.
Puddings? No room really but for the sake of the review a hefty slice of sticky toffee and a slice of lemon tart. The pudding was dripping in toffee sauce – real melt-in-the-mouth moment – while the lemon had that refreshing zing.
Starters are around a fiver, mains around £12 and puddings at around £4.
It may not be the cheapest pub food around, but it’s quality that counts and Steve kept popping in to make sure we were happy with what we were eating and you get the impression that any problems would be swiftly sorted.
Heard of park and ride in cities? It turns out Steve does his own variation of that with his park and walk scheme at the pub. Leave your car at the Rose and Crown, he’ll give you a highly detailed ordnance survey map showing walks in the stunning countryside around it and then, hopefully, round it off with a drink or a meal.
Whatever way, it seems Steve will be really happy that you’ve been.
But that’s just his way.
Rose And Crown
Cop Hill, Slaithwaite, HD7 5XA
Tel 01484 844410
Opening hours Food every day from 12 noon to 8.30pm and the bar closes at 11pm. The function room has a licence to 1am.
Children Yes and there is a children’s menu.
Disabled access Yes, but no toilet.
The bill £100 for four.
Would you go back? Certainly after such a warm welcome the first time.