Todmorden pub celebrates being named best in Calder Valley

A Calderdale pub is celebrating winning Craig Whittaker’s Calder Valley Pub and Restaurant of the Year competition.

By sarah fitton
Monday, 14th February 2022, 3:59 pm

The Honest John Bar and Coffee Tavern - run by Daren Derrick and Alison Baldwin - came top in the contest run by the MP for the Calder Valley.

“This is an amazing award and recognises the loyalty of our customers along with the hard work and dedication of our wonderful team,” said Daren.

“It really is a great honour, there are some pretty amazing pubs and restaurants in Calderdale and we were up against some serious competition so for our relatively new business to win is wonderful.”

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Daren Derrick and Alison Baldwin from The Honest John Bar and Coffee Tavern with MP for the Calder Valley Craig Whittaker

Mr Whittaker said: “I had been inspired to hold this competition whilst enjoying a pint and some excellent food in my local.

"Over the past few years, it has been extremely challenging for this sector and I thought it would be a good way generate interest and custom running up to the festive period.

"The large number of entries we received reflects the sheer volume of brilliant pubs and restaurants we have in the Calder Valley.

"So far, I have been delighted to present the awards to the winner, The Honest John Bar and Coffee Tavern in Todmorden, and two of the runners up, The Sun Inn in Rastrick and The Fleece Countryside Inn in Barkisland).

"I am looking forward to visiting the further two runners up, The Boothwood Inn in Ripponden and Café Thai in West Vale as soon as possible.

"The top five well and truly deserved to win, judging by the scores on the doors. However, I am incredibly grateful to all the pubs and restaurants in the Calder Valley and wish them all the best for the forthcoming year.”

The Honest John had been open for just over a year when the pandemic hit and they were plunged into the first lockdown.

Daren said: “We were not about to watch our dream wither away. We had established a good and loyal customer base along with a passionate, hard-working team. We had a responsibility to these people.”

They stepped up their plans to meet the Covid-19 challenge, investing heavily in the pub's garden area and fitting out a kitchen so they could offer customers a comfortable outside area along with introducing a full menu when they were allowed to reopen.

"We had always wanted to offer a Greek menu," said Daren. "We both love Greek food and it is definitely underrepresented in the local area."

The Honest John is now open seven days a week offering a food including breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as more than 40 gins and rums, nearly 100 cocktails, a range of draught beers, ales and ciders, and hot drinks.