Staveley is one of those delightful Yorkshire villages tucked quietly away from the throng yet within striking distance of major conurbations. I wonder how it stays so quiet and pretty.
At the far end of the village, the Royal Oak sits slightly aloft and tucked back from the main street. It’s whitewashed, bay windowed, with a few tables outside. The exterior needs a little sprucing up but don’t let that put you off; inside has been in receipt of serious TLC from owners Daniel and Cheryl.
The Royal Oak is a robust and solid country inn, enjoyed by the local community yet managing to pull visitors in from much further afield. This comes as no surprise as this is a hospitable place, the welcome as warm as the cheery, roaring fires.
There’s wooden panelling and beams in abundance, a confusion of old tables for both diners and drinkers in the bar area (there’s also a proper dining room should you want a little more formality).
As a free house there are frequently changing guest ales supported by regulars of Black Sheep and Timothy Taylors. The food is very good. It comes freshly cooked and is locally sourced – some of the ingredients are even grown on an allotment shared with the village, so a big tick in the box for provenance.
Early week, ring to make sure they are serving food. I once drove there to find – annoyingly – the kitchen closed. However, based on what I found I decided to give them a second go and am glad I did.
The Royal Oak, Main Street, Staveley, Knaresborough, HG5 9LD. 01423 340267, www.royaloakstaveley.co.uk