This is why I love Yorkshire.
Yesterday we enjoyed an evening to rival anything East London could throw at you; a few drinks in an Shoreditch-esque micro-brewery followed by an incredible meal at a country inn well on its way to attaining a Michelin star…
All experienced in and around the small market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors. Just 20 miles north of York, this exquisite little town has always been known as a foodie’s retreat, but recently it’s gone up a notch.
A 5 Star Yorkshire Evening
We started the night in on-the-pulse Helmsley Brewery, a local brewery producing grown-up craft beers available to enjoy in its perfectly-pitched teeny bar.
As a qualified beer anorak, my husband vouches for the quality, and all have names evocative of the local landscape; Yorkshire Legend, Helmsley Honey, Howardian Gold…
Afterwards we headed out of town via Rievaulx Abbey to the tiny little hamlet of Scawton. Not much more than a handful of houses and farms gathered around a hillside and home to the Hare Inn. Billed as a 13th Century Inn with a 21st Century restaurant, the chocolate box exterior gives way to a romantic candle-lit bar with a cosy wood-burner at its heart.
We were given a warm welcome by Liz the owner and led into an eclectic little waiting room for drinks and menu pondering.
I loved the fact that you are presented with the choice of two taster menus, one with 6 courses and a larger version of the same menu with an extra 2 courses. Wine pairing is offered too if you’re lucky enough not to be driving.
Once decided we made our way into the restaurant, with only 8 tables its an intimate space somewhere between elegant and rustic. And the food. Oh my! I’d heard the food was good here but we were wholly unprepared. From the amuse bouche to the deconstructed Black Forest pudding, every course had us reveling in delight.
My personal favourite was the Dexter beef. Sourced from a farm on Sutton Bank less than 2 miles away it was served tartar with macademia, smoked oil, bone marrow and celeriac – heaven on a plate.
We had a nice chat with Liz before we left and it was heart-warming to hear how passionate she and chef hubby Paul are about the restaurant and the food they serve. Long may it continue, this is a restaurant of serious quality, all wrapped up in a beautiful period building in the North York Moors.
Why bother with the noise and hassle of the city when you can dine like this in rural North Yorkshire…