HERE’S a great country pub learning to adapt and survive in modern times. Barmby is a little farming village to be found midway between Selby and Howden, in the shadow of the Drax power station. The Kings Head is the only pub and it has become something of a social hub for the village. Just as a good pub should.
The Kings Head is the only pub and it has become something of a social hub for the village. Just as a good pub should.
The pub dates from the early 1800s but was fully refurbished in 2008, when bought by the new owners, twin brother and sister Tim and Katy Smith. As well as the cosy, flagstone floored bar, there’s a large rear function room and a lounge. With a small section of the bar dedicated to groceries, fresh baked bread on the bar and a deli, this is very much pub as social hub and corner shop. They even do takeaway fish and chips at the weekend.
There is a solid dinner and lunch menu, but also more adventurous offerings such as pork Savoyard or rabbit, bacon and sweetcorn pie. Tim and Katy are both trained chefs who help out during busy hours.
There is a chalkboard proudly naming all the local suppliers they use for the ingredients in the selection of Yorkshire tapas dishes. These change regularly but feature the likes of pea frittata and sausages in honey, chilli and Henderson’s relish. Priced mainly between £3 and £4, you could easily replace a main course with two or three of these and still leave nicely full.
The Kings Head deserves to be better known, if not for the excellent food, then as an example of how to make pubs work in the less-favoured corners of the county.
Drinks selection *****
• The Kings Head, High Street, Barmby on the Marsh, Howden, East Yorkshire, DN14 7HT. 01757 630705, www.thekingsheadbarmby.co.uk