Given its position by the river in the heart of Hebden, you’d have thought it a no-brainer that this handsome old stone pub enjoyed success, but down the years it simply hasn’t worked.
One minute it’s got sticky carpets and Sky TV, the next it’s all but shut.
Mercifully the plasma screen is history. Instead, the stone floors have been scrubbed up, fireplaces uncovered and put to their proper use.
A wide, open staircase leads to a mezzanine level oak floored dining room with great views up and down Market Street. At one end of this more formal space is a wood stove set into an old stone fireplace, at the other padded booths – how snug will this be in the winter?
There are no less than eight real ales at the impressive copper bar, seven of which rotate; at present there are two Thornbridge ales from Derbyshire, including the fabulous Jaipur, plus Ilkley Gold and Liverpool Organic. Magic Rock Curious is permanent. The 22 wines by the glass include a couple of roses, three Proseccos and a Champagne. Good job the train station is only a 10 minute stagger.
They open at 10am for breakfast. Eggs Benedict, an Illy coffee and the papers, anyone? The menu broadens out at noon to include the likes of dressed crab, ham hock terrine and lamb kofta kebab, with mains along the lines of sea bass fillets (£12) and Round Green Farm venison haunch steak (£15). There’s a good selection of baguettes, burgers and boards AND an impressive vegetarian menu with six good choices on it.
The Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8JP. 01422 843933, www.oldgatehebden.co.uk