Huddersfield's quick-changing landscape is perfectly captured with a drive out to Kirkheaton.
Within seconds of leaving the townscape suburbs of Dalton and Waterloo you’re straight into the rural idyll that’s Kirkheaton – and before you even get into the village turn down by the church and you’ll find the Beaumont Arms tucked away at the bottom of a narrow country lane.
It’s like going back in time with the peace of the churchyard on one side – complete with fantastic cherry blossom tree – and the field in front that’s been home to the Yetton Rant fairground for more years than any of us cares to remember.
And that old world feel continues into the pub with its oak-panelled walls, wonderful wooden bar and the eating spots dotted here and there in a pub which also has real fires.
Yes, it’s no modern ‘eatery’ – how I loathe that word – and it’s somewhere to sit awhile, ponder and eat some classic pub food.
What does stand out here is its value for money. On weekdays two main courses cost £12.99 – and it wouldn’t even take a politician to be able to put up a sound argument that diners would fork out that price for just one.
There were four of us – me, wife Ruth and friends Nigel and Karen. Although hungry we’re not greedy and so decided to share a couple for starters rather than – as my mum would say – ‘over-face’ ourselves with one each.
The smilingly efficient waitress was fine with that not so radical idea – and, a nice touch here, she brought a jug of iced water with lemon to the table as a matter of course. If I had my way – which I don’t – that would happen at all restaurants.
For starters we shared the crostine with beef and horseradish cream (£5.75) – rare beef that was chewy yet tender and the horseradish had been given as light as such a naturally strong flavour could be.
The other was chicken liver parfait with melba toast and orange marmalade (£4.95). The parfait came in a little pot, ideal to dip the delicate pieces of toast and the flavour had a sweet/sour kick to it. It was a big hit with the four of us.
Mains were all from the £12.99 for two menu which runs during the weekdays and Saturday afternoons.
Nigel and I had Chanfana De Borrego – Portuguese lamb stew marinated in red wine, garlic and bay leaf served with mash. Certainly a dark, meaty dish with chunks of tender lamb in a rich yet thick sauce. Both of us being saucy chaps would have relished extra sauce on this and it came with seasonal veg including baby carrots. A robust, pungent dish.
Karen absolutely loved her steak and ale pie with peas and new potatoes – it’s fair to say it ‘hit the spot’. The chef had certainly not held back with the ale, giving it a fully-rounded flavour with plenty of meaty sauce and a light pastry topping.
Ruth was equally delighted with her grilled haddock fillet topped with bacon and cheese with peas and homemade chips. Now she’s a stickler when it comes to pubs and chips. They have to be what she’d class as ‘proper’ and these were – big, chunky, slightly sweet and certainly homemade with a crispy outer coating.
The haddock was perfectly grilled – the ideal base for the stronger bacon and cheese flavours. Spot on.
And for dessert, which again we shared, was sticky toffee pudding with honeycomb ice-cream (£4.75) that came with a caramel and strawberry sauce. You didn’t have to chew this much – a classic example of a classic dish.
And then we had a Yorkshire cheese board (£8.25) which you’d need at least two to have any hope of finishing – complete with celery and grapes. The four of us bravely polished the lot off. Waste not, want not.
So, a good value-for-money meal in a traditional English pub.
An evening to savour.
Church Lane, Kirkheaton, HD5 0BH
Tel: 01484 517777
Opening hours: Food served Monday-Friday noon-3pm and from 5pm-9pm. Saturday afternoon from 12pm-9pm. Sundays noon- 6pm
Children: Yes and they have high chairs
Disabled access: Yes and parts of the pub are quite roomy so fine for wheelchairs – but no disabled toilet
The bill: £75.33 for four including a bottle of wine and a couple of pints
Would you go back? Yes – perhaps on a warm summer evening as there is a great seating area overlooking the countryside