Sometimes in life, we know when we see a building that it’s going to play a big part in our life history, a university or place of work. Sometimes we don’t realise until we’re right inside. Mooch in Hebden Bridge is the latter for me.
Two years ago on a wet and windy Saturday in March I was covering the launch of Happy Valley Pride for Canal St Online and I called into Mooch for something to eat beforehand. I’ll admit I was in the market for a move and had half an eye on Hebden Bridge, but sitting at that table in the upper bit of Mooch and looking at the friendly people and smelling the delicious food, I made my mind up that I was definitely going to live here. So there you go, not earth shattering to anyone else but pretty important to me.
But until that blue plaque is in place, Mooch will have to rely on their excellent food and warm cosy atmosphere to drag the punters in and two years down the line, I’m pleased to say that they still have that in spadesful.
It must be difficult in Hebden Bridge to stand apart from the crowd, we are blessed with a ton of excellent eating establishments, but, for me, the fact that Mooch don’t try too hard is the attraction. You could easily walk past it on Market Street without realising what lies inside so I will tell you.
Firstly you always get a warm welcome, not just from the staff, but the customers, who seem to be an extension of the staff anyway. It is obvious that people while away a good part of their weekend, drinking brews, reading papers and chewing the cud with the super friendly team.
The food is perfect for a winter warmer or a quick bite in the summer. I had a falafel salad and it was a voyage of discovery as you make your way past the falafel to cousous, tzatziki and sweet chilli sauce. My companions’ burgers, of both the meat and veggie variety, looked great too although I’m not sure about crisps on the side. For some reason, they just didn’t look right. But maybe I was just jealous.
My next trip is definitely going to be a morning one – the breakfast menu sounds the ultimate in comfort – dippy eggs, eggy bread or peanut butter on toast. Although knowing me, I will probably go for the full English.