Since arriving at The Star, chef patron Andrew Pern has turned the 14th-century thatched hostelry into a Michelin-starred repository for top-drawer seasonal produce from Yorkshire and beyond. Pern’s dedication to flying the flag for the county means that food is made primarily from locally-sourced ingredients such as game from the local estates and surrounding moorlands, fruits, herbs and vegetables from of the Vale of York (including The Star’s own kitchen garden) and fish from the North Sea. The extensive drinks list follows suit with a decent selection of Yorkshire gins in addition to carefully-selected wines and a range of ‘grown-up’ softs.
Fish and game are always major players on the cyclical menu, meaning summer might afford dishes such as fillet of turbot with Whitby lobster and fennel ravioli, roasted coffee bean carrot and shellfish bisque or rosemary-roasted rump of Yorkshire veal with beer-battered scrapes, Cheshire saffron risotto, burrata and vegetable vierge. A ‘locals menu’ offers some simpler pubby ideas such as smoked salmon with cultured buttered pikelets or venison cottage pie, while the Sunday roast menu is big and bold (think roast pork with artichoke purée, salted and cracked hazelnuts, chard and Ampleforth cider juices).
Desserts are always thoroughly tempting whether they take the form of a fresh apricot frangipane with orange blossom ice cream or a tooth-achingly sweet banana soufflé with butterscotch sauce and sticky toffee ice cream. For those who prefer something savoury, there’s a delightful cheese trolley which can be taken as a separate course, before or after pudding, with or without a glass of port.
The heart of the Star, though, has to be the bar, where you can eat without booking amid ‘Mouse Man’ oak furniture, brass ornaments and touches of tartan; otherwise take advantage of the sheltered front terrace and garden. Note that accommodation is across the road in Cross House Lodge and that it’s well worth taking a stroll around the “fabulous village”.