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The Hinchcliffe – Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge

 “A tucked away gem. My Hinch was well and truly cliffed”

 Whilst plotting a Sunday out in Yorkshire to meet some chums, I stumbled across The Hinchcliffe Arms in Cragg Vale, three and half miles outside Hebden Bridge. To add to my glee I also stumbled on the whereabouts of one of my long time favourite chefs, Robert Owen Brown. He has previously shot and cooked his way through various short lived enterprises in Manchester. He specialises in game.

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The Hinch is set in a glorious, leafy glade deep in the Vale of Cragg, beside an incredible church. It’s a beguiling first impression. Wonderfully understated.

Stepping in there’s a Scottish feel to the place, tartan flooring, simple country trimmings rounded off with glorious open fires. Thankfully they were switched off as it was a hot and humid Hebden today! The Scottish theme continued as our friendly hosts welcomed us with a Scottish lilt.

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We surveyed the beautifully presented menu, bound in tan leather whilst quaffing the Hinch pale ale. The offer is trademark Owen Brown. Seasonal, local, quality. My type of menu.

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We started with new season asparagus, Rob’s own smoked haddock with jersey royals, the crispy black pudding potato cake with a (sadly) hard poached egg, a sensational goats cheese salad and a delightfully, vibrant, fresh garden pea soup. Ranging from £5 to £7 they were all superb. Lightly smoked haddock, tangy goats cheese and tremendous black pudding.

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Two sprightly old dears recommended the sharing platter Sunday roast. Feeds two for £30. I reckon four could have gone away happy! A poussin, three or slices of glorious rare beef and three or four slices of arguably the star of the show, locally reared pork with all the trimmings…..and some ratatouille. Truly incredible. The finest roast Ive had in a long while. The girls had flash fried mackerel and the loin of cod. Both beautifully cooked and presented.

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To finish….what else….Vimto trifle and a scrumptious banana sponge with  a salted caramel and banana syrup.

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As there was four of us, catching up on the news, service was perfect, though I dare say a young couple eager to get home for ‘Love Island’ may have found it a little pedestrian. We were in the there a good two and a half hours. The bill came in at £130, we were all seriously chuffed with our lot. The Hinch is truly a find. The epitome of a country pub, presumably one of JW Lees finest? I cant wait to go back on a full a la carte day to get another fix of the magic of Owen Brown and his team. A definite Cooktwit recommend.

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The Hinchcliffe Country Pub & Restaurant
Cragg Vale,
Hebden Bridge,
West Yorkshire,
HX7 5TA,
+44 1422 883256
ww.thehinchcliffe.co.uk

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