After eating what was easily the best meal out in the last 12 months, I’ve just found my new favourite restaurant, The Star Inn in Harome, North Yorkshire.
After a warm welcome, we started off with a drink in the warm oak-beamed, thatched bar at one end of the building, trying to decide over the range of choices in the Spring Menu and on the specials listed on the blackboard. We then moved to a large table in the more contemporary silver, grey and red dining room.
Not unusually, we both decided to have the same starter and main course, and shared the cheese and the two puddings.
A Taste of Yorkshire – Delicacies of land and sea. Duncombe Park roe deer, air dried York ham, Yorkshire pudding, smoked trout, lobster bisque.
Steamed Suet Pudding of “Shaw Moor” shot hare with honeyed parsnip puree, braised red wine salsify, fois gras fritter and jugged hare sauce.
Cheese course – 4 British cheeses
Lemon Yorkshire crowdie cheesecake, lemon curd, lemon sorbet, pink grapefruit.
Caramelised rice pudding with sherried raisins
The chef, Andrew Pern (who we could see through the swing doors into the kitchen) is passionate about locally sourced and seasonal food. The ingredients were superb and were simply treated. For example, the Taste of Yorkshire starter simply presented and with no fancy treatment, it let the ingredients speak for themselves. The suet pudding of hare was straightforward but was packed full of flavour. The desserts were fantastic, and generously portioned.
The service was excellent – the waiting staff were friendly and relaxed and able to tell us quite a lot about the food, and were both helpful and unobtrusive.
Our meal was part of our 2-night short break in Yorkshire. We stayed at The Lodge, one of the Black Eagle Cottages rented out by The Star. This thatched cottage was cosy with warm log fires in both the kitchen and bedroom, and The Star provided all the ingredients needed for a great breakfast – bacon, sausages, black pudding, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bread, preserves, yoghurt, cereal. We got up late, ate what we want for breakfast, and we always had the cottage to come back to, to light the fire and slob with books.
The good, but not as good bit…
As the Star was closed on Sunday evening, we ate dinner in their sister restaurant in Harome, The Pheasant Hotel, located in old farm buildings right next to the village duck pond.
The food was good, but wasn’t nearly as good as The Star. The dishes were a bit fancier and appeared to be trying a bit too hard, and there were a few mistakes (the pea and ginger beer soup had the consistency of washing up water and didn’t pack that much of a flavour; the pigeon breast starter was cold). The Pheasant service was also significantly slower – we spent a lot of time wondering where our next course had gone – and consequently drank quite a lot more water. The food was OK but lacked the spark that The Star gave. And significantly was only £20 cheaper.
Until next time
We will certainly go back to The Star – it’s well worth the 4-hour drive from Glasgow. But until then, we’ve bought the book and look forward to trying a few of the Pern-goodies over the next few months, although I’m not sure the mock suede book cover will remain pristine in our kitchen!