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Healds Hall, Liversedge

October half term has been and nearly gone, at the start of it last weekend we had the pleasure of meeting our newborn nephew, just 8 days old. As usual we’d built up an appetite and wanted to eat out without driving into Leeds, so luckily for us Healds Hall Hotel and Restaurant was nearby in Liversedge. It’s not the first time I’ve eaten here, as the other half’s family have used the venue for celebratory meals in the past.

They have a bistro and a restaurant area, both differing in appearance and mood, my personal preference is to eat in the bistro as I find it more relaxing and there’s more of an atmosphere. The menu is quite diverse with a daily specials list, often having a lot of choice for meat, fish lovers and also vegetarians.

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We were brought to start the slow cooked ox cheek and a pork fillet tempura. The cheek (my dish) was the star of the two, no pressure needed with the fork, melt in the mouth meat, a salty crunch from a bacon crumb, metallic wilted spinach, smooth celeriac puree, onion sweetness and a rich sauce that bound it all together. A winner of a dish!! A pork fillet tempura was liked by the other half, but I thought the tempura could’ve been lighter, its flavour was good, but I wasn’t too fussed on the concept of a decent pork fillet, stuffed with ginger, chilli, coriander and spring onion, then deep fried in batter…still not too sure about it now. For me, more style over substance.

Slow cooked ox cheek
Slow cooked ox cheek
Tempura pork fillet
Tempura pork fillet

Now onto the main course; firstly the scallops worked on a number of levels. The scallops hit the mark on size and were cooked accurately, but with the roe attached it was a little overpowering and these were left on the plate. To go with the scallops was a ‘scotch egg’, more like a round croquette filled with pig cheek and black pudding, crisp on the outside and packed full of rich meatiness. Sat on a bed of pear which worked well with the cider sauce and gave some acidity to the plate.

Pan frield king scallops
Pan fried king scallops

For some reason I always order pork belly when I come here, with varying success though, last time the crackling was mega hard and far too salty, so maybe I was glutton for punishment ordering it again. Only time would tell. On this occasion the meat was tender, with customary layers of fat running through it, but I’d wished the fat had been rendered down more so it wasn’t so thick between layers of the meat. Saying that the crackling was salty and crisp. I really liked the bok choi, sweet chilli dressing and a hint of ginger in the puree, hinting at an asian influence, but I found the carrot puree a little on the sweet side, even with the ginger. 

Crispy slow roasted Yorkshire belly pork
Crispy slow roasted Yorkshire belly pork

Finally desserts, there was an amaretto creme brûlée which seem to suit the other half just fine, a nicely caramelised sugary top which had a good snap, a light and creamy custard and crumbly hazelnut cookies. My dessert of apple and blackberry crumble was comforting and yummy, it had an toasted oaty crumble topping hiding lots of fruit that had been gently stewed, so it still had some structure. Accompanied by a cute jug of delicious custard (with lots of vanilla seeds) and jobs a good ‘un. I could eat that pud all day long, literally!!

Amaretto Creme brûlée and hazelnut cookies
Amaretto Creme brûlée and hazelnut cookies
Apple and blackberry crumble
Apple and blackberry crumble

For drinks we ordered wine, it ended up being three large glasses of white, stupidly we should have ordered a bottle but for some reason didn’t I don’t really know why! Dinner for two with wine was £82.60, without tip, a little more than I was expecting if I’m honest. 

Food: menu tries to cover a lot of bases, not sure if that’s always a good thing. On the whole dishes tasted good, but there were areas of improvement.

Service: Staff are pleasant and friendly, waiting time between courses was a little slow at times. 

Atmosphere: pleasant place to have dinner.

Healds Hall
Leeds Road, Liversedge
West Yorkshire
WF15 6JA
http://healdshall.co.uk

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Liberty London Girl photoblog @ Le Creuset

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Last week I attended a cooking demo/book launch by fashion editor and broadcaster Sasha Wilkins, founder and creator of the Liberty London Girl blog, at the Le Creuset store in Leeds’ Victoria Quarter. Cooking some of her dishes from her new cook book Friends Food Family, with her jet set and hectic lifestyle she’s compiled recipes with the aim of bringing people together, sprinkled with helpful kitchen tips and travel hints she’s picked up over the years of travelling around the world.

I found her a very knowledgeable, relaxed host and showed us simple recipes which were very easy to do – sweetcorn fritters, guacamole and a dish called queso fundido made with melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese topped with chorizo and chopped tomatoes, all which were very tasty and delicious! 

