The Cayley Arms, Allerston: Traditional fare at old fashioned country pub

The Cayley Arms, Allerston 143504
The Cayley Arms, Allerston 143504

After driving past the Cayley Arms countless times over the years on the way to and from Pickering, I decided it was time to take a look inside.

The pub is tucked away in a dip on the A170 and looks like any other country pub from the road.

But we were surprised to find a lovely seating area at the back of the pub, which can be reached across a little bridge over a stream from the large car park.

With it being a wet Saturday evening, we were keen to get inside, but we both said the beer garden would be a great spot for a drink and something to eat on a sunny afternoon.

We had booked beforehand and were shown to our table in the dining room, which has a traditional feel, in keeping with the rest of the pub.

This is a proper country pub, not a new-style gastro pub, and the higgledy-piggledy layout and decor were indicators of that fact.

Our table, tucked next to a pillar near double doors, was a bit small and felt a bit in the way as the room filled up with other diners.

But this was made up for by the staff, who were friendly and attentive throughout the night. There were a couple of large groups in for dinner, but we were by no means forgotten about and were well looked after.

We had a quick look at the choice of starters, which included prawn cocktail (£4.95), potato and leek rostis topped with a fried egg (£4.50), and home-made soup (£4.50), all served with warm home-made bread and butter.

Though they sounded tempting, we decided to go straight to the mains, which included home-made lasagne with chips and salad (£9.50), sea bass and roasted pepper strips served on mash with a wine, chive and cream sauce (£13.50), twice-baked belly pork with mash and vegetables (£9.50) and a double bacon and cheese burger with chips and onion rings (£8.25).

The menu, packed with pub classics such as haddock and chips, gammon steak and steak and ale pie, was ample, if not extensive.

But as a veggie, my choices were limited to aubergine and mozzarella bake, vegetarian all-day breakfast or a salad. When I asked the waiter about other options, he said they could do veggie sausages and mash or a veggie burger.

I ordered the aubergine bake (£8.95) which came with chips and salad. It was a simple dish and could have done with more cheese, but it was tasty and home-made.

My mum opted for the lasagne, which she enjoyed and said was very filling, with plenty of layers of pasta.

The dessert selection, all priced at £4.50, featured sherry trifle, a honeycomb parfait and lemon and lime mousse.

We opted for a chocolate and cherry roulade and a warm chocolate fudge cake, both served with ice cream.

It didn’t state whether they were home-made and I suspect they weren’t – though I may be wrong. We weren’t blown away, but, saying that, we did polish them off. With the mains being home-made, I just think we had higher hopes for the dessert.

The pub serves food Tuesdays to Thursdays 6pm to 8pm and Fridays/Saturdays 6pm to 8.30pm. Sunday lunch is from noon to 3pm.

Ratings out of 10: Food 7; menu choice 7; service 8; decor 6; ambience 7; overall 7.