Superb food and sensible prices. NEIL ATKINSON and family are full of praise for the Hey Green
IT may be old-fashioned, even dull, but I quite like traditions.
Fish and chips on a Friday.
Football on a Saturday afternoon.
Mowing the lawn or washing the car on a Sunday morning.
And a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, served on a proper table rather than grabbed off a tray in front of the television.
That family meal is a staple in the Atkinson household.
But as the normal quota of diners was reduced by half because of a holiday the three remaining Sunday lunchers made the journey to a very wet Marsden.
The Hey Green Hotel, a mile out of the village centre, was our destination on yet another very wet Sunday afternoon and it was a journey that was well worth making.
The Hey Green, run by Siobhan Hunter and her partner Mark Dolman for the past seven years, is a favourite function place.
It regularly hosts weddings and special occasions, perhaps 100 a year.
But the hotel’s restaurant is a little gem in its own right.
We road-tested it on a day when a large wedding party was also in situ, making it a teasing challenge for chef Dolman and his kitchen staff.
They did not disappoint.
From the moment we arrived and were ushered into the comfortable lounge overlooking the gardens it was a pleasurable experience.
Service was relaxed, if a little slow at times, but always very attentive.
And the food? Simply excellent.
We took drinks in the lounge as we studied the short but varied Sunday lunch menu.
It is sensibly priced at £13.95 for two courses or £15.95 for three, which offers different options.
And you can change your mind halfway through if the mood, and your appetite, takes you.
The restaurant itself is a warm mixture of Yorkshire flagstones and plain walls, with occasional pictures adding a splash of colour.
It was busy on the day we chose, with a couple of large family groups in, but no-one feels to be overlooked.
I opted for a starter and a main course and began with a superb ham hock terrine, with toasted brioche and a dollop of prune and cherry sauce. The terrine was very meaty and the piquant sauce fitted well with it.
James, our student son, also chose a starter and enjoyed a chicken Caesar salad. There was plenty of chicken and his only gripe was that it was perhaps a little heavy on the mayonnaise.
Linda joined the male members of the family for the main course and sadly, from a review point of view, we all went down the traditional path – roast beef and all the trimmings.
We could have picked pork, salmon or goat’s cheese tartlet but Sunday was Sunday . . .
It was the right choice. The helpful waitress had mentioned when taking the order that the meat would be pink in the middle and asked if that was OK.
It meant we were each confronted with a plate groaning under thick slices of beautifully-tender meat, crisp around the edges and melt in the mouth soft in the middle.
The meat came partnered with a fluffy Yorkshire pudding almost as good as my own and roast potatoes. We were delighted to see more crispy roast potatoes arrive, along with a tureen packed full of cauliflower, broccoli mange tout, carrots and corn. And, without prompting, a gravyboat full to the brim.
In a word, excellent.
Linda wisely limited her later intake to enjoy an apple creme brule dessert while James lived up to three-course expectations with a dish filled with jam roly poly and custard.
It was a leisurely, very pleasant Sunday afternoon – and I’d avoided the cooking, serving and washing up.