If you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you’ll note that eating Michelin-starred food in Yorkshire was high on my ‘mini adventure must-do’ list of 2015.
I picked the hottest July day of the year to go with a partner in crime, to head east, taking in the lovely East Yorkshire countryside to The Pipe and Glass nestled in the estate village of South Dalton – I can see why the rolling Wolds had caught David Hockney’s imagination.
The Pipe and Glass Inn – an attractive 17th century former coaching inn – stands alone, with a stretch of field and trees as a backdrop to its car park.
I read somewhere that The Pipe and Glass Inn was once a tired and unloved pub, but I’m pleased to confirm that there is nothing tired or unloved about this place anymore.
James Mackenzie and wife Kate, fresh from working at the Star at Harome, bought the pub in 2006 and turned it very swiftly from a village boozer into the hottest gastronomic offering in the East Riding, holding its Michelin star since 2010, and is also this year’s Good Food Guide National Dining Pub of the Year.
Once inside the cool entrance lobby, we were met with warmth from the attentive staff. To the right of the entrance, there is a charming bar area with cosy little tables adorned with pre-lit candles, to the left is a dining room lounge, and ahead is the main restaurant (which I can only assume hits full capacity every night of the week).
Before I get onto the incredible food, let me first tell you about the service. It was very much a hands-on approach from the team and requests were taken care of by a whole host of knowledgeable, smiling staff.
Now to the food. Lip-smackingly good Michelin-starred wonderfulness.
We were ushered through to the dining room lounge, and provided with menus; a specials board was above the fire place. More decision making!
The tables in the dining room are all exposed wood and are nicely spaced out so you never feel claustrophobic, the atmosphere being bright and airy. The table was set with effective simplicity – less is more here and it definitely works.
To start we were offered two types of bread: tomato and parmesan, and chef’s three stout bread. Both were delicious.
For the main course I had the Pipe and Glass fish pie which was elegantly presented and included smoked haddock and salmon with a potato crust of cheese and breadcrumbs, and nestled in a shell was a salad of brown shrimp and pickled fennel, plus a delicate Parmesan tuile. The creamy sauce inside the pie balanced well with the slightly salty seasoning.
For afters I chose ginger burnt cream with poached rhubarb and East Yorkshire sugar cakes, complete with a note from James on the history of East Yorkshire sugar cakes.
The original recipe dating back 200 years only came to light in late 2007 in the Beverley archives department of the town council when it was moving site to its new building. It fell out of an old accounts ledger and no one had ever heard of such cakes. After being asked by the BBC to see what he thought of the old recipe, James set to and adapted the recipe now served.
The brûlée was well made, with a thin and crisp caramelised top and comforting custard, with the spiced shortbread.
Perfect to complete this lunch on such a hot day I had a pot of loose leaf Mojito Mint tea, combining the assertive zing of peppermint with the calming freshness of lemon grass and subtle sweetness of the blossoms. Served with petit-fours of course.
If you want some really special pub food with that added sparkle, in a picturesque country inn hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city – make the trip. The Pipe and Glass Inn has retained its Michelin star since 2010 for a very good reason.
One of the delights of life is eating with friends, and especially those who join me on my road trip as I tick off visits to Yorkshire’s Michelin starred restaurants.