Andrew and Jacquie Pern took over this pretty thatched pub in 1996 and changed the Yorkshire restaurant scene for good. What they created at the Star Inn in this picturesque village has influenced any number of gastropubs in Yorkshire and beyond.
Jacquie designed the lovely interior that glowed with firelight and polished oak under the thatch and Andrew cooked like a dream, great gutsy dishes of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, pigeon pie, venison haunch with parsnip puree, turbot with truffled mash, apple tart and blackcurrent ice cream or hot chocolate fondue with marshmallows and fruit.
In the years that followed the Star expanded with hyper-luxurious bedrooms, a fancy corner shop and though still an avid advocate of Yorkshire produce Pern’s dishes became progressively more refined - ‘modern Yorkshire’ he called it.
We loved it then and we love it still. That’s why it’s one of our Top Ten. The Sand Hutton asparagus with aged York ham, the local belly pork with village duck egg, the Kilburn beef and Yorkshire pudding, the Scarborough Woof with marsh samphire and brown shrimps, the ginger parkin with rhubarb ripple ice cream, the inspired marriage of black pudding and foie gras – Pern’s signature and the title of his first book.
The Michelin man loved it too. In 2002 he awarded a star to the Star Inn, only the second pub in England to receive one, and it leapt in the firmament. A table in the little beamed dining room became harder to secure than ever – though the bar remains as always - first come first served. Saturday night dinner involved booking months ahead. No restaurant wants to turn customers away and so they expanded again – and big time. A brand new kitchen, a posh pin-striped ultra modern dining room gleaming with metropolitan cool and, bless us, even a chef’s table and a glorious kitchen garden.
In 2011 after a tough year personally and professionally the Michelin inspector took away the star but Squidbeak never stopped liking the Star and happily, back on track Andrew Pern earned back the star in 2014 and has held on to it ever since.
In 2014 he opened the Star Inn the City and in 2016 Mr P's Curious Tavern. With a seafood shack on Whitby seafront and plans to open a seafood restaurant on Whitby harbour in November Pernshire is spreading across north Yorkshire. Spreading himself too thin? We don't think so. For as long as Andrew Pern retains his best virtues and instincts of seeking out the very best Yorkshire produce and putting them together with terrific verve and flair, we'll keep on visiting all his establishments.
We still like the Star best at lunchtime in the old dark oak bar with its polished brasses and candlelight while squashing some of the best food in England onto a little, wonky pub table beside the Yorkshire range.
Harome, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5JETel 01439 770397
Review by Jill, 13 November 2011blog comments powered by Disqus