Travel,  United Kingdom

The Old Bridge Inn and Coffee House, Holmfirth

The breakfasts are exceptional, but earplugs are essential.

In the centre of Holmfirth, right next to the River Holme, is the Old Bridge Inn. Made from the same pale stone as the higgledy-piggledy cottages that nestle on the eastern slopes of the Pennines, festooned with glorious hanging baskets, and with a beer garden that’s buzzing with happy customers, it looks like the ideal place to stay. And if you’re visiting this wonderful part of West Yorkshire to catch a gig at the Picturedome next door, it probably is.

However if, like me, you’re not in Holmfirth to sample the night life, and would like to retire at a reasonable time, then think again. Because if you’re allocated any room at the back of this hotel, it’s unlikely you’ll get much shut eye this side of 1.00am on a Friday or Saturday night. Not due to the aforementioned Picturedome or the popular beer garden, but entirely down to the revellers at a small bar in the alley behind the Old Bridge Inn.

Here’s what you could look forward to at around midnight:

“It’s unlikely you’ll get much shut eye this side of 1.00am on a Friday or Saturday night.”

The noise was horrendous. The double glazing, ineffective. The lack of sleep, totally unacceptable, especially for an establishment that promises: ‘plump pillows, soft linens and comfortable mattresses make for a bed you won’t want to leave!’.

But sleep aside, what about the rest of the experience?

Well, the décor wasn’t quite as fabulous as the pictures promised. Yes, the bar area was super-stylish with a vaulted beam ceiling and show-stopping bar complete with a flash coffee-making machine. But the main dinning room was tired and in need of a refurb to match the excellent drinking facilities. Upstairs, the illusion was completely shattered thanks to a magnolia and chocolate colour scheme that could have been inspired by the seventies, but in truth that was probably when it was last decorated. In my room, the linen, pillows and mattresses were the saving grace, along with the contemporary bathroom with superb fixtures and cool low-level night lighting.

And the food?

On the whole, my evening meals were pretty good. On the first night I chose Persian Lamb Tagine – a filling dish of slow braised shoulder of lamb with spices, apricots and dates served with saffron rice. On the second night I was seduced by the secret recipe Fish & Chips with fat chips, garden peas and tartare sauce. With enough room for dessert, I ordered the Cappuccino Crème Brûlée. Big mistake. It was a disappointing waste of money that flew in the face of the Trades Descriptions Act and no more than two spoonful’s of the horrendous cream concoction made it past my lips. I washed it down with some Sicilian lemonade and retired to the beer garden for coffee.

Breakfast was an entirely different kettle of fish. On both occasions I helped myself to fresh fruit and yoghurt from the buffet area. Then I polished of a fantastic plate of Eggs Benedict, which were perfectly cooked to order and absolutely delicious. A pot of strong hot coffee helped to me to forget my lack of sleep and set me up for the adventure ahead – an introduction to metal sculpture course with local artist David Mayne. That is an experience I would definitely like to repeat. But if I do, I won’t be staying at the Old Bridge Inn and Coffee House.

Go-solo star rating
2 **

Let’s go!
The Old Bridge Inn & Coffee House
Market Walk, Holmfirth,
West Yorkshire, HD97DA 
Tel: 01484 681212

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