The George at Wath lies just three miles from Ripon, and is a genuine gateway to The Yorkshire Dales.
It’s also a great stop off for wanderers from Leeds exploring the culinary and natural jewels on their doorstep.
This country pub and hotel promises “a mouth-watering and bountiful array of local produce” and “a very special taste of North Yorkshire”. Words like ‘foraged’, ‘heritage’, ‘new season’, ‘field cut’ and ‘wild’ pepper the food menu, so the ethos and intentions are pretty clear.
And the pub’s social media page also paints a tempting picture of authenticity, freshness, seasonality and all things ‘local’. “We like to say we put as much effort into every ingredient on your plate - so much better than shop bought!”. Who can resist that?
There’s a regularly changing menu of fresh, local and seasonal produce and even themed evenings celebrating partnerships with local suppliers like Ramus Seafood Emporium.
This is an English country pub with all the trappings of cosiness and comfort that come with that tag. Log burning stove? Check. Oak and flagstone floors? Check.
There’s the gritty local boozer on one side and, just a few strides down the corridor, there’s an aspiring fine-dining restaurant complete with white tablecloths and a somewhat hushed atmosphere that comes in direct contrast to the boisterous noise levels in the bar.
On the pub side, there’s an adequately stocked bar for all drinkers, especially if beers and ales are your thing.
The wine list, however, could do with some work should this pub ever want to be taken seriously by those who prefer the grape. A decent selection by the glass is now expected.
There is an emphasis on food at The George, and thankfully that comes in two parts too. You can eat in the bar with a choice of four pub classics that are just about enough to keep drinkers and casual diners happy.
Across the room, a large plate of fish and chips looked rather tempting and was clearly freshly cooked.
Other tempting sounding highlights from the a la carte menu include ham hock, peas and mint; fillet of hake, mussels, samphire and squid ink risotto; and Yorkshire lamb rump, foraged jack by the hedge, pea, asparagus and new season jersey royals.
The George is a new venture for chef Harrison Barraclough (formerly head chef at the Black Lion, Thirsk) and his family. Given a trip to the bar and the necessity to apologetically squeeze through groups of drinkers and with most tables occupied, proves they are already making their mark here.