The Star at Harome, North Yorkshire

If there’s one thing better than a pint of Black Sheep, it’s a pint of Black Sheep served in a cosy warm Yorkshire pub, after a long Sunday morning walk on the moors.

The Star at Harome is just such a warming and friendly establishment but with the added bonus of being a restaurant that serves game, fish and fine wines. Oh and it has won just about every “best gastro pub” award going including, at one point, a Michelin star. It’s grouse season and I might just be in heaven. I am going to pay a celestial price too, £111 (a Nelson) plus service is more than a trifle in this part of the world.

The Star at Harome

Seated in the impossibly twee bar with ragtime jazz and opera inconveniencing the eardrums, the menu reveals my favourite game bird served in British Standard style – game chips, bread sauce, water-cress, redcurrant jelly. It being Yorkshire, a big bowl of duck fat roast potatoes and a mixed veg pan are added to the table. As a resident of God’s own county, and having been here long enough to know that Tykes rate their food primarily on quantity, I had anticipated this and exercised my right not to order a starter.

Star bar! The Star at Harome

The game bird was a bit pissed off when I badgered her to chill my Fleurie (the cheapest Burgundy on the list was £54, which is a poor effort in grouse season) to drinking temperature. “I’ll put it in the fridge sir”, an ice bucket would be fine. But actually, erm, just rocks? Why is it so hard to get an ice bucket with a little aqua so it actually chills the wine?

The “young” grouse came without fuss although off the bone. I don’t think it was as well hung as one I ate at Le Café Anglais a couple of weeks ago. It was overcooked by comparison, and the duck fat roasties were not as crisp. But eating grouse looking out on the moor where it was shot adds a certain reverence and makes such preferences seem petty, especially when the shootist sat at the bar has just parked his Purdey near your table. And actually, grouse done medium has its own merits, especially in a rich gravy with whole tart redcurrants setting the saliva glands to ‘flush’.

A cheese board from the “British Isles” was extensive and impressive. Who needs French cheese? Cornish Yarg is always good in my experience, but a salty blue goat’s cheese by the name of Truckwell???? was my favourite of 4 random selections.

Fleurie, Domaine de la Madone 2009

The 2009 Fleurie La Madone, a pretty rich £32.95 by the way, was a bit jammy, but of the redcurrant variety so went perfectly with the game. Not well matched to cheese though, so a glass of Austrian Trockenbeerenauslese (something the waiter was surprised I could pronounce) at £12.50, was the honey to the bee. Simply liquefied nectar.

A strange mix of genuine local farmers ordering a swift G &T on the way home, local ‘Lords’ desperately trying to dress in country house style, but looking more like they came from Del Boy’s manor, combined with random tourists, and a 60 year old bloke from Hampshire with his Dad, make for an eclectic but enjoyable craic. Yorkshire is a bit like France. You might not like the people but you have to love the way of life and this attracts outsiders by the coach load.

The Star at Harome is everything that’s good about Yorkshire, without the people. How did the South find out about this place?

The Star at Harome
Near Helmsley
North Yorkshire
YO62 5JE

T: +44 1439 770397

2 Responses to “The Star at Harome, North Yorkshire”

  1. Manners Says:

    You can keep it.

    And I have been a patron.

    Tha last best thing to come out of Yorkshire was Boycott.

  2. WinedayUK Says:

    Haven’t actually visited Yorkshire for some time but this is just the sort of place I’d want to track down there next time. Not sure about “God’s own country” though – surely that’s the Scottish Highlands – or Provence !

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