Gastro Pubs in Yorkshire - my personal top ten
Well here is is folks, the list of my favourite Gastro Pubs in Yorkshire - or maybe
that's gastropubs, I'm not really sure which is correct. If you've
read the rest of the site you may know that I much prefer honest plain cooked pub
food, but once in a while you have to push the boat out, so here's my gastropub list. Some
are well known, some are virtually unknown, but all have pleased me immensely. I'm
conscious that there's very few in South Yorkshire, so if anyone knows of any good
me know and I'll check them out. Likewise, if you have any comments, just fill in
the comments form at the bottom of the page.
1. The Nags Head at Pickhill
This is a real gem, hidden away at Pickhill near Thirsk, it serves amazing
food, beautifully kept beer and has good accommodation. Ring or checkout the website
for details of special offers, bargain breaks and the like. The food is not cheap,
but it's exquisite. The dining room is rustic and charming, or you can eat in either
if you prefer. On a weekend, booking is essential. This place was responsible for
the finest meal I have eaten this millennium and at the moment is
comfortably top of my list.
2. The Abbey Inn (Byland)
Located opposite Byland Abbey near Ampleforth. This gastropub is unique in being the only
inn owned by English Heritage. Serves quite traditional food done in the Gastro
Pub style - local fresh ingredients plainly cooked. The food is fairly priced, while
the accommodation is both stunning and stunningly expensive to boot.
I haven't been
since it was taken over, so it's here on its historic reputation
3. The Angel, Hetton
Often quoted as Yorkshire's best gastro pub, it's certainly well up there. Located
halfway between Skipton and Grassington it's a bit tucked away but well worth seeking
out. I like the way they seem to care about the vegetarian dishes which so many
places don't. If you aren't after a formal meal the brasserie has an extensive top-notch
menu and is very
4. The Star at Harome
In 2006 it won Egon Ronay Gastropub of the year, a michelin star, Northern Chef
of the Year and a "Taste of Yorkshire" award. Who could want for more. As the awards
suggest it's excellent, not cheap, and I thought just a little too formal for a
gastropub. Rather limited vegetarian choice as well. Follows the usual formula of
top quality local ingredients cooked to perfection. Located near Helmsley
which is a great place to spend a weekend.
5. The White Swan at Aberford
An old coaching inn near the A1 between Leeds and York. Not exactly a gastropub
and Egon Ronay would probably have a heart attack at the mere thought of it. This
place is famed for the huge menu and the massive portions. The menu covers just
about every national cuisine you can imagine, so how the kitchen staff cope is a
mystery to me. As I said, the portions are obscenely large; if you order a curry
it'll probably come with rice and chips and poppadoms. There's no booking and the
place is big, but even so it gets very full very quickly. Prices are cheap and the
veg is always uninspiring
6. The West Riding, Dewsbury
There had to be something good about Dewsbury, and here it is. The West Riding is
unique. It's a converted waiting room on Platform 2 of the railway station and they
serve what they want when they want. Food is available Monday to Friday lunchtime
12 to 3, and it's rustic and delicious. On an evening there might be nothing or
it might be a pie night or a curry night. Cheap as chips and the beer is superb. And best of all,
there's no excuse not to drive.
7. The General Tarleton at Ferrensby
Top of the range gastropub near Knaresborough. The chef was for many years
at the Angel at Hetton and is supremely talented. Have to say I found the place
overformal and vegetarian choice was very limited. They're good, they know it and
have the attitude and the prices to go with it. Some folk like that, I didn't. Uniquely
you can book online. I do
like to see a nice use of technology, so when are we going to see the first chefcam!
But then, if they were being watched how would chefs' test if the oil in the deep fat fryer was hot enough? If you really
want to know a trade secret - the answer is "spit in it".
8. The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill
Tucked away in Nidderdale, the Yorke Arms is in the most stunningly beautiful location
in the little village of Ramsgill. It's absolutely top-notch dining, and while it's
not really a gastropub at all, it's included here because it looks like one and
it has a pub name. Confusing or what.
It has a michelin star and the food is exactly what you'd expect; refined, innovative
and priced to match. A classy joint as evidenced
by the Jags, Mercs and chelsea tractors that are normally parked outside.
9. The Rose & Crown, Sutton-on-the-Forest
Located a few miles North of York on the B1363, this gastropub has had a great reputation
for many years. It's not aiming for the very top end of the market, so prices are
reasonable for really good food. In good weather there's a really nice garden to
sit out in. Ideal for a family meal.
10. The Blue Lion at East Witton
Located in the heart of Wensleydale near Castle Bolton and Middleham, this is just
totally atmospheric, and for a romantic meal takes quite some beating. The
food is refined without being pretentious and matches the atmosphere beautifully.
I'd combine it with a stay in Middleham in a room overlooking the square where you're
woken by the clatter of hooves on cobbles as strings of racehorses are taken up
to the gallops on the moors.
11. Others recommended in the comments