Convivial inn with interesting décor in old-fashioned rooms, fine drinks and smashing food; comfortable bedrooms
The good pub guide review
Set within a lovely little village, this friendly 17th-c coaching inn is a good all-rounder, popular with both locals and visitors. The old-fashioned lounge bar has antique tables, seats and settles on flagstones and pictures and photographs on dark red walls; also, interesting satirical carvings in the panelling (Victorian copies of medieval pew ends), polished copper and brass and an enormous inglenook fireplace. The bottom bar contains an illustrated account of local history (some of it gruesome) dating from the 12th c, and a large framed print of the famous Durham Ox, which weighed 171 stone. The Burns Bar has a woodburning stove, exposed brickwork and large french windows that open on to a balcony. Drinks include Black Sheep Bitter, Timothy Taylors Boltmaker, York Guzzler and a guest on handpump, 20 wines by the glass, a dozen malt whiskies and interesting spirits including a locally made gin named for the pub; background and some live music and board games. In warm weather, head for the seats in the courtyard garden; there are views on three sides over the Vale of York, while on the fourth is a charming lookout to the medieval church on the hill ' supposedly the very hill up which the Grand Old Duke of York marched his men. Bedrooms, at the rear of the pub with newly built terraces or in renovated farm cottages (dogs allowed here), are well equipped and spacious, and breakfasts are very good. Another self-catering cottage sleeps six. The nearby A19 leads straight to a park & ride for York city centre.
The good pub guide food review
First class food includes lunchtime sandwiches, baked queen scallops with garlic and parsley butter and gruyère crust, harissa bean and butternut squash ragoût with new potatoes and greens, spicy pork belly with chilli, honey and sesame dressing on Asian salad, beef in ale pie with horseradish and suet scone dumpling, a seafood sharing platter, grilled pork chop with mustard mash, red cabbage and cider and apple gravy, and puddings such as warm banana, toffee and pecan pudding with cinnamon and vegan vanilla ice-cream and crêpes suzette; they also offer an early bird menu (not Saturday).