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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