Day 3 of my Grand Tour round North Yorkshire, and we’re in sight of Castle Howard., ancestral home of top pub ticker Si BRAPA Everitt (possibly) and only a few miles from the home of Bad Kitty. Of course, Brass Castle once again wasn’t open, which is why it’s in the Beer Guide.


The Howardian Hills were at their best as I entered Crayke (pronounced craic) on the last sunny day of Spring.


Hilly climbs, cobbled streets, twitching curtains; all you want from an English village,

Busy High Street

That and a “Proper Pub Sign” and a window full of Michelin stickers to entice you and your £50 lunch budget into the village gastropub for Thursday lunch.

Great pub sign

Outside the Durham Ox the refreshment centre for our canine friends seems to have a higher ABV offering that the Dorset pub that so entertained Simon and I recently.

Hopefully water as two year old Pippin is dire

Inside the beer choice was slightly better than that for dogs, but only just.

Possibly the same barrel of Guzzler last seen in mid Wales

This is certainly a lovely dining pub.  When we brought my parents to stay at Terrington in 1995 (you remember, the time Mrs RM drank two pints of Old Peculier in 20 minutes) we thought the Duck a ‘l’ Orange* round here as good as anything we’d had in England.

Is that man drinking a pint ?  I think he is

They’ve even provided a picture of the award-winning chef so you can see how happy and diverse he is.  And people think Mark Crilley is a child prodigy.

The Rainbow Chef – by Harrison . 10/10

But if you don’t want to eat, here’s your table;

Chess boards for tables

I’m scared of dogs and I’m scared of chess boards, so I stood at the bar with my half of Boltmaker.

A great pumpclip

But this isn’t a place for barflies, even me, and I stepped outside to avoid bumping into plates of DalesLlamb and Tarte Tatin. And popcorn, the new hipster food.



In any south-eastern town on a day touching 13 degrees the outside area would have been packed, but Yorkshire gentlefolk wear cardigan when it hits 25, and I had the patio all to myself.

An OK Boltmaker/Best Bitter, no more.  Tim Taylor’s great beers are rarely worth their price premium in my experience.

But the Eucalyptus and Frankincense handwash was to die for.


*We were middle-class back then, of course.





    1. Dull rather than rogue. And that’s the problem now, real ale ok but rarely excites so hardly surprising folk stick to Carling/Strongbow Fruits/Peroni.

      Not that you seem to have much problem finding good beer in LE69!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another restaurant in a former pub that happens to sell average cask beer but is very much drinker unfriendly. Why on earth do Camra branches include these places?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is the beer isn’t bad; it’s in that range of NBSS 2.5-2.75 that CAMRA scoring defines as “competently kept”. But competently kept beer that sells a two pints an hour (at a push) loses the freshness you get in the Tynemouth Lodge or Tyne Bank Tap etc etc. and would NEVER persuade a diner to move on to cask like a pint of the Tyne Bank Porter might.

      I suspect a CAMRA member has had a Good pint on a Friday night with their meal once or twice. And that’s often all it takes. See also: Masham.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But if it genuinely is 2.5-2.75 it shouldn’t even be considered for the GBG – it certainly wouldn’t be in Stockport!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree. Of course, scores throughout the year may well be a lot better than mine, and average rather than min/max is what counts.

        Sadly, we can’t all live in Stockport/Cambridge/Newcastle where beer quality consistent 😕


    1. Richard Coldwell will have a sommelier’s view when he gets back from his never-ending world tour, but I’d just say a bit more full bodied and rich, rather than fundamentally a different taste. The slower they sell, the harder it would be to tell the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s