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      June 2014 > Culinary Highlights of the Grand Départ: Stage 2

Culinary Highlights of the Grand Départ: Stage 2

Culinary highlights of the Grand DepartHaving already recommended many culinary highlights along the first stage of the Grand Départ, Sue Nelson, local food expert and founder of Yorkshire Food Finder, turns her attention to the second stage, providing further insider tips on where to eat and shop for anyone following the peloton’s route in a more leisurely fashion.


Once again, you’ll need to ensure you’ve plenty of room in your car boot or panniers otherwise you’re missing the whole point of this foodie version of the Grand Départ. The first shopping opportunity comes a mere 10 miles or so beyond York city centre at Green Hammerton. Here, the roadside Ainsty Farm Shop specialises in traditionally reared meat from nearby family farms. The shop also sells game in season, as well as a wide selection of locally grown fruit and vegetables, plus quality bread, cakes and pastries made daily by the in-house baker.

A little further on, off the main route, lies the village of Marton-cum-Grafton, home to the 16th-century Punchbowl Inn. In the bar area rustic tables groan with locally sourced food, while upstairs there’s a private dining room and coffee loft.

Next comes the picturesque market town of Knaresborough, dominated by the graceful Victorian railway viaduct that straddles the River Nidd. Beneath it is a tumble of cottages descending to the riverbank. The steep but picturesque streets are worth exploring, giving you the chance to build up an appetite for a delicious lunch in neighbouring Harrogate (see the culinary highlights on stage 1).

Culinary highlights of the Grand DepartHARROGATE TO KEIGHLEY

The route from Harrogate into West Yorkshire takes you over Blubberhouses Moor. If you need to work off lunch there’s good walking to be had here, including a route along a Roman road.

Just off the main road over the moor lies Mackenzies Traditional Smokehouse, a family-run business that has been curing and smoking meats and fish for more than 25 years. There’s a well-stocked shop on site, as well as a restaurant just across the yard from the smokehouse. No food miles are clocked up getting the finished product to the table here!


Just south of Keighley lies Haworth. Thanks to the Brontë sisters, this Pennine town is very firmly on the tourist map, but literary connections and evocative moorland aren’t the only reasons for visiting: there’s artisan beer, too. The Haworth Steam Brewery is right in the heart of the cobbled street, and you can sample the beer from the brewhouse tap.

The art-lovers’ town of Hebden Bridge is the next stop, after which the route heads towards Huddersfield, the birthplace of rugby league. It’s also home to Eric’s, a fine dining venue voted the North East’s regional restaurant of the year in the Good Food Guide. Chef proprietor Eric Paxman is a Huddersfield lad but he’s worked all over the world, including under the tutelage of fellow Yorkshireman Marco Pierre White and Australian celebrity chef Bill Grainger.


From Huddersfield the route leads to Holmfirth and Last of the Summer Wine country where, tucked away off the main route, there are some excellent artisan food producers.

Culinary highlights of the Grand DepartThink Yummy Yorkshire ice cream where husband-and-wife team Jeremy and Louise Holmes are churning out award-winning ices that pay homage to their Yorkshire heritage. Liquorice, rhubarb and Yorkshire Brack (a cross between a fruit cake and a teacake) all feature and really do live up to their name.

There’s also Carl Slingsby of Greedy Little Pig in nearby Shelley. Carl is self-taught but has turned charcuterie-making into an art form, rearing his own pigs and using the meat to produce high-quality coppa hams, lonzino, pancetta, chorizo and more.

Across the yard from him is one-man-band cheese-maker Danny Lockwood of Yorkshire Fine Cheese Company (pictured above), whose Barncliffe Brie adorns quality restaurant cheese boards throughout Yorkshire.

Over the hill at Hade Edge is award-winning master butcher Brindon Addy (pictured above) whose fabulous butcher’s shop and deli is a magnet for meat lovers far and wide. Brindon is a butcher of the old school, with all his top-quality meat coming from farms nearby. He makes all his own sausages and pies, and cures his own hams and bacon.

Culinary highlights of the Grand DepartAll of these producers supply chef Tim Bilton at his beautiful restaurant The Spiced Pear in nearby Hepworth. Tim is a Yorkshire lad through and through and uses the best local produce to serve not only fine-dining meals but also wonderful afternoon teas and lighter Yorkshire fare in his adjoining tea room.

Nearby is also Holmfirth Vineyard, which produces a range of English wines and serves breakfast, lunches and snacks in its on-site restaurant. Tours and tastings are available.

From Holmfirth the race heads out into the Pennines again before the gradual descent into Sheffield. The ‘city of steel’ hosts an annual food festival, while its indoor Moor Market (open six days a week) features local food at its traditional best. For eating out, Sheffield is not short of excellent hostelries supplied by producers based in the surrounding countryside. The award-winning Milestone was the city’s first gastro pub and prides itself on sourcing local food and serving it in a chic, relaxed atmosphere. They even rear their own rare-breed pigs here right in the middle of the city.

The peloton will finish in Sheffield for a well deserved rest and a dietician-approved dinner, but there’s no stopping you from continuing ten miles beyond the city for one final treat. The Old Vicarage is the only restaurant in South Yorkshire with a Michelin star. Chef owner Tessa Bramley has held the coveted star since 1998 and her cooking follows the seasons – you can tell what time of year it is by what she serves on the plate.

View from Hade Edge

[Images courtesy Yorkshire Food Finder and Michael McKinstry]

Posted: 23/06/2014 07:59:19 by Sue Nelson, Yorkshire Food Finder | with 0 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, UK, Yorkshire

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