Darlington and Stockton Times
Reviewed by Bill Norrie, February 2007
A friendly country pub in the small village of Downholme near Richmond North Yorkshire. The pub is actually owned by the MoD since it and the village are located on MoD land.
There is a wide ranging and interesting menu, posted on a large blackboard in the cosy bar. Meal orders are taken in the bar and when starters are ready, you are called to the quiet and comfortable dining room, which adjoins the rear of the pub.
The service throughout the meal was efficient and the young girl waitresses were pleasant and ‘chatty’. Despite being quite busy in the dining room, waiting time was minimal.
Most meals are taken in the newish conservatory out the back, views across Her Majesty’s presently plagued dales, prints of same on the walls, greenery making constant insinuations and chairs so handsome that The Boss wondered if they’d miss one.
The Sunday lunch menu, sensibly short – a pound for every time THAT phrase has been used hereabouts – offered French onion soup, mussels (aforesaid), warm salad with smoked bacon and cheese and garlic mushrooms with cheese and bacon as starters’ orders.
The soup, dark if not satanic, unusual if not unpleasant, appeared to have seen little of the cheese which characterises such things; the mussels were delicious.
Her salmon with hollandaise sauce, our pork, were both abundant and excellent and (in the latter case) with proper gravy. Salmon £7.50, roasts, tremendous value, £4.95.
The Good Pub Guide
The views are magnificent from both the conservatory dining room and seats in the neat garden; there are also picnic-sets and benches on a lower level terrace and very pretty summer hanging baskets. The simply furnished, carpeted bar is down a few steps and has two smallish linked areas off the servery where they keep Timothy Taylors Landlord and Wensleydale Bitter on handpump, ten wines by the glass and ten malt whiskies. There are comfortable plush wall banquettes, a log fire in a neat fireplace, quite a collection of gleaming brass, a few small country pictures and drink advertisements on pinkish rough-plastered walls; background music and dominoes.