Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Bakehouse - Farnley Market Review

When life throws a gem in your path you drop what you are doing and pick it up. You know it will be worth it, worth having to load back up with what your were doing because the break will be sweet. That is exactly what happened when I was invited to go and have a chat with Steve and Simone from the newly opened Bakehouse at Farnley Market, champion of all things local.
The Bakehouse first caught my eye when I saw something about its opening event pop up on Facebook via the local paper and as much as I thought it was a brilliant concept, I did wonder if it would work. So many people have dreams of opening heir own bakery and selling locally produced goods but they haven't got the knowledge or plans to back them up. It took me all of thirty seconds of being on the premises to make me think I was wrong and perhaps another 15 seconds of talking to Steve to know I was wrong. I was impressed. Seriously impressed. 
secret recipe Valrhona brownie
I mean, come on, how could I not be when presented with a brownie like that. The range of products on display was only one of the things that got my attention though. First and foremost was the atmosphere. I'm not sure it could have been more perfect. The whole place felt alive with passion and dedication which filtered through from the busy kitchen to the comfort of the equally busy, yet perfectly relaxed, content and not at all packed cafe seating area. Even at 3pm people were still arriving for a drink and a cake, selecting their seat from just enough choice to show the popularity of the place without it being crowded or too close. Others were sauntering in for their choice of freshly baked bread - and I mean fresh, Steve had to keep running off to check on a batch of beer bread which one customer bought a loave of pretty much straight from the oven. If it wasn't bread it was one of the home made pastries or classic cakes or biscuits for afternoon tea.
Pain au raisin
The location only adds to the atmosphere. Nestled down a little country lane opposite the Golden Cock pub in Farnley Tyas, Huddersfield, the bakery is easy enough to access but out of the way enough for customers to be able to enjoy the peace that country surroundings bring. The view of fields out of the shop front window would help anyone to unwind - I should know, I left a stressful literature review write up to go for my visit and I didn't want to leave when the time came. The location really helps to force home the message that when you are eating is locally produced. Honey, preservesIn fact, the product with the furthest food miles besides the olives (I think we can make an exception for those due to the wonderful British weather) is probably the Yummy Yorkshire ice cream, made abour four miles away.
Flour for the bread comes from a local mill, eggs, honey, preserves and cheeses from local farms and the veg that goes into the daily soups comes from a patch half a mile away. If the veg isn't seasonal that you won't get it in your soup. Simple as. Steve was really adamant wbout that. Eating in season reduces food miles even further and teases out creativity to produce something wonderful with what is available. Steve has really done his research too, having trained at the Artisan School of Cookery in Wellbeck before setting up the venture and gathering together an army of local producers to fill the shelves with a gorgeous array of groceries.
Simone, Steve's wife and business partner who I'm a little sad I didn't get chance to talk to more, looks after the customers, events and running of the business, putting into practice Steve's entrepreneurial ideas and providing the steady support that all businesses need for them to grow. One of these ideas, which I'm pleased to say has proved (no joke intended I promise) to be a success last week is a new proving method for the pastries to get them ready and baked in time for the breakfast customers. I sat there in awe listening to Steve describe when he had built to make this work, a nod to his engineering background. I won't say anymore though - when you visit for yourself you can ask and I'm sure you'll be amazed at the ingenuity of it too. 
I have so much more to say about the Bakehouse, from their oh so chocolatey brownies to their blissful buttery pain aux raisin but that would take me all day, meaning less time for you to go and visit. Normally with a review I like to do a 'what I thought could be better' section too but in this instance I really can't think of anything. Errrr, make my Apple Almond Traybake recipe on of the daily cakes sometime maybe? Seriously though, if you are ever in the Huddersfiled area the Bakehouse is one of the places you need to visit. Go say hi over at their Facebook page or on Twitter where you can also keep up with their product news. Get there early to get your choice of loaf named after a local landmark or maybe a scone and a cup of tea. You won't regret it. Say hi to Simone and Steve for me. I wish them and their future expansion plans all the best of luck. I hope to be back soon.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the Bakehouse to see their premises and I was not required to write a positive review. I was also too busy enjoying the bakery to take my own photos apart from the brownie and the pain aux raisin so all other images belong to the Bakehouse.


  1. I'm due up to Huddersfield for work shortly. Will defo check the Bakehouse out and tell them you sent me #hungrydotcomnow

    1. That's brilliant news! I know you'll enjoy it!

  2. I visited recently and found the bread to be really nice. I did however notice that (apart from the young man who served me) the staff, including the owners were particularly frosty and unfriendly and that may put me off in future from visiting again.

    1. That is such a shame and really surprising. I hope you will give them another chance, particularly as there is a lot more going on recently so you might find your incident was a one off to be easily forgiven.

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