Pub of the Week: Royal Oak, Great Ayton

This family-run, 18th century Grade II-listed smartly whitewashed former coaching inn sits handsomely on the edge of the village green, opposite the old Quaker school (now apartments).

It’s largely a dining pub, with four large eating areas but on a damp Sunday afternoon there were a band of happy drinkers sitting by the bar.

On the taps you’ll find Timothy Taylor Landlord, Wainwright Gold, Theakston’s Old Peculiar and Summit Cold Pale Ale and draught Birra Moretti and Beavertown Brewery’s Neck Oil Session IPA.

There’s a good gin selection and a decent wine list too.

The Royal Oak, Great AytonThe Royal Oak, Great Ayton
The Royal Oak, Great Ayton
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The menu is as extensive as you’d expect, with the likes of fish & chips, home made burgers and ‘posh’ pies and a rather fine sounding lemon curd Eton Mess sundae alongside the more traditional cheesecake ‘of the day’.

There’s a menu for kids – and dogs - and on Mondays there’s a pensioners special. At the rear of the pub there’s a very attractive, large courtyard where you can eat al fresco, decked out with flowers and foliage, smart furniture and parasols. I’m told by my chum who lives locally that it’s very much at the heart of village life, hosting meetings of the Round Table, drama and knitting groups and the Conservative Ladies Lunch Club.

How about an Afternoon Tea? