THE champagne had been drunk and the hangover was in an advanced stage – for one of us at least.
A very lazy New Year’s Day was the perfect time to go out for a pub lunch and the Old Mill in Brighouse was our destination.
I’d phoned ahead first to ask if they were serving food and was told they were, with the person at the other end adding a cheery “Happy New Year” to me. It was a friendly touch.
Arriving there for the first time, the friendly theme continued.
The Old Mill is, as the name suggests, in an old corn mill off Wakefield Road next to the Premier Inn hotel.
It’s warm, welcoming, cosy and comfy – there’s a warren of rooms, some looking out over the Calder and Hebble Navigation, some in a cosy nook, and some near to an open roaring fire. There’s beautiful views over the river and a lovely outdoor area – for a sunny day!
What a great location to spend the first day of the year.
My friend Kate and I choose our table and looked through the menu. I quickly bagged the crumble of the day without even knowing what the crumble contained.
But first to the mains menu.
The Old Mill’s menu is rather stylish but without being at all pretentious.
There was a range of seafood from mussels to salmon, and meats from venison to peasant, plus there’s a specials board which is well worth a look.
It’s almost as if they’re giving people to chance to sample different dishes without the extortionate price which usually accompanies them.
But a delicate Kate and a very sober me stuck to the menu – it was lunchtime and we didn’t want to over-do it.
I went for the feta and courgette lasagne (£8.59) which comes with a choice of golden chips or garlic oregano flatbread.
Feta and courgette were the perfect partners for the lasagne. It was finished off quickly.
It was delicious and almost made me want to attempt it myself. I say almost, cheese on toast is my speciality, so it’s clear I’d fail re-creating this dish.
Kate went for the steak burger – rump steak in a barm cake, salad and sticky barbecue relish (£7.59).
Her choice prompted questions about the regional variations of the bread product. Barm cake, she says, is Lancashire. The Yorkshire version is teacake. As a girl from the Cheshire/Lancashire border, I’ve always called it a bread roll, though muffin is also used if it’s a proper sandwich with a filling. Bread roll, Yorkshire girl Kate says, is what you use for soup. It remained a muddle.
Kate asked for her main but without the barbecue relish (fussy eater) but enjoyed the dish.
For dessert I went for the crumble of the day (£4.65), which was mixed berry. It came with a jug of custard – the perfect amount too.
The mixed berries were sweet and tasty, maybe a little on the tangy side.
Kate had to be talked into dessert, promising to try a mouthful. She went for the Beechdean Farmhouse ice cream (£2.99) with the choice of chocolate, clotted cream vanilla or strawberry, or a bit of all three.
She had all three and despite promising only a mouthful, she quickly finished the large sundae glass off ice-cream. A good choice it seems.
The Old Mill has themed nights, including vegetarian night on Wednesdays. As a vegetarian I can say with certainty there’s few venues consider us that much, let alone dedicate a night to us. Of course, the usual menu remains, but it’s thoughtful to offer a few extras for us. Plus there’s a curry night on Thursdays.
And in a nod to our Scottish friends, there’s also a Burns night coming up, although places have to be booked.
Our trip to the Old Mill was our first, but it won’t be the last.
The food is great, the place homely – it’s just a shame we can’t walk along the river bank to get to it.
It has good access for people in wheelchairs, with plenty of parking spaces nearest to the door with a ramp. There’s also a separate disabled toilet.