At this time of year you can be forgiven for thinking that winter will never end. At which point I thought it was time to nurse those winter blues with a trip to the Fox and Hounds Country Inn at Sinnington for some comfort and cheer.
On an evening in darkest January, the welcome glow of the inn beckoned, and upon entering it felt like we had stepped into the heart of the village. We settled in the bar’s lounge area near the fire where impressive bundles of dried hops were strung along the jagged oak beams, and archaic farming tools surrounded the large fireplace. This beautiful 18th century coaching inn has retained its old country charm but with a 21st century feel.
After our drinks order had been taken we were asked if we would like a jug of iced water to accompany the meal – a nice touch.
There were four of us dining, and we selected food from the early evening supper menu (5.30pm-6.30pm). One member of my family is gluten intolerant, and although the inn offers gluten and dairy free menus, they weren’t needed as there was already a suitable option available.
Sinnington is the ideal rural location lucky enough to have its pick of local suppliers, and the menu reflected the range of fresh seasonal produce readily available.
On this rare occasion we skipped the starters – I think everyone was wanting to leave room for dessert – so I opted for a pot of olives (£2.95) to put me on until my main course arrived. As I was the only one who liked olives I didn’t have to share any, which was just as well, as these were delicious.
We ordered two chargrilled minute steaks (£12.95). Both steaks were tender and full of flavour, and accompanied by crisp home-made fries and onion rings. The meal also came with a little pot of pepper sauce. This received a resounding thumbs up.
A large mushroom and cheese omelette with a fresh salad and fries also went down well (£10.95). The classic omelette, made with eggs from Brown’s of Scarborough, was golden yellow and melted cheese oozed from the edges.
I ordered poached smoked haddock with a cheddar and mustard glaze, mash and creamed leeks (£10.95). This dish was perfect, the smoky flavour of the fish was broken by the spice of the mustard seeds. It was full of flavour and beautifully presented.
Browsing the ample pudding menu I selected a simple dessert of two scoops of home-made chocolate and Baileys ice cream. When it arrived I was impressed to find that it was served on a chilled dish to prevent it from melting.
One of my party ordered a warm pear and almond tart, which came with an individual jug of custard and little pools of raspberry coulis.
My partner and his mum each ordered a toffee and banana parfait complete with a slice of caramelised banana and a chunk of home-made cinder toffee. It was rich and creamy and garnished with a crunchy chocolate crumble.
The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyable and the staff were very attentive. It was lovely to be waited on in such comfortable surroundings. A perfect remedy for the new year.
Rating: 8 out of 10