Midweek meal planning
It's pay day. The last pay day before the early December one that always runs out far too soon, and I decide we need a date night. I'm paying, and we rack our brains trying to figure out where to go in our local area; with lets just say, not so many alluring options open to us.
Then we have a brain wave, and remember how cosy, inviting and simply familiar Haworth Old Hall is; especially during the long winter months in the Pennines. I was lucky enough to grow up in Haworth, and it has never been disappointing for visitors and locals alike. However, it is now more varied and busier than ever, and it appears that most of the local businesses are moving with the dynamic culinary times. Luckily, meeting the needs of people with real allergies, intolerances and preferences, the village is no longer attempting to instill the 19th Century period it owes its bustling tourism to.
One of my absolute bug bears when choosing where to eat, is establishments being very vague about whether they can provide food for allergy sufferers or intolerance. Having no mention of alternative menus, mini GF symbols, or the seemingly popular asterisk with "can be made gluten free on request" can be very frustrating; particularly if you have a long wait before you can even state your presence with a member of staff - let alone place an awkward order that may in fact poison you.
The Old Hall makes this so very simple. They even have gluten free beer back in stock. You can choose from locally brewed Wainwright's, as well as the more widely available Peroni. You don't even have to ask for a separate, "special" menu. At the back of the main menu and clearly labelled, are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free lists. And there is a cracking amount of choice too. No more "erm, excuse me, can I just, you know the, yes of course, do ask the chef. Please." No anticipation of a possible reaction, 15 minutes after hesitantly swallowing the last of your meal. Complete confidence and timely ordering allows you to get on with the job of having a jolly nice time. Like it should be.
After our usual deliberation of "shall we share starters, yeah it is only Wednesday after all" chat, we eventually decided on halloumi fries (GF coated), jackfruit croquettes (GF battered), and separate mains of the British classic Fish n Chips (veggie and pecsi versions). I will admit at this point, that I am slightly obsessed with anything battered, especially chippy style teas. I am justifying this as a direct result of GF options finally getting as good as the real thing; and over 15 years of deprivation for this deep fry junkie. Needless to say, the food was excellent, and well worth the gastro-pub price tag. I will be back. To try EVERYTHING.
The very important verdict
I'm very pleased to say that our lovely local village pub is flying the flag for GF eaters, and doing a damn good job at making it taste great too. I can't wait to try more of the offerings, and love that I have somewhere I know will have a tipple that doesn't need to be wine or spirits. In my old age, it's the little things that count, and less of the wine hangovers, well, the better.
Have you checked out your local pubs to find out what they offer? Don't be afraid to ask, and let them know where they can improve. Moving with the times is mutually beneficial after all.
Haworth Old Hall is located at the bottom of Main Street in Haworth, West Yorkshire.