I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sped past this low, old stone-built pub on my way to Whitby. Last week I broke my journey and I’m glad I did.
The Fox & Rabbit was initially called Keld House, named after Thomas Keld, a surgeon from Scarborough in the 1780s. In 1788 Keld House was advertised to let and it was suggested that it was in a good location for an inn.
Brothers Charlie and Toby Wood have been at the helm here since 2004 and they’ve created a warm, welcoming pub.
At one end of the bar area is a fabulous open fire chucking out heat. The cosy dining room has stone walls and mahogany furniture. Two further eating areas (it’s a big space) have rustic wooden tables and chairs, fresh flowers, books, mags and walls full of hunting prints.
There are three cask ales: Hobgoblin, Black Sheep and Cropton’s Yorkshire Moors, and a decent wine list with a dozen by the glass. The vibe is relaxed, sat-back, take your time. Chatting with one of the staff, she revealed that the Fox is predominately a dining pub and that its clientele is loyal, travelling some distance each week.
Food is standard pub grub with a specials board featuring the likes of warm black pudding salad, Whitby crab terrine and beef Madras. My rare roast beef sarnie was a cracker, and so big I had to snaffle half of it into a napkin for later.
The Fox & Rabbit, Whitby Road, Lockton, Pickering, YO18 7NG. 01751 460213, foxandrabbit.co.uk. Open daily 11am-11pm (lunch 12-2pm, dinner 5-8.30pm).
Drinks selection 5/5