(Out of town) Historic Heptonstall
Walk twenty minutes from Hebden Bridge centre to historic Heptonstall to find Towngate Tearoom on the main cobbled road through the village, close to museum and churches and a short stroll from poet Sylvia Plath’s grave. If the tearoom looks full at first glance, don’t worry, there’s a second room tucked away out of sight.
Fully licensed, with a good range of bottled ales, ciders and wine, this place is a cut above the average rural cafe. You can even pick up local free range eggs, Yorkshire jams and pickles, packs of bacon and slabs of cheese to take home with you, to make the good food experience last the whole week.
Full English breakfast (or veggie alternative), ham and eggs, sausage and mash, burgers, chip butties, sandwiches and the like satisfy the traditionalist – but this is far from a greasy spoon cafe. Home baked quiches, jacket potatoes, soups and salads offer healthier options and for a real treat there’s smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast or daily specials.
The main savoury dishes cost around £7. Portions are generous and many come with homely bread rolls and big pats of yellow butter. Less costly options are available: hot sandwiches, beans on toast, scones. When we went there were three different soups (two veggie, one with chicken stock – look out for the “v” if you’re vegetarian). The cakes are divine. Orange polenta with lemon drizzle washed down with a tall latte – yummmm!
Towngate Tearoom boasts 30 speciality teas, from Assam to lapsang souchong via echinacea and jasmine, served in colourful china teapots with free hot water refills. The usual coffees and souped-up hot chocolates are on offer. Soft drinks come in old fashioned flavours: pink ginger, dandelion and burdock, shandy, elderflower. For the less nostalgic there’s coke and OJ too.
If you fancy a picnic, or want to eat and walk, there’s a takeaway menu. And a book exchange.