Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Hinchcliffe, Hebden Bridge

The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Some days are just perfect, aren't they? The sun was shining (again), and a day trip had been planned. Those tormenting pictures on The Hinchcliffe's Instagram had finally taken their toll, and on a complete whim, we were booked in for a Sunday Roast.

The only slight spanner in the works to a delicious, carby roast was the glorious weather. It was redders. Alas, all was well when we arrived in picturesque Cragg Vale. The air-con had been pumping round the car with the fervency of a blast chiller, and we arrived to find the most idyllic outside terrace, which was covered in parasols to protect those with more sensitive skin than mine...
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Picture shamelessly lifted from The Hinchcliffe's Instagram
We were welcomed by the delightful Kit, who was also my favourite ever contestant on First Dates! He's a very funny chap who seems to thrive on friendly interaction. He can sit with us. All the staff at the Hinchcliffe were fantastic to be honest, especially our waitress who's name I didn't catch, but I do remember she was a fellow history graduate (geek 'fist bump').

Chef Rob Owen Brown was the chap who ran the Mark Addy in Salford, famed for its Manchester eggs, superb roasts, and sadly for getting flooded in 2014. With the River Irwell firmly behind him, Rob has picked one of the most beautiful locations in the country to set up shop.
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Crispy black pudding potato cake, poached hen's egg, and a tangy tarragon butter sauce: Fairly certain that eaten in any large quantity, that this sauce would surely kill you. It was rich and decadent, and the perfect mate for that tasty black pudding potato cake. 
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Pressed ham hock terrine with onion relish: Oh terrines, how I love thee. The perfect picnic style starter. The WI would pin a ribbon on that onion relish.
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Sunday lunch sharing platter - local aged beef, free range poussin, locally reared pork, with stuffing, roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy and Yorkshire puddings: I had to take several pictures to fit it in. Kind of regretted starters when it arrived, but then got far too involved in stuffing my face to care. I feel these pictures really do not do it justice. Behold! The only thing it was missing was some crackling.
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
Banana bread with vanilla ice cream: 'I'm not having a dessert' I bleated. However, after tasting the rest of the food, I felt I would have only completed half a job if I didn't sample baked goods. This looked really dark and rich like a sticky toffee pudding, but it was incredibly light. For those of you who hate bananas, me too, but when baked into a cake like this, they take on a whole new form. The same cannot be said for beetroot. Be warned.
The Hinchcliffe, Hebden
We've already recommended The Hinchcliffe to pretty much everyone we have been in contact with since going; friends, family, the lady on the checkout at M&S... I can't wait to go back here in winter to experience the cosy pub side they have to offer.

Go here whatever the weather. It's peaceful and picturesque in the summer, and I imagine it's the cosiest fireside spot in winter. Either way, you're going to get great food and a warm welcome.

A couple of weeks later we went to see Rob at The Big Grill Festival at Burr's Country Park in Bury. He did not disappoint there either. I'll leave you with some pictures of another lovely day out. Let's make the most of this sunshine!
The Big Grill Festival
The Big Grill Festival

Monday, 9 July 2018

Mezzaluna, Whitefield

Mezzaluna, Whitefield
Am I the only one who is desperate to eat outside when it's nice weather? Don't get me wrong, the current 'Hades' levels we are experiencing at the moment are even too much for me, but on this particular day it was about 23C, which is perfect. Then comes the question, where can we eat outside, which won't be full of Stella fuelled idiots with no tops on?

Mezzaluna in Whitefield is a bit of a hidden gem on the al fresco dining front. I had no idea they had a beautiful garden, until we drove past and could see the doors open at the back. It was gorgeous. Picnic benches with optional parasols, pretty flowers, and food and drink flowing in the blazing sunshine.

My favourite type of food on a nice day is 'picky bits', and Mezzaluna was perfect for this. A pizza, sharing board, and chips appeared to be the perfect garden picnic on a warm day. Real picnics are a bit too much faff!
Mezzaluna, Whitefield
Antipasti platter: A selection of lovely strong cheeses, a full ball of mozzarella, continental meats, salad, olives, honey and bread. Now let me tell you, it turns out that mozzarella and honey are my new favourite thing. I may have recreated this in my own garden. Twice.
Mezzaluna, Whitefield
Mezzaluna, Whitefield
Pizza with fennel sausage, broccoli and mushrooms: Cannot for the life of me find this on the current menu, but noticed you can still build your own to this effect. Broccoli and sausage is such a wonderful combo that I have it wherever I go. If you've never tried it, I really must insist that you get your act together.
Mezzaluna, Whitefield
I kind of didn't want to tell you about this place, as it was serenely quiet in the midst of summer mayhem. Hidden away behind a busy road, this really is a little oasis for sunny days. Go here for a relaxed afternoon where you can pretend you're in the Mediterranean, not Manchester. Drink wine, eat some lovely food, and laugh with your nearest and dearest.

Friday, 6 July 2018

80/20 Health Bar and Kitchen, Bolton

80/20 Health Bar and Kitchen, Bolton
I am known for stuffing my face on a regular basis. My Instagram feed is quite frankly a disgrace, and shows quite clearly that I am Pig of the Week, every week. My friend Anna and I love nothing more than plotting a Great Escape from the office, which in the past was limited to Peckish Pony* or Frankie and Benny's unless we were willing to shlep further afield.

Then shone a shiny new kid on the block in the form of 80/20 Health Bar and Kitchen. Owners Tahir and Mina took what was a wreck of a building where pigeons lived, and transformed it into a spacious and airy restaurant serving fresh, healthy food. We were in love! Their ethos is simple; 'nutritious, wholesome ingredients with freshly ground spices, bringing you deliciously healthy food in just 10 minutes', which is perfect when you're on your lunch break.

Whether you're a body builder, mobile worker, catching up with friends, or daft girls on lunch breaks, everyone is made welcome and we always have a nice chat with the staff, and have genuinely considered working from here ourselves. 

It's a bit of a long standing joke, but we always have the same thing when we go. We just cannot deviate because we both love the dishes so much.

Satay chicken with basmati rice, stir-fry vegetables and peanut satay sauce
CAL 562 | FAT 27g | S.FAT 11g | CARB 48g | PRO 24.5g
Anna's choice. A great mix of sweet and savoury, and very filling. This is a decent sized lunch, ideal for a crackers Zumba teacher who will be killing herself in a sweatbox later on that evening. Or indeed if she decides to sit on the couch and watch This is Us until the early hours. Whichever.
80/20 Health Bar and Kitchen, Bolton
Grilled halloumi wrap - slices of grilled halloumi with mixed salad and sweet chilli sauce with sweet potato fries
CAL 345 | FAT 14.5g | S.FAT 6g | CARB 33g | PRO 19g (not including fries)
My choice, and actual heaven. One day I promise to try something different, but for now, I'm hooked. I cannot get enough of halloumi, so this is perfect for me. There isn't too much in the wrap, which would sky-rocket the calories and fat content, but there's enough to satisfy the craving. Lots of crunchy salad and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce make it a little more substantial, plus I always order a side of sweet potato chips as a treat. They are so crispy and wonderful, without being saturated in grease. Makes me feel better about the Milkybar later.
80/20 Health Bar and Kitchen, Bolton
We go here at least once a week because we can be back in work within 45 minutes if needed, and the food is delicious. The menus include nutritional information, and all meals are already hooked up to My Fitness Pal, so tracking your macros couldn't be easier. The breakfast menu looks rather exciting too, so I think I'll be making a trip for steak and eggs some time soon.

Go here for tasty yet healthy food, in a relaxed setting. Muscle vest optional.


* Okay so it's actually the Hungry Horse, but we have literally never called it that.
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