THREE miles east of Pocklington is the village of Millington, not so much off the beaten track as off-off. It’s the very definition of a sleepy hamlet – about 30 or so houses, a tearoom and a pub. The Wolds Way winds through the nearby Millington pasture. More adventurous (and savvy) walkers make the detour into the village to seek out the Gait Inn, a 16th century farmhouse-style pub that exudes comfort.
The Gait is exactly the sort of place you want to find during a day out in the country – quaint but unpretentious – and it has two great assets. The first is the beer, which is well kept and always includes interesting guest ales and ciders from all over the country. The second is the food; it’s the kind of wonderfully produced, honest, hearty pub grub that should be offered up as a prime example of Great Yorkshire Produce. Standing out are a tasty starter of perfect Yorkshire puddings served with onion gravy, and a huge plate of fish, chips and peas featuring beer batter so thick, crispy and voluminous that it’s hard to imagine breaking through it without a jackhammer.
The jewel in the crown is a steak and ale pie which is, quite simply, the finest example of the dish as you will ever taste. Hosts Stuart and Helen Stephenson proudly announce on the menu that the meat comes from their own herd, raised a few fields away. What they fail to mention is that it’s topped with the kind of suet-based crust it’s difficult to find in these health conscious times and that the accompanying gravy is pure, meaty genius. Served with chips and peas, it’s an unofficial signature dish and worth the trip alone – but they only serve food on Friday and at weekends.