This blog celebrates publicans, not brewers, and my admiration for the vast majority of them grows by the year. Despite the odd gripe about opening times.
I’m always impressed by landlords and staff who go the extra mile to promote their pub, like the Spoons bar manager who came over to ask how my Otter was, or the landlady in Darlington’s Olde Vic who pointedly tasted all the beers before serving them.
When you run a pub a mile from Malton, between the Moors and the Wolds, you need to stand out from the crowd to make folk stop en route to the great pubs of Scarborough.
The exterior of the Ham & Cheese in Scagglethorpe isn’t perhaps the most promising,
but the welcome at 11am was second to none. I peered round the door, aware that “11am opening” didn’t always mean beer served at that civilised time.
“Are you after a beer. Good weather for it !”
Whatever trauma was visited on them by the visit of BRAPA last year, they seemed to have got over it.
Clearly this is the Yorkshire of Bairstow, not of Boycott. Miserable codgers would have hated everything about this place.
The Ham & Cheese clearly survives on dining trade, and folk staying here to visit Flamingo Land, or as a base for exploring Wetwang. But I’ve rarely felt more welcome as a drinker in a dining pub.
I was surprised to see a couple of “ladies who lunch” tucking into their scampi at ten past eleven, but it’s nice to be able to break the rules.
The Theakston was a decent half first out the pumps (NBSS 3), though the Brass Castle glass had raised my hopes for a “Sunshine” for a moment.
I complimented the landlady on the decoration, and got the full building programme; redecoration of the yard and installation of the obligatory micro brewery.
Hopefully Arthur will be unaffected by the changes.
As I rose to leave, the phone rang, and I had the extra bonus of what sounded like the world’s fussiest people attempting to reconfirm their room booking, get painfully exact directions and give a painfully exact arrival time.
Some folk would have put the phone down and sighed, making a joke about the caller. Not this lady. She was pleased to have the business. That’s the attitude.