This week on the DJCB we have a tight, quarantine-friendly food guide to Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. Brought to us by Paper Recordings boss Ben Davis aka Stubb, aka Flash Atkins. If you’re in the hood, here are some insightful tips on where to grub and booze responsibly while supporting the local food culture. Also, make sure to check out his latest album titled Canopy, out now. It is a beautiful ode to nature and our relationship with it in these catastrophic times, a must listen!
Eat + Drink
The Moorcock Inn (Norland, Sowerby Bridge)
What looks like your average Yorkshire pub halfway up a moor is actually the place to go for some of the most amazing ‘traditional homestead’ food in the North. There’s a BBQ, wood-fired oven and smoker that runs 24/7 where the foraged and seasonal ingredients from their own market garden, local growers and smallholders are prepared. It’s all about medium sharing plates which is just as well because everything that arrives is a new level of knockout. There’s also a bar menu and extensive wine and craft beer list plus they fire their own crockery!Through lockdown home-cooked meals, veg boxes, pre-made cocktails, puddings and all sorts of tasty treats are delivered with a smile and gave us something to look forward to as the world became untethered. Now there’s lots of outdoor space and plenty of room to keep you socially distanced inside.
The People’s Pizzeria (2 The Courtyard, Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge)
After moving around the Calderdale valley and festival circuit in their retro Citroën van as Streatza, these wonderful wood-fired pizzas have found a permanent home at The Old North on Bridge Gate. Which I’m sure was inspired by the van being fished out of the River Calder in the February floods. In lockdown they have operated an online ordering system and a sliding scale of payment so those struggling could pay less, which is set to continue. So not only are their pizzas amazing but they are also lovely community-minded folks.
The new hut looks the part in its wood cladding as the oven chunters away and there’s lots of outdoor seating overlooking the pedestrianized conservation area to watch the world go by. You can get a cocktail inside or a beer from the micro-pub next door to wash down a margarita and no pineapple toppings in sight.
Barbary’s (Bridge End, Mytholmroyd)
Hebden Bridge gets the tourists and attention but Mytholmroyd half-a-mile down the road is where locals go for the interesting stuff. Barbary’s is a small craft ale community bar run by Ben and Ruby and is the kind of place where you know everyone by the end of the night. We’ve held one of our ‘Craft Ale and Record Society’ one-deck parties there on a Sunday which was full of kids running around, adults playing board games and us nerding-out over vinyl.
The super stylish interior can be dismantled in minutes having been flooded twice, but they are now right in the middle of the recently finished flood defences. So not only will they hopefully remain dry but they now have new outdoor space in the re-generated village.
In lockdown they did booze deliveries which is now being done by electric cargo bike. Apart from an extensive beer range, there are natural wines, fancy cider and posh snacks from Calder Cheese House, Craggy’s pies and Ant & Doh’s yeast doughnuts with plans to work with lots of local foodie types.
They currently have socially distanced table-service which feels super safe and once things settle down tasting nights, record fairs, spoken word, acoustic gigs, DJs and a whole range of fun stuff is planned.
Duke Street Food (Duke Street Gardens, Eastwood)
The pandemic has seen a rise in ‘cook your own’ delivery food as restaurants closed and Duke Street were perfectly poised to fill the gap. An outside catering company started by Rhian, Abigail and Sarah, they have previously been involved in various projects including the much loved Bear Café and The Hawthorn pub in Howarth. They create Mediterranean inspired street food using vegetables, herbs and fruits from their poly-tunnel, orchard and allotment plus what’s in season from local growers. The menu has a different theme each week with a choice of dishes to choose from and is very reasonably priced. It all arrives in sustainable packaging ready to go and is bloody lovely. Its special occasion food with a minimum of effort and a brilliant addition to the local food scene, crisis or no crisis.