Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hinchliffe's Restaurant, Netherton, Huddersfield

Hinchliffe's is one of the new breed of über farm shops appearing in the countryside. Not just a shop selling produce from the farm, but a shop selling produce from the farm, baked goods, beers and wines, expensive pickles and jams of every imaginable variety and all sorts of other posh comestibles. There's also an ice cream counter, a restaurant and an open farm where you can feed the goats and such like.

I'm not sure how I feel about this sort of farm shop. It's a lovely place to visit on a Saturday afternoon, but it's rather removed from what was so great about farm shops in the first place. Namely, the opportunity to buy quality food direct from the producers, cutting out the middle man and all of the other overheads associated with transporting the food, running a nice store to sell it in, marketing it and so forth. This meant you could buy the same food for a far better price than in the regular shops elsewhere.

When the farm shop itself has a large and well appointed store, stocks loads of products made elsewhere and obviously has a not insignificant marketing budget then the prices tend to creep up and not always in line with the quality. We bought cheese, oatcakes and sausages on this visit, all of which were good but not good enough to reflect the premium prices. The oatcakes were a slightly ridiculous £3.25 for an average sized packet.

Things were the same in the restaurant, where all of the food was nice, but no more than that. Hot roast beef and gravy sandwiches were served with dripping fried chips and salad. The beef was served in the keep-the-Yorkshire-pensioners happy style, i.e. very well done but still tender thanks to a good dousing in gravy. Cooked pink would have been far better but I guess that's not what the target audience are after.

The chips were a disappointment because they weren't chips, rather wedges almost veering into roast potato territory. There was a good dripping fried crust, but the innards were a bit mealy as they almost always are when cut so fat. The salad was nicely dressed and was gobbled up rather than being left wilting in the corner of the plate.

I've no idea about anything else on the menu as all four of us ordered the same thing, but the two toddlers with us had sausage and mash which went down a treat judging by the remnants of it all over their mouths, noses, eyebrows and cheeks.

Puddings were ok. A slice of Victoria sponge looked the part but was a little bit dry. The same could be said for a ganache coated chocolate cake with a marmalade filling. A hot chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream was the best of the bunch, chocolatey and massive.

On a more positive note, the service was lovely. Friendly, helpful and great with the kids. The food we ate was all rather dull, but maybe there are better things on the menu. I paid around fourteen pounds for the sandwich, cake, a ginger beer, a filter coffee and a tip.


Hinchliffe’s Farm

Netherton Moor Road

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hinchliffe's is one of the new breed of über farm shops appearing in the countryside

Hinchliffe's is the oldest farm shop in the country

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