Turning up at the Bryherstones Country Inn, you will refreshingly find that it is just that.
On a back road between Whitby and Scarborough via Ravenscar, if you didn’t know it was there you wouldn’t know and you have to take in some narrow winding back roads to get there.
When we arrived it was a dark night, it had been raining and wild winds had battered the coast over that weekend.
The pub dates back years and years and as the name suggests you can imagine the inn would have been a homely retreat all those years ago.
And today was no exception with twinkling fairy lights, a fire and a warm welcome.
The pub was busy for a Sunday night which is usually a good sign and after being served with our drinks we were in no rush so looked over the menu and the specials board while sitting at the bar.
Landlord Paul Shipley was behind the bar and told us it was a totally brewery-independent run business which gave them the freedom to buy in and sell pretty much what they like.
For example, the meat is from the renowned Radford’s Butchers in Sleights, the fish is supplied by Dennis Crooks of Whitby and the beer is proper Yorkshire stuff such as Timothy Taylor’s and Theakston’s.
Paul is everything you want a pub landlord to be – chatty, friendly and obviously proud of his pub.
It is a nice change when so many pubs these days are soulless chains with the same menu day in day out and no idea who is coming or going.
You get the feeling this is a proper local, a proper country pub with proper beer and proper food.
The menu has the pub staples but with a few twists here and there.
Starters included prawn cocktail, oak smoked salmon with brown bread and butter, or chicken pate, but we opted to share one from the specials board which was camembert wrapped in parma ham.
For the main course we were trying to choose from lasagne, Radford’s thick cut gammon steak, steak pie or oven baked salmon fillet.
Again we decided to take advantage of the specials board with seabass fillet and shrimp and drunk duck pot and sauteed potatoes.
When the food arrived it was a decent wedge of cheese and the ham worked well with it and the cranberry sauce.
Both mains were obviously homemade and individually cooked. The fish was fresh and tasty and the duck literally flaked off the fork; it was cooked to perfection.
Mixed with proper home-made chips and loads of veg with a red wine gravy, it reminded me of a tea my grandparents would have made.
We probably didn’t really need a dessert but the temptation was too much to resist and we opted for lime cheesecake and chocolate brownie.
While they were home-made and there were not rations when it came to cutting the slices, they were perhaps lacking a bit of flavour, but that is just to taste.
Indeed, the food was good but it was the whole atmopshere of the place that made it, with its stone walls, snug rooms and homely demeanour.
A delight of a place to find and we would go back again.