Bruce Arms West Tanfield

The Bruce Arms, a huge, handsome stone built Yorkshire pub on a cross roads in picture-perfect Tanfield has had a patchy past; when Hugh Carruthers rescued it a year ago it had been abandoned and empty for months. And we all know how quickly a neglected building can go to the dogs. But hurrah! New life has been breathed into it, and what life. Hugh (ex sous-chef to Frances Atkins at the M-starred Yorke Arms in Nidderdale) has quite an eye for the good stuff, and whilst open fires, flagged floors and rough plaster walls remain, he’s added a couple of big squishy sofas and a new bar.

Hugh’s got a very agreeable cheeriness which warms you up on the chilliest November day, with a menu to match. Two courses for a tenner at lunchtime makes perfect economic sense at the mo, and very good looking it is too; grilled sardines with Caesar salad followed by loin of pork, mash, spring greens and mustard will do nicely, ta. Elsewhere, kitsch classics like boiled beef and carrots and chicken in a basket, a dish that sent me spinning back to the gastronomically challenged 80’s, though these days it’s free range, moist, flavoursome and er edible.

As you’d expect from his pedigree, Hugh’s observance of top provenance shines through; meat comes from Swarbricks in Ripon, veg and leaves from his own kitchen garden out back, coffee from Atkinsons of Lancaster. Upstairs, three charming bedrooms with good linen, fat mattresses and enough quirk to save them from corporate blahness.

Bruce Arms

West Tanfield, North Yorkshire, HG4 5JJ 

Tel 01677 470325

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Type: Gastropub

Price guide

2 out of 5

Cuisine type: Modern British

Part of Eat North Yorkshire

Review by Mandy, 4 November 2011

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