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It was an enjoyable evening with giggles, fun anecdotes, bubbles and tasty food!

Sasha’s book Friends Food Family is out to buy now!

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Corner Cafe, Leeds

I love a good curry, I don’t do hot curries but I do enjoy a flavour packed one! That Sunday I’d walked around Haworth and was full of pie and chips at lunch, but I’d also greedily organised to meet a friend for dinner that evening weeks before.
Corner Cafe on Burley Road has been on my list for years, but for whatever reason I’d never been. After a little bit of research I found that the original Corner Cafe opened a
s a small transport cafe in Sheepscar, in 1976. Since then the business has seen a number of changes, including relocation, and a refurb in 2010. A mezzanine floor was added making the most of the space (apologies for the awful photos, was relying on my iPhone!!).

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Their menu has about 10 or so starters then an extensive list of main courses to choose from, plenty of choice for carnivores and vegetarians to get their teeth into! Divided into sections; chicken, meat (mutton), keema (minced beef), fish, king prawn, kablichana (chickpeas), aubergine, okra, spinach, mushroom, kidney bean, egg and paneer.

Being still quite full from lunch I decided against having a starter, my friend on the other hand loves food wasn’t going to follow suit, choosing the fish pakora. For the main course, we both went for Keema (minced beef), one with with spinach and mushroom pilau, the other with peas, garlic naan and an okra side dish. A couple of popadoms with a pickle tray, including a green chilli chutney and mango chutney were called for too! You’ve just got too when having a curry!!

The popadoms were lovely, embedded with cumin seeds adding great flavour, the accompaniments were very good, especially the chilli chutney, with flavour that wasn’t overpowered by too much intense heat.

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The fish pakora were very food, big chunks of white fish (not sure what type), coated in batter and fried. The batter was golden and crisp, the fish soft and flaky, for £4.50, I thought it was reasonably priced. 

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Fish Pakora

Next up the main courses, if you glanced at both dishes it could be easy to think the dishes were the same, but portions sizes were decent and they smelled great. Curries can be made to personal preference in terms of heat strength, so I edged to the side of caution going for mild, while my friend went medium. Taste-wise, we agreed they seemed to have the same strength of heat, but both possessed plenty of flavour and neither had accompanying ingredients (spinach or peas) playing second fiddle.

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Keema with spinach
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Keema with peas

Our accompanying dishes mushroom pilau, okra and garlic naan, all went down a storm, my rice was lovely and had lots of mushroom, flavourful with cardamom, and for want of a better word was just really tasty. I love rice so I could’ve eaten it as a dish on its own! Opposite me I saw clean plates, he happily polished it all off and ended dinner with a delicious kulfi. 

Mushroom Pilau
Mushroom Pilau
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Okra
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Garlic naan

I’d recommend the Corner Cafe!

Our bill for 2 was £45, including a tip.

Food: Extensive menu, lots of choice! Well cooked, good flavours!

Service: Friendly, attentive without being in your face. 

Atmosphere: Quite busy and a popular spot, good atmosphere. 

Corner Cafe
104 Burley Rd
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS3 1JP
http://kateghaurimoore.wix.com/cornercafe

 

Corner Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Bronte Country Walk

A couple of Sundays ago began with a very misty, autumnal October morning, a planned walk with the in-laws was momentarily scuppered until a quick re-think to our route resolved the matter. Instead of a Stanza Stone walk we’d cross Penistone Hill to Bronte Falls, starting and ending in Haworth. Starting at the Bronte Parsonage Museum we headed out into the mist.

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On our way, you could see how the mist slowly rolled in and out of the hills, it made the scenery change very quickly. Walking towards to the Bronte Falls away from the mist, soon finding ourselves underneath beautiful blue skies and sunshine lighting up the stunning countryside in front of us. We passed fields filled with a scattering of sheep bathed in the sun, whilst being followed by a group of children led by a team leader playing Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, it was all a little surreal, but of course very apt.

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As we neared Bronte Falls the terrain became more rugged and we started noticing the odd fell runner passing us, approaching the falls it soon became apparent it was the middle of a race, with a steady stream of runners started bounding bravely down the rugged hillside, I watched in admiration! Having only ever done one beginners trail race in my life, even the mere thought of this was very daunting! 

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After crossing the bridge and heading up the hill, a trail of fell runners could be seen running against the heather in the distance. We continued to admire the views that had been afforded us, in particular our view of Lower Laithe reservoir slightly masked by a mixture of mist and hazy sunshine.

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Following the path round we made our way through Stanbury, enjoying the views that stretched across the area, including the Lower Laithe reservoir.

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Lower Laithe Reservoir

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The walk back into Haworth inevitably brought us to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, St Michael & All Angels Church and the cemetery. Getting back in time for lunch there were a couple of options that hadn’t been tried out before, depending on how busy it was. A number of pubs have been here for years, such as The Old White Lion and The Fleece Inn, but we wanted to try out somewhere different for a change. 

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Haworth Steam Brewing Company supposedly had a reputation of a decent pie, so when we popped our heads in to see one table for four left, we grabbed it! 

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Haworth is well known for its steep Main Street lined with quirky shops, The pub is found at the top of the street opposite the sweet shop, it’s open all day serving breakfast, a lunchtime and an evening menu. In general plenty of classic dishes are on show, like scampi, bangers and mash, lasagne, and shepherd’s pie, for something a little different there’s a specials board. Drinks wise, being a family run brewery they produce a selection of cask ales and craft keg beers to suit a range of tastes.

Initially we all went for the steak and ale pie,  but after the news that there was only three portions left, the other half graciously chose fish and chips instead. I was happy though, because I could still tuck into pie and chips!

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So after an hour or so of waiting our food arrived, normally I would have kicked up a big fuss, probably would have left a very long time ago, but the staff had told us throughout what the situation was, there was a birthday meal going on and a few tables had their orders in before us, so we waited knowing fully well it could be some time. I was just hoping the wait would be worth it!

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The other half’s fish and chips with additional sides tartare sauce, mushy peas and bread and butter. It’s always a sign of good things when there isn’t much noise coming from the other side of the table. I tried a little bit of the fish and the batter was light, golden and crisp, the fish was soft, it ticked all the boxes for me. I’m not fussed about mushy peas personally, but the other half’s quite picky and was full of compliments for it!

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The rest of us were lucky to get the last three portions of ‘Mrs Gascoigne’s Famous Steak and Ale Pie’. I’m pernickety about pies, for me they should have a pastry bottom as well as a top to be a proper pie, you may well have a difference of opinion, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this occasion. 

This pie was the type that’s made without the pastry bottom, just the top, I wasn’t going to hold that against it, but would be comparing it to the amazing pie I tried at The Craven Arms recently. The pastry was nice and buttery, but a little on the thick side, it came with a generous amount of meat and lashings of gravy too. The meat was quite tender, but didn’t quite fall apart like the Craven Arms’ pie and even though it wasn’t as rich and deep in meaty flavour, it was still tasty nonetheless!  With the chips and vegetables it made for a hefty lunch and we were all pretty full by the end.

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After we’d finished, a nice touch was that we got an apology from the chef, realising the time length we had waited and gave us a free round of drinks as compensation, which we gratefully accepted! It could be said that yes, we should have received an apology etc, but lets face it, it doesn’t always happen!!

Our lunch for four was £60.55, including drinks.

Food: Menu full of home comforts and classic dishes. Generously sized portions, decent cooking. 

Service: Staff were friendly, informative and tried their best to help in any way. Our food was brought well over an hour after ordering, but staff always kept us informed. 

Atmosphere: Very popular place, lively but not intrusive to put you off your food. Not the biggest of spaces so there can be a wait for a table. 

Haworth Steam Brewing Company
98 Main Street
Haworth
BD22 8DP
http://www.haworthsteambrewery.co.uk

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Happy birthday 1st birthday Trinity Kitchen: my photo highlights

Trinity Kitchen celebrated its 1st birthday yesterday and over the last year I’ve eaten amazing street food from some of the UK’s best traders!! The last couple of weeks I’d been thinking back to which have been my personal favourites so far, and with the usual help of photos helping me to reminisce, this is what I ended up with (not in any particular order) – Original Fry Up Material – full on burger heaven, Donastia Social Club – transported me back to San Sebastian, Manjit’s Kitchen – the best Samosa Chaat, Dorshi – dumplings, dumplings, dumplings, Jing Jing – great Thai flavours, Hay Latin America – for introducing me to melt in the mouth Alfajores and Inca Kola , The Cauldron – MEAT, Fresh Rootz – for the lightest, fluffiest pakora, Rola Wala – bold Indian flavours, Mei Mei’s Street Cart  – reminding me of great Chinese street food and Gurmetti – cute vehicle and an amazingly simple, yet tasty burger:

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Who’d be on your list of favourites, any you’d love to see back again?

Trinity Kitchen
27 Albion St
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 5ER

 

A Leeds based blog written by a girl from Wales who enjoys good food and wine.

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