The White Lion
A C17th coaching inn beside Hebden Water, the White Lion is the oldest pub in town. The White Lion is also the closest to HB Hostel.
A variety of nooks and crannies in the bar area, a separate dining room and a small paved beer garden provide plenty of space for locals and visitors; however, the Lion can get busy at weekends and it’s wise to book ahead to be sure of a table. You can eat in the dining room or the bar.
The White Lion isn’t the cheapest pub but the menu is interesting and the food is particularly good – artfully presented, good-sized portions and very tasty indeed. The enormous pies are becoming legendary; I took half of mine home wrapped in foil to eat for lunch the next day and it was just as delicious the second time around.
The menu has a good range of dishes, from unusual salads to a ‘steakboard’ from which diners pick-and-mix a steak, sauce and accompaniments. There’s a decent vegetarian section and a children’s menu offering small versions of grown-up dinners – no chicken nuggets or pizzas.
Starters are priced at £4.95-£7.95. The goat’s cheese and cherry tomato tartlet melts in the mouth, the Portobello mushrooms hang together less well. Mains are £7.95 for the simplest veggie dishes up to £19.95 for the best steak. Desserts, at £4.95, are irresistible – how to choose between vanilla pod cheesecake, caramelised lemon tart, blueberry brulee and rhubarb-ginger crumble with rose petal custard?
The only minuses are in the layout and décor of the dining room – a strange arrangement of tables puts dining partners too far apart from each other but too close to neighbouring couples while the furnishings lean towards the fuddy-duddy – and the inexperienced waiting staff.
Behind the bar a small, well-chosen selection of well-kept real ales includes locally brewed favourites. There’s also a shelf crammed with whiskies and a full wine menu.