Heralded as the UK’s very first gastropub, the Angel at Hetton has maintained a firm following over the years, but since the arrival of Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall in 2018, this Yorkshire gem has achieved legendary status. Wignall and his wife Johanna, along with James and Josephine Wellock, have worked hard to reimagine the pub as a place where unmatched levels of service and exceptional food meet North Yorkshire’s bucolic landscape.
Situated in the picturesque village of Hetton on the southern edges of the Yorkshire Dales, The Angel is a pleasing blend of old and new. Oak beams and original fireplaces keep the rustic feel of the old barn alive, while polished wooden tables, stylish bar stools and Instagram-friendly dishes banish any stuffiness.
When it comes to the food, diners really are in for a treat. It’s clear from the menu that chef/patron Michael Wignall is passionate about each dish, from the beautiful presentation through to the flavour combinations and textures. Like any restaurant worth its salt, the menu changes with the seasons, but could include starters such as English asparagus with Yorkshire pheasant egg, local wild garlic and chicken winglet, or poached and roasted veal sweetbread with grelot onion, parsnip and spiced coconut. Mains might take the form of Yorkshire beef, North Sea cod or lamb, while desserts such as poached apricots with ginger cake, ice cream, a “chocolate bubble” and “biscuit glass” look and sound like works of art that are almost too pretty to eat.
Vegetarians get their own menu, as do children, and there’s a suitably tempting tasting menu for special occasions priced at £65 (add £45 for the wine flight). Sunday lunch is billed as the “highlight of the weekend” and offers two or three courses (£30 and £35 respectively), and a rather pricey breakfast is available seven days a week.