Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lunch at The Fleece, Addingham, West Yorkshire

You would think that after 24 hours of doing little but eating we wouldn't be able to fit in another meal. But I am made of heartier stuff - even for a 'southerner' and our final stop for lunch at The Fleece, also in Addingham, was a memorable one. We did walk off our hearty breakfast and with the cold wind coming in off the rolling hills needed some hearty nourishment and a warm Yorkshire welcome. Which we got, in spadefuls.

The Fleece has 'Yorkshire grub, done proper'. They also serve fantastic beers and wines to go alongside the great cooking with local ingredients. They've used their imagination in terms of the little extras..... and are careful to include the best of the regions produce on their menus.

I was delighted to see freshly made pork crackling as an accompaniment to drinks was on the menu too - this is about as far removed from pork scratchings than you are likely to find anywhere!

Freshly made pork crackling
For a starter I chose a Yorkshire blue cheese (which was subtle and creamy), poached pear, candied hazelnuts and young leaf salad for £6.50. The pear was the perfect foil for the cheese and nuts and the whole ensemble looked as good as it tasted! It is so good to see local produce being showcased in this way - if only they sold the cheese next door in the deli I'd have been an even happier woman!

Yorkshire blue cheese and pear salad.
My partner opted for a hot smoked salmon fishcake with a tomatoe and chive beurre blanc which he assured me was equally delicious and then it was on to the serious business of the main course. I had heard great things at the The Gray Ox, Liversedge, about a dish using 'woof' which I hadn't been able to order as it was no longer on their menu. But here it was and I felt that I couldn't miss the opportunity to eat my first taste of 'woof' as I knew that it wouldn't be a disappointment! Woof (or Atlantic Wolf Fish) is a large, white flaked fish not dissimilar to cod in either texture or taste. Slightly stronger if anything the fillet had been rubbed with cumin and served with curried mussels and a crayfish potato cake - all found in local waters off the coast of the UK. The sauce was creamy and not overpowering so I could still taste both the woof and the mussels which were delicious. I am not a fan of huge mussels - these were the perfect size, not so small as to be insignificant and not to large to be unappealing - just right in fact!
My partner opted for the Pig on a Plate which was pork fillet in parma ham, braised cheek, twice cooked pork belly, black pudding apple puree and mashed potatoes - again he said that the pork fell apart it was so tender and the sauce was more like a perfect gravy.

Pig on a Plate

Woof cooked in a curry sauce with mussels and crayfish potato cake
I had already tried out the dessert menu at both The Craven Heifer and The Gray Ox and had been so impressed by the Yorkshire blue cheese salad that I decided to delve further into the local cheeses with a cheese platter to finish whereas my partner couldn't resist the ice-cream which is local too (his selection was vanilla and a nutmeg flavoured scoop).

All in all we were very impressed with the lunch at The Fleece Inn. They have opened a shop next door which sells hot coffee and things to take away. As I said I think they are missing a trick not selling things like the local cheeses as I would have filled my car, but the sausage roll which I did buy was devoured warm later in the day and was overflowing with filling and flavour - a real triumph!

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