The Old Scalby Mills: Homemade pub food in a stunning location

Old Scalby Mills
Old Scalby Mills

Set in a beautiful location, the Old Scalby Mills must be one of the prettiest pubs in Scarborough, with one of the best views.

Arriving on a dark, wet and wintry night, whipped by the wind across the North Bay, the pub looked warm and welcoming, decorated with twinkling lights.

I’m usually a visitor to the Scalby Mills during the day, stopping off for a drink or something to eat after a bracing afternoon walk.

But with food being served from noon til 8pm every day and noon til 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays, I thought it would be good to go for a bite to eat on an evening.

The same menu is on all day and is fairly extensive, offering traditional pub food at reasonable prices.

One of the main things that appeals to me is that, unlike some pubs which use largely frozen food, the Scalby Mills has an emphasis on homemade dishes, with “proper” chips one of the highlights.

Customers are told at the top of the menu “Our food is prepared to order, so delays are inevitable during busy periods”, which is actually quite reassuring as far as I’m concerned.

I’d rather wait and be served a hearty, home-cooked meal than hear the “ping” of a microwave five minutes after ordering and be served up a glorified ready meal.

The menu doesn’t feature starters as such, but the pub 
always offers a homemade soup of the day for £3.50, plus nachos with cheese and jalapeno peppers for £4.50.

The choice of main courses is wide, with pub classics such as homemade chicken and leek pie (£7.95) and steak and ale pie (£7.95), both served with chips and mushy peas.

There were quite a few veggie options for me, including vegetarian pizza (£5.25), jacket potatoes (£4.15 - £5.50), or a roasted veg panini (£4.75).

I opted for homemade vegetable curry, served with boiled rice or chips, a poppadom and mango chutney (£6.65), with my partner choosing cheeseburger in a toasted bun, with lettuce, relish, mayo and onion, served with homemade chips (£5.90).

The pub was really quiet, with just us, a few people at the bar and one well behaved dog, so the wait wasn’t long at all on this occasion.

Our food, though simply presented, was tasty and good value for money, with the homemade chips being a particular treat.

The curry, advertised on the menu as “medium”, was actually quite hot, which was fine by me, and was packed with chunky root vegetables.

My partner’s burger also went down well, with nothing left on his plate at the end of the meal, apart from a few chips for me to pinch.

With room left for dessert, I was keen to try what the pub had to offer, but saw that the selection of sweets was only small compared to the rest of the menu.

With three ice cream sundae options on offer – toffee, strawberry or chocolate (all £3.25) – I opted for toffee and wasn’t 
really sure what to expect.

The ice cream was served in a plastic cone, topped with squirty cream, sprinkles and wafers. I think it might have been more aimed at youngsters, but it brought a smile to my face and was a tasty treat to finish off the meal. So all in all, decent food at affordable prices.


Food 7

Menu choice 7

Service 7

Decor 6

Ambience 6