Proper Pies for Proper Yorkshire Folk
Situated on the idyllic Baildon Moor surrounded by bluebell laden trails, stands The Old Glen House; a beautiful, 17th century stone building, now a country pub. Having already seen it recommended in The Good Pub Guide, a couple of colleagues and I were quick to grab a table when their new pie menu was announced.
On arrival, we were greeted in the pub’s quaint and cosy cruck-raftered bar area, which is well-stocked with regularly rotating cask ales. There is a separate, more refined dining room but as we were visiting with dogs, we were seated in the larger bar area. Might I add, this pub won the Dog-friendly Pub Award for Yorkshire. With treats behind the bar and beds by the fire, it’s not difficult to see why. Here, we properly settled into the country-life vibes this place oozes so authentically. Beside the exposed stone walls and beneath the timber beams, I was handed The Old Glen House’s ‘pie chart’.
There are many cultural signifiers of Yorkshireness. Some wear flat caps, others walk whippets. Most prefer to tuck into a good old pie… and eeh by gum, was I about to. The ‘pie chart’ works like so; choose from the weekly changing pies (some are fixed), then pick a sauce and two sides. We opted for the chicken, chorizo, tomato and leek (£11.95), the steak and black sheep ale (£11.95) and the steak, wild mushroom, black pudding and Guinness (£12.95) with a good mix of sides and sauces. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
While our pies were in the oven, we decided to nibble at the Mezze Board (£11.95); a fitting introduction this pub’s passion for locally sourced, quality ingredients. Warm, skewered bread rolls lay atop chunky chorizo, olives and perhaps the most delectable goats cheese I’ve ever tasted. This is a deliciously eclectic take on antipasti, with quirky additions such as smoked salmon, tangy piccalilli, and creamy avocado dip.
Now for the star of the show; our pies were generously portioned and filled to the top of their shortcrust pastries, which were firm but flaky and of the perfect thickness. The meat in the steak pies was lean, chunky and flavoursome, pairing perfectly with any of the three rich gravies on offer. Comparatively, the veg in the chicken pie added a lighter quality as to reserve spotlight for the bold flavours of the chorizo; wholesome comfort food with a vibrant twist, complimented by the garlic sauce. A little seasoning and cheese would have jazzed the side of beans up, but the perfectly cooked bacon savoy cabbage and double-cooked, hand-cut chips made up for this tenfold.
These pies are certainly enough to warrant weathering a wet and windy walk through Shipley Glen this winter. In fact, they actually make it seem appealing. The beer garden may be the perfect spot to lap up the sun over a fresh salad, but there’s something tempting about the reward of a hot and hearty home-made pie as the holy grail of a bitter winter’s walk.
I don’t know whether it was the pies or the welcome, but I found myself leaving The Old Glen House with a warm feeling inside. And for their pie chart? Consider it Yorkshire lass approved.
Prod Lane, Baildon, Shipley
T: 01274 597777