Our jobs take us all over Yorkshire and into a lot of pubs. I know, it's tough, but someone's got to do it. At the fag end of a filthy lunchtime, with flood water rising around me and miles still to travel, I almost didn't bother with The Buck. Perhaps it was the pelting rain and raging wind, but this village-centre pub just didn't look inviting. The 80's Roadhouse vibe (red brick, orange PVC windows) didn't help but in the end I thought oh well, you're here now. Boy am I glad I made the effort. How many more times do I have to learn that 'book by its cover' maxim?
Inside, it's VAST though somehow cosy, mainly due to roaring fires and one of the warmest welcomes you'll ever be on the receiving end of. Twenty-something couple Matthew Roath and Sammy Clark took the reins late November 2012 and have turned a 'nicotine drenched' (Sammy's words) old boozer into somewhere you actually want to spend time. In the bar, a leather sofa in front of a coal fire and a couple of wing chairs in the corner, a standard lamp and frilly shade behind them. Beams and exposed stone walls give a nod to its age, though tan leather bucket chairs bring it up to date. Sammy's collected some vintage bits and pieces; travel trunks (one of which doubles as a table) old gramophones and er a cased trumpet?
Matthew's in the kitchen (ex-Bay Horse at Hurworth and 2xM star Midsummer House in Cambridge) and his menu is breathtaking, full of interest. Two courses for 12.95 features the likes of pulled pork hash cake, poached egg, celeriac remoulade (which arrives with squares of homemade black pudding) and slow cooked local chicken leg in stout, herby dumplings & roasted roots. Another 3 quid will buy you brandy & vanilla rice pudding with spiced compote. I chose another starter off the a la carte; Maunby confit rabbit and smoked artichoke risotto - a terrific dish, deep flavours, perfect for this kind of day and a complete steal at 6 quid. Mains bring the likes of slow cooked Thirsk lamb shank, Gressingham duck breast with confit duck leg and Haggis faggot .. and on and on and I have to go back and work my way through it.
Two youngsters with talent, a plan, endless energy and a pub to fill. My advice? Blinkers on whilst you get inside - aaaand relax. You're in safe hands.
Maunby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 4HDTel 01845 587777
Review by Mandy, 17 February 2014blog comments powered by Disqus