For years the Pheasant sat in the shadow of its bright shining neighbour the Star, then in 2008 its owner retired and the Pheasant was bagged by Star owners Andrew and Jacquie Pern with working partner and former head chef Peter Neville.
Together they pumped new life into a dated village inn and created a sophisticated hotel and restaurant. The public rooms have been juzshed up with tweed, tartan and the malt whisky flavours of the shooting lodge, no doubt to appeal to the gun parties heading for the North York Moors.
Best of all, after some early 'Squidbeakery', Peter Neville's cooking has settled into an excellent groove. Less gutsy, more refined than the Star, but with still the same commitment to seasonal and local produce, Neville's assured technique and his attention to detail, have made the Pheasant a very special place to eat whether it is the seven course tasting menu at £65 plus £40 of wines to match, the a la carte or the accessible Market Menu at £28.50.
Lunch can be as simple as soup and a sandwich, fish pie or sausage and mash or as sophisticated as the four course lunchtime tasting menu. At whatever level you eat, Neville's cooking rarely falters. Pea and mint soup and asparagus with morels started one memorable meal followed by belly pork unexpectedly but perfectly paired with langoustine. Neville likes to use bags of produce from the veg garden and is an enthusiastic hedgerow forager. Vegetarians, children and Sunday lunchers are also well looked after with their own menu.
Dine in the airy conservatory, the classic dining room or, best of all on a sunny day, the wisteria shaded terrace overlooking the duck pond, especially lovely for afternoon tea: sandwiches, cakes, scones with jam and cream - all or any combination served with tea, coffee, mulled wine or Champagne.
Themed events through the year include watercolour painting, flower arranging and popular jazz suppers with Jacquie Pern herself singing.
Mill Street, Harome, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5JGTel 01439 771241
Review by Jill, 20 August 2011blog comments powered by Disqus