This handsome old pub has got to be in one of the best locations in West Yorkshire, if not the entire county.
Sitting squarely on the valley floor below Cragg Vale, it hunkers in woodland and is bathed in sunshine when there is any. Built around 1850, it’s named after a fabulously rich mill owning family who lived up the valley at Cragg Hall.
New owners Miles and Linda Laprell have got some previous in the pub; Miles was a pot washer in his teens and Linda’s family celebrations have all been here. They fancied being landlords and were scouting round, but when the Hinchliffe came on the market they jumped at the chance. They’ve got plans but gladly none of them include ripping the heart out of it.
A classic pub grub menu features standards (fish and chips, sausage and mash, meat and potato pie) but there are interesting additions including asparagus wrapped in Parma ham topped with poached egg, and broad bean, parmesan and lemon risotto. Door stop sandwiches (home made bread; delicious) come with skinny or chunky chips. Here’s a great idea; a fiver will buy you an early supper (BLT, sausage and egg, haddock goujons and chips) if you’re not up for a full dinner.
The Laprells have no intention of turning the Hinchliffe over to a “dining pub”, but rather – and how cool is this – they keep a section of the bar for drinkers on busy nights, so if you’re here for the beer you won’t be elbowed out by eaters. Their commitment to real ale is commendable. At the time of visiting, Magic Rock ‘Rapture’ from Huddersfield, Maid Marian from the Springhead Brewery and Dark Star’s Hophead were on tap, along with regular Jeffrey Hudson Bitter from Oakham Ales. A treasure in the making.
The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale, Halifax HX7 5TA. 01422 883256, www.hinchliffearmscraggvale.co.uk