Golden Lion, Osmotherley
In all honesty, the Golden Lion should have been listed in Squidbeak since Day One. The setting by the market cross in the beautifully preserved village of Osmotherley makes it a perfect launch pad or docking station for a walk on the western fringes of the North York Moors.
The bar/dining area is a soothing blend of candlelight, mirrors and dark wood: intimate without being prissy. The beer pumps boast Timothy Taylor’s Best: enough said. And the food so simply delicious that it became our regular diversionary pit stop for more than a decade.
But then we had a below par meal. Nothing duff but had familiarity bred a little contempt on our part? Had it gone off the boil? Well, a recent visit was hugely reassuring. An old favourite of whole roast poussin with rosemary, garlic and chips was just as best remembered, full on and terrific value at £13.95. For the same money their own-made chicken Kiev packs in even more garlic. The clam linguine of fond memory had slipped off the menu but there was steak and kidney with suet crust, mashed potato and red cabbage – filling, robust and without an ounce of pretension. It was like making up with a best friend over a tiff that was too silly to remember how it started.