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After the stunning weather over the bank holiday weekend things have returned to normal here in the Pennines with the onset of low cloud and rain this afternoon. It’s such a shame as this morning was beautiful.

As I’d been away most of last week the pair of us decided to be home birds over the weekend, staying in the local area. Not that that’s a hardship as there’s some beautiful walks around the Calder valley. On Saturday we met up with a couple of friends in Sowerby Bridge for a night out and a catch-up. As the weather was so good we sat outside the recently refurbished Moorings pub by the canal. Whilst the weather was stunning the service was less than stellar. A particular hate of mine is bar staff who can’t (or won’t) keep track of customers, never look up or make eye-contact, so simply ask ‘who’s next’? – leaving it to customers to organise themselves which is OK(ish) when it’s not a scrum and the place isn’t full of drunks, but it doesn’t make for a great atmosphere. As it was it took ages to get served because of the young staff being so disorganised. It won’t encourage any of us to return.

The next part of our evening more than made up for it. We’ve often eaten at the Café Thai restaurant in nearby West Vale, which we discovered when it opened in a tiny corner shop back in 2011. Now it’s moved to bigger, swankier premises but the food matches the excellent standard they set in the early days. Recently they’ve expanded again by opening a separate restaurant upstairs which serves Thai tapas. It’s a concept that I wasn’t sure about but I have to say it really works – and the food was very good indeed. We’ve always enjoyed sharing dishes, so the tapas format works really well for us. We ordered two dishes each. I plumped for spicy raw mango salad with king
prawns and cashew nuts plus steamed mussels with Thai basil, served with a spicy seafood sauce, with chilli egg fried rice as a side order. Every dish was gorgeous – including the rice, which we all raved about! The food was beautifully presented too, as you can see from these pictures.


The steamed mussels with Thai basil

Here’s Dawn’s choice, spicy raw mango salad with king prawns and cashew nuts.

20180505_190855 Our friends, Froso and Richard ordered the dish on the right, Steamed dumplings with minced pork, prawn and water chestnut, whilst I ordered the left-hand dish, Stir fried minced pork with hot yellow curry paste (Krua Kling, from Southern Thailand). The final dish in the picture is the bowl of rice.20180505_190813

This is another dish ordered by our friends, Deep fried corn cake with crab meat.


I hope that whets your appetite! As you can see from the pictures, the food’s well presented and it tastes just as good as it looks. The meal was a great start to what was to be a lovely bank holiday.

On the Sunday we decided to enjoy the sunshine and work off the food with a long walk from home, through the Calder valley and up to Norland Moor to end up at one of our favourite pubs, which was having a bank holiday hog roast. We began by walking along our local canal, the Salter and Hebble navigation through to Copley, encountering this little critter on the way.

DGcrop 295561. Red eared Terrapin. Calder and Hebble Navigation. Copley. West Yorkshire. 6.5.18

I’m informed that it’s a Red-eared Terrapin. Apparently they became a ‘thing’ thanks to the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cartoon and films, but like most pet fads, as soon as people got bored, they were let loose into the wild. I’ve seen lots of animals along the canal before (deer, mink, and all sorts of birds) but this is the first time I’ve spotted a Terrapin!

Leaving the canal we headed through West Vale and climbed up to the ridge high above Copley which affords excellent views over the valley, as you can see from this picture.


You can see the 23 arch Copley viaduct which carries the railway from Manchester to Halifax. Built in 1851 it’s a grade 2 listed structure. In the background’s the Wainhouse Tower. Skirting the edge of the woodland we walked on to Norland Moor, the highest point of which is 932ft above sea level. Its 250 acres of heather moorland’s a popular place with dog-walkers and others. It’s a delightful place in summer but an endurance test in winter when the wind and rain sweeps across at gale force as there’s nothing to stand in its way but you!



Norland Moor looking East



Looking down over Sowerby Bridge and along the Calder Valley heading West from Norland Moor. 



The rugged terrain of the moor with Sowerby Bridge in the distance. 

By now our final destination was close at hand. The Moorcock Inn sits at the edge of the moor. It’s a solid, two storey building that’s been a haven to many a walker over the years. It’s undergone several incarnations in the past few years and at one point looked like it was in danger of closing, but the new tenants have transformed the place.

(more shortly)…