The Crown at Hutton-le-Hole is anything but a sleepy village pub. Opting to go for an early evening meal one Saturday, we discovered that this charming watering hole is a social hive of activity, not to mention a prime location for visitors winding their way up to the North York Moors.
Walking straight into the bustling bar, there were locals enjoying a teatime drink, cyclists and walkers making a pit stop for refreshment, family and friends having a catch-up over food, and a friendly dog having a bit of a wander about the place. It was a lovely atmosphere with lots of laughter and chatter.
Once drinks were ordered we made our way to our reserved table located in the busy bar area.
I rarely eat a first course (usually so I can leave room for dessert) although they did sound tempting – a trio of smoked fish with beetroot mayo, a black pudding, potato and bacon timbale, and deep fried whitebait to name but a few.
Browsing the ample menu I thought I would opt for something beyond the usual pub cuisine. I chose the slow roasted Yorkshire belly pork, accompanied by a black pudding croquette, fondant potato, red cabbage and a creamy cider and mustard reduction. It was outstanding! The two deep wedges of tender, succulent belly pork were topped with lovely thick, crispy crackling. I wasn’t disappointed with the black pudding croquette either. It was coated in golden breadcrumbs, with a crisp yet light exterior and held its shape once broken into. The mustard and cider reduction had a sweet taste to it yet it didn’t overpower the dish. Along with the spiced red cabbage, all the flavours complemented each other.
My partner opted for the 10z Yorkshire gammon steak, however, when it arrived he was presented with the 10oz prime Yorkshire 28 day sirloin steak. The waitress was apologetic and said she could either change the dish or we could have the steak for the same price as the gammon – there was no hesitation! The manager also came across to our table to apologise and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. There was no complaint from us.
The tender sirloin was indeed a prime piece of beef, seared perfectly on the outside with a nice pink middle. The onion rings were some of the biggest I had seen, accompanied by plenty of hand-cut chips, garden peas and sweet vine tomatoes.
Although we were stuffed we couldn’t leave without sampling the dessert menu. All desserts are £5.95 each, ranging from sticky toffee pudding to crème brulee.
My partner ordered Eton Mess and I fancied the local mixed ice cream.
Both desserts were presented beautifully, each boasting a large decorative chocolate garnish. The ice cream in the Eton Mess was strawberry flavour with lashings of fresh cream and chewy pieces of meringue topped with fresh strawberries. I had three scoops of home-made ice cream including velvety chocolate and creamy vanilla with a layer of crushed meringue buried underneath.
I would describe The Crown as a welcoming family friendly pub offering delicious home-cooked food with a generous helping of first-rate service.