We picked the Goathland establishment for two reasons – firstly, we had not been for many years and, secondly, we liked the look of the menu on the well-presented website.
The Saturday teatime slot fitted in well around other social arrangements, not least sparing me from listening to radio coverage of my football team’s latest moment of averageness (and that’s being polite). You know when the multi-millionaire players are being upstaged by their charismatic manager’s post-match press conferences, then there is a bit of work to be done.
The first thing to point out is the car park outside the hotel is poorly lit, and folks with worse eyesight than mine may find it a wee challenge reversing into one of the spaces in the pitch black – something which could be easily addressed.
A table had been reserved for us in the main bar, as requested, but the attentive staff gave us the option of moving to the smaller room next door as we would otherwise have been pretty hemmed in by a large party of people; this worked much better for us and gave us space to relax.
We ordered drinks and our menu choices at the bar and the kitchen staff did not hang around. The starters – an artisan bread board with olive oil and balsamic and mozzarella and chorizo balls, deep fried in breadcrumbs with tomato and chilli jam – were decent choices.
My son, who was less of a fussy eater as a toddler, was quite content with his ham, egg, chips and salad from the kid’s menu. As is increasingly the trend these days, kids’ portions are not far short of adult portions and a great alternative for those with lesser appetities and tightwads.
To describe the chips as chunky would have been a bit like describing the North Pole as chilly. They were huge!
The wife was also blown away by the enormity of the chicken Kiev (£13.95) which was stuffed with parmesan, lemon and pancetta garlic butter, with parsley olive oil mash and veg (cauliflower cheese, broccoli and red cabbage).
My decision to have the pork cutlet (£15.95) was swayed chiefly by all the fantastic things that accompanied it – delicious creamed cabbage with a bacon and black pudding crumble (black pudding is a superfood nowadays,you know) and a soft potato fondant with the lightest hint of apple. I loved the different flavours going on and that too came with veg.
As well as the decent variety on the bar menu, where vegetarians are well catered for, specials on the evening included broccoli and Stilton soup, and a seafood pasta with white wine and garlic butter, baby spinach, poached egg croutons and lemon oil. There is a separate a la carte menu too which is pricier but still offers a great choice.
All in all, we were impressed by the service and standard of food and would definitely recommend a visit.
I’m just hoping for the hotel’s sake that the tall, ignorant man at the bar who twice refused to move to let my heavily pregnant other half past is not a regular, as that type of arrogant rudeness could easily put people off returning.
Overall rating: 7