A few of weeks ago the half term holidays saw me struggling to juggle life with school work, with the aim of spending the majority of the week catching up with the other half’s family and celebrating a birthday. An unpredictable weather forecast had called for a contingency plan and indoor activities to occupy the grandkids, on one of these days we ventured in convoy to Eureka in Halifax. After a couple of hours running around 3-5 year olds, a serious appetite was worked up by all and there was a need to recharge with a tasty pub lunch. Fortunately for us the Award-winning Shibden Mill Inn was just a few miles away. It wasn’t my idea, but I’d secretly hoped it would be the pub of choice, and I certainly wasn’t to disagree!!
Located on the side of a steep valley, it’s hidden from the main road and the 350+ yr old building looked lovely surrounded by trees full of lush green leaves. The inside of this former flour mill is beautiful, full of low ceilings, wooden beams and intimately lit dining areas. Despite this, we opted to make the most of the weather outside whilst it defied the forecast, also on the plus side it would allow the children to run around if need be. It was a lovely secluded spot with the sound of the Red Beck in the background, once the source of water for the mill’s previous life.
The place has a fantastic reputation for it’s food and has a comprehensive menu. With ala carte, set lunch menus and their Inn Fillers, in addition to this there was also a good looking children’s menu. I was after something comforting, so seeing Porcus sausages with Champ mash and a Bourginon sauce made my mind up pretty quickly. I’d met some of the team from Todmorden based Porcus at Kirkstall Deli Market recently, so I was eager to try out the produce from this small farm that uses traditional rare breed pigs to make artisan sausages.
With food and drinks ordered at the bar we soon settled into our surroundings, with our drinks being brought out soon after by staff who I found friendly and very efficient. Considering we’d put a sizeable order of eight meals into the kitchen, they managed to bring them out together in decent time and each dish in turn looked fantastic!
I have friends who think eating a meal is purely for fuel, of course it serves this vital purpose, but it’s also a sensory experience. So I knew if it tasted anywhere near as good as it looked and smelled I was onto a winner! I was starving so tucking into my upmarket sausage and mash did just the job, with high quality pork and apple sausages, the champ had plenty of spring onion and was smooth as anything, salty crisp lardons, button mushrooms, a red onion that had a sweetness and acidity to cut through the richness, and finally a glossy sauce that possessed bags of flavour. Everything was bang on and the dish was a hearty, belly-filling lunch.
Everyone seemed as pleased as I was with their food, the linguine was cooked well, the prawns were large and juicy, the portion could have been a little bigger but the flavours were perfect.
The Fish Finger sandwich was basically the beer battered fish in bread with tartare sauce and smoked salmon on the side. Smoked salmon? Yeah, it was odd to see it on the plate as well, as good as it was. Nevertheless it seemed to hit all the right spots.
The other half’s burger was well received, served not in a Brioche bun, which seems to be the bun of the moment, but in an English muffin which still worked. Fries were good, meat was cooked accurately and didn’t have too many extra toppings, which kept the burger uncomplicated.
Fish and chips for parents and kids looked equally good and the child’s portion looked mahoosive. On balance there could possibly have been more chips on the full sized dish to match the fish. I tried a little fish – awesomely crisp, thin batter covered juicy flesh from the fish. Ah, you can’t go wrong when a pub does fish and chips as yummy as this.
On the whole the whole family were happy with our lunch!
The cost of the food came to £80.70, without tip. Sorry I can’t remember how much the drinks were unfortunately!!
Food: Lots of choice, good children’s menu too. Food was cooked and brought out together within decent time. Looked and tasted great.
Service: Great! Quick, friendly and efficient.
Atmosphere: The interior is lovely and has a lovely ambience, while the outside dining area was ideal for our needs with its lovely surroundings.
I’d recommend Shibden Mill Inn!Shibden Mill Inn Shibden Mill Fold Halifax West Yorkshire HX3 7UL 01422 365840