If I asked my partner what he thought about our stay, he’d say they had “good pints”, but the truth is, The Woodman Inn offers so much more than that.
Nestled somewhere between Huddersfield and Holmfirth, Thunder Bridge is the peace and quiet we so desperately craved after a winter of hibernation. But it was the Woodman Inn that provided us with the sigh of relief you’d expect from any holiday – staycation or international.
The only pub in the quaint West Yorkshire hamlet, the Woodman Inn – which has recently been completely revamped throughout lockdown – offers itself up as a one-stop destination for those who find themselves in this peaceful slice of God’s Own Country, be it for something to eat, a refreshing drink, or a place to lay their head that night.
For us, it was a matter of all three, and we were lucky enough to stay in the old landlord’s lodgings for the night, right next door – pup in tow after a wholesome walk at the nearby Castle Hill.
Welcoming all three of us into the cosy pub (our dog moreso, actually), we quickly found ourselves tucked up by the fire together sinking a bottle of vino – where we remained for a solid five hours without a care in the world. It’s that kinda place.
I’ll admit, it’s a rarity that our bouncing, boisterous Labrador pup allows herself to settle down anywhere but her prized bed by the radiator at home, but it seems the Woodman Inn’s welcoming vibe rubbed off on our canine counterpart, too.
But before tucking up in bed for the evening, we had some serious eating to do. Lugging our wine-fuelled bodies from the warmth of the fire to the cosy-yet-bustling dining space (which really comes alive by nightfall), we filled our bodies with yet more wonderful, wonderful wine and beer – while facing our first issue of the night: What to choose from the expertly crafted menu.
Boasting an array of British pub classics made with a modern, fine-dining twist, it was an incredibly tough call between the steak, the duck and their own take on the curried cod – which was sadly vetoed in favour of the former.
So, how was it? Well… You know those dining experiences where you barely even look each other in the eye and not a single word is said as a result of completely stuffed faces? Yeah. This was one of them.
Packing ample flavour into every single bite, the tender steak – which was sourced from the nearby Hinchliffe Farm – was up there with one of the best I’ve had (and I eat steak a lot), amplified by mushroom, onion, pomme dauphinoise and a sensational red wine gravy.
The duck breast was just as delicious, too, boasting a gorgeously gamey flavour and served with complementing flavours such as blackberry, a pomme fondant and braised red cabbage. Naturally, the pooch gazed on longingly hoping for even a single crumb, but it was far too delectable to accidentally drop a bite. We did, however, share our crispy pigs ears starter with her (like the naughty humans we are), to rave reviews from our four-legged friend.
Arriving back at the cottage next door, tummy full and top button popped, it was time to do the next obvious thing – something that’s basically a custom when staying anywhere nice: Test out the huge bath tub. Admittedly diving in before even an inch of water had collected in the tub, there I stayed until I’d polished off the day with a cheeky glass of Prosecco (my poison of choice) and soaked off the day’s walking, before diving into the big, soft bed to watch some crap on ITV. A luxurious evening, if I do say so myself.
Waking up to the quiet bliss of Thunder Bridge and the premise of breakfast was a welcome change to our usual day-to-day – with our usual local field walk traded for a peaceful, streamside stroll just a stone’s throw away from the pub.
Open daily from 12 noon til 11pm (unless you’re a hotel guest for breakfast), The Woodman Inn is home to an array of rooms, suites and cosy cottages, alongside a beautiful pub and excellent fine-dining restaurant. Find them at Thunder Bridge Ln, Kirkburton, Thunder Bridge, Huddersfield, HD8 0PX.
[Featured image: The Woodman Inn] PR Stay