Harome YO62 5JE 01439 770 397
Pretty much everyone will point you towards the Star at Harome if you tell them you're looking for a proper country pub with great food. The old thatched inn dates back to the fourteenth century and certainly looks the part, with its quaint village setting and vintage interior of low beams, wood panelling and rough plastered walls – in the restaurant there are both 'old' and 'new' dining rooms, as well as seats outside on the terrace and even in the kitchen garden. Chef and owner Andrew Pern roots his seasonally changing menus firmly in North Yorkshire, where he grew up, from Scarborough-caught fish with marsh samphire and brown shrimps to estate game and Yorkshire-sourced lamb, pork and beef, all enhanced by homemade pestos, sauces and butters from their own herbs and locally grown veg. It's modern Yorkshire cooking at its best, but it's relaxed and fancy-free – so the same menu is available in bar or restaurant, and bar tables are first-come-first-served (though you're best to book for the restaurant). If roast monkfish tail with mature ham, langoustine gravy and deep-fried devilled whitebait seems like too much of a good thing, there's a gourmet snack lunch menu too, ranging from Yorkshire crisps and honey-baked ham to home-smoked pork Scotch eggs. The Star also claims the UK's first "Chef's Table" in a pub, with private dining for eight right in the heart of the gastro-action. There's lodge accommodation just across the road, plus the Star Inn Corner Shop – for Star-Inn-branded chutneys, relishes and the like – while Helmsley is just a couple of miles away, with its delis, food shops and cafes.
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