Shibden Mill Fold, HALIFAX, HX3 7UL
The Shibden Valley used to be an important wool production area, the waters of Red Beck powering this 17th-century former spinning mill until the industry collapsed in the late 1800s. Now it's a charming inn with open fires, oak beams, small windows and heavy tiles, happily enjoying a more civilised existence below overhanging trees in a wooded glen that makes Halifax just down the road seem a thousand miles away. The beer garden is extremely popular, not least with real ale fans: a brew called Shibden Mill, made especially for the inn, sits alongside the ever-reliable Black Sheep and three guest ales. With two AA Rosettes, the restaurant attracts those who enjoy excellent food prepared from trusted local growers and suppliers, and a seasonal menu which combines newly conceived dishes with old favourites. Such is the Shibden's focus on customer enjoyment that menu titles such as 'Vegetarian and comforts' and 'Inn fillers' - in addition to the usual three courses - leave no room for disappointment. From the vegetarian selection may come butternut squash, tomato and Barnscliffe brie lasagne, with pine nuts, roasted beetroots, sweetcorn, candied walnuts and garlic bread. A popular 'Inn filler' is the battered haddock sandwich with lemon and cucumber relish. Otherwise look to a starter of skrei cod if in season, served with cauliflower couscous, sorrel and pomegranate. Rabbit and tarragon pie with crab bisque and roasted langoustine may appear among the main dishes. Finish with a rum and banana baba with its caramelised banana, toffee mousse and banoffee ice cream. Gourmet dinners can be arranged - an ideal opportunity to book one of the inn's luxury bedrooms.