The 3 Acres: Probably the best example of a great Yorkshire pub, albeit on an upmarket level

When the car park of an inn houses an array of Bentleys, Range Rovers and Jags, the venue is going to be one of two things – either a pompous venue so clinical it resembles a private hospital, or a gathering point for folk who have previously experienced the latter and are so over it that they now just want bloody good food in traditional setting; a place where quality and service rule the roost. (How terrible of me to stereotype).

3 Acres Emley interiorI’ll confess this was my third visit to The 3 Acres, but let me get one thing straight here. I don’t own a Bentley or Jag, nor am I interested in clinical venues. In fact, the very first time I visited The 3 Acres it was because just an hour earlier I’d walked out of a restaurant not too far from The 3 Acres whose menu needed a translator with it. Overly complicated, fussy and pretentious simply does not suit an eatery in the remote hills of a Yorkshire village.

The 3 Acres is probably the best example of a great Yorkshire pub, albeit on an upmarket level. The décor oozes traditionalism, our waiter instantly recognises me despite the fact it’s over 12 months since my last visit (and can even pinpoint the table I sat at last time), and the tables are white table-clothed with cutlery in all the right places. Our waiter becomes our point of contact for the evening and can easily recommend a great red and a few of his favourites from the menu.

Given myself and my dining partner both have our eyes on a red meat main course, we opt for a red wine to accompany dinner. Coming recommended, we sample the Cotes du Rhone from the Delas Freres estate. It’s a light, elegant wine full of flavour that’s going to match my choice of lamb and my dining partner’s choice of beef.

Crispy Wild Mushroom Arancini 3 AcresTo start I opt for the Crispy Wild Mushroom Arancini, three beautifully crafted rice balls packed with a mushroom earthiness punch, which is further complemented by notes of white truffle and the creaminess of Tallegio cheese. A superb starter.

For my dining partner it’s The 3 Acres Chicken Liver Parfait with Cherry Compote and Sour Cherry and Walnut Bread. Again, the chef has taken a restaurant classic and added a certain amount of finesse while taking the flavours to the next level. Two stunning starters.

Main for me is Confit of Yorkshire Lamb, served with The 3 Acres own Black Pudding, Glazed Boulangere Potatoes, Spring Root Vegetables and Fine Beans. To be honest I’d be eyeing this one up since I’d viewed Confit of Yorkshire Lamb, 3 acresthe menu online earlier in the day, and what added to my excitement was the realisation that The 3 Acres only use Bolster Moor Farm for all their meat. You see I’m a bit of a fan of Bolster Moor, which started with a visit to Eric’s in Lindley just over 12 months ago. They also use Bolster Moor and so it went onto becoming one of my favourite farm shops in Yorkshire.

The lamb was simply outstandingly flavoursome and the dish itself was beautifully balanced. This was classic cooking. Clearly the chef allows the quality of the produce to do the talking. For my dining partner the surf and turf was a temptation not to be resisted: the steak was as soft as you like, the addition of tiger prawns took the dish to a whole new level. Simply a very special surf and turf.

When a meal is going this well it would be almost criminal to pass on dessert, and so I opt for the Lemon Tart and the Vanilla Panna Cotta woos my dining partner.

Lemon Tart 3 acresI’ll deal with the Panna Cotta first – stunning, accompanied by cinder toffee and a salted caramel sauce, it’s a great dessert, but is rather overshadowed by possibly the best dessert I’ve had the pleasure indulging in for sometime – homemade Italian meringue and raspberry sorbet takes the Lemon Tart dessert pleasure to a whole new level. Words can not explain how great it tastes, just one look at the picture should tell you all you need to know!

Now you’d be right to assume at this point that with all this splendour comes a hefty price tag and to some extent you’d be right. The starters for instance are on average £10 each but on the flip side Fish ‘n’ Chips start at just £12.95 and a burger is £14.95, and that’s incredible value given the level of service on offer at The 3 Acres!

I suppose the ultimate compliment is that my parents recently visited The 3 Acres with my grandma, an 87-year-old woman who at times can be incredibly difficult to please. She loved it! Stop her in the street if you dare and ask her where’s good to eat, but be prepared for a very long tale about the time she went to The 3 Acres at Emley Moor in Huddersfield!