Before striking out on his own, chef/owner Hugh Carruthers worked alongside Frances Atkins at her Michelin-starred Yorke Arms – so his culinary stripes are all present and correct at this grand old pub in one of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages. Hugh is an interesting, quixotic man and his eclectic menu is full of quirky ideas – witness Moroccan-spiced gurnard with chickpeas, chorizo and piquillo peppers or pumpkin risotto with pine nuts and sage. He also does a good line in tongue-in-cheek retro dishes; ‘chicken in a basket’ brings free-range ‘nuggets’ in deliciously crunchy crumbs with piping-hot skinny fries and homemade tartare sauce. To finish, his hot chocolate fondant pudding with Chantilly cream is, reputedly, to die for. As for the decor, expect flagstone floors, crackling fires and splendidly uneven walls hung with original contemporary art.