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LocAle pubs that are not really pubs - Summer 2011

This summer issue of our newsletter focuses on a market town café bar in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and a magnificent 17th century hall nestled in the Aire Valley.

Thirteen Café bar, Settle

Situated in the foothills of the Pennines lies the ancient market town of Settle, known as Setel at the time of the Domesday Survey. There‘s evidence of inhabitation as early as the 7th century. In 1249 Settle received its first Market Charter and the town developed quickly with commerce and trading. By the 17th century Settle was an expanding and prosperous place and with the building of a turnpike between Keighley and Kendal in 1753 the town became an important stop on this main coaching route. In 1875 goods traffic began on the newly built Settle to Carlisle Railway and a year later a passenger service followed, increasing the town‘s importance. Nowadays, Settle is still a bustling market town as well as a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to the famous Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent.

Amongst the many pubs, restaurants and shops in the town you‘ll find Thirteen Café Bar. A relative newcomer to the scene, it was opened in 2005 by Christine and Robert as an up-market café selling home-cooked quality food which also held a drinks licence. The building had previously been a hardware store and then disused for a period of time. Initially successful, its popularity continued to increase and eventually, because of customer demand, the decision was made to not only expand the opening hours but sell local cask-conditioned beer as well. Converted premises always pose problems in the keeping of real ale and the “Cask Widge” system was put in place to ensure the beer temperature was properly maintained and the dispense efficient. After a lot of work and money real ale began to flow in 2009.

LocAle beers Three Peaks Pen-Y-Ghent and Dark Horse Hetton Pale Ale went down a storm and Robert and Christine have never looked back. Local ales from breweries such as Bowland have also featured. Keighley and Craven CAMRA members awarded Thirteen Café bar with an Improved Pub Award in 2010 and it is now a regular haunt of many.

The pleasant wooden frontage opens into a long narrow room filled with tables and chairs with the bar on the left which has stools for those wishing to chat with the bar staff. A wholehearted welcome and excellent service awaits you. Modern in design, the café has a comfortable feel to it. There‘s free internet access. The steak and casserole nights are extremely popular and usually booked out. Only a short walk from Settle Railway Station on the main road through Settle, Thirteen Café Bar is well worth visiting for a warm welcome, an excellent pint of real ale and delicious home-cooked treats.

Thirteen Café Bar, 13 Duke Street, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9DU. Tel: 01729 824356.

Opening hours: See more recent Pub of the Season article for details.

Note: a third hand pump has since been installed selling Goose Eye Chinook, another LocAle.

East Riddlesden Hall Events Barn

Overlooking a bend in the River Aire on the outskirts of Keighley sits East Riddlesden Hall built in 1642 by a Halifax Clothier, James Murgatroyd. The Murgatroyds became known for their profanity and debauchery and members of the family were imprisoned. Sir Despard Murgatroyd in The Gilbert and Sullivan opera Ruddigore is said to be based on James Murgatroyd. The hall is also said to be haunted! The village of Riddlesden is built on the hills across Bradford Road from the hall and near the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Airedale Barn is situated just inside the gates to the hall which is now owned by the National Trust and what a wonderful place for a “bit of a do”. Restored in 1992 “The Barn” is one of the finest in the north, a unique heritage place with a high beamed roof. The view from the large doors to the duck pond and the hall is stunning, and the lawns and gardens are a superb setting for those wedding photos! Once you walk into the barn you are immersed in the atmosphere and forget how near the busy main road is.

The capacity of the barn is 200 and, although not open to the general public, it can be booked for any number of events and celebrations. Contact the hall direct for further information on 01535 683800.

There are many period and interesting venues to hold weddings and special functions but only a few serve real cask beer. We are fortunate that we have one that is LocAle accredited. The LocAle served in the barn could not be more local, it is brewed 0.6 of a mile away at Old Bear Brewery situated on Aireworth Road. Ian Cowling and his team run the bar at the barn and will serve you their beers with great cheer and passion. The brewery brews seven different beers of varying styles and strength and can be contacted on 01535 601222 or via their web-site.

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