Unbelievably, it is 10 years since I last reviewed the Angel Inn at Hetton. I have eaten there with friends, attended numerous functions, was even part of a TV documentary filmed in the kitchens and indisputably, I still love the place. But there’s trouble afoot; apparently, the Angel has tarnished its golden wings if we are to believe all we read on social media sites where everyone and their brother has turned critic.
I’m a big fan of small, intimate restaurants run by just a couple of people. Half-a-dozen or so tables catered for by a pair of hands in the kitchen and another front-of-house allows the restaurant to focus its offering and demands that everything runs efficiently. Ingredients are used wisely and product knowledge runs deep. It’s a very attractive way to cook and to eat. No-one is ever going to make a fortune running such a small concern but a chef can ensure that the food he wants to make is delivered to the diner without compromise. That feeling of complete control must be just as attractive to the person making the dishes as the feeling that every morsel you eat has been truly cared for is to the customer.
Next to the bridge over the stream in the Upper Wharfedale hamlet of Hubberholme stands what is possibly the quintessential Dales pub. The George Inn is a white stone farmhouse with a cosy lounge, a cosier bar, flagstone floor, mullioned windows, a range fire, wooden bench seats and a welcome as warm as anywhere in Yorkshire.
When Salvatore Dammone opened Salvos in August 1976 we rejoiced. Back in the day there were precious few good places to eat in Leeds, so a genuine Italian restaurant serving traditional family food was a blessing. Those of a certain vintage will recall the queues snaking round the block of a Friday and Saturday night. On one occasion my visiting Australian Auntie Maureen grumbled her way round, mumbling ‘I can’t believe I’m queuing for pizza’. She piped down once she had a quattro formaggio in front of her.
Set aside a day if you’re visiting Robin Hood’s Bay as there’s plenty to divert you; once home to the busiest smuggling trade on the Yorkshire coast, tea, gin, brandy and tobacco were amongst the contraband brought into the village. It’s easy to visualise what must have been frenetic activity as you weave through the warren of tiny, narrow paved paths, nooks and boltholes.
Tharavadu had been brought to my attention some time ago, but it took their recent success in winning Best Indian Restaurant for three years on the bounce at the Oliver Awards run by our sister paper the Yorkshire Evening Post to remind me of the fact.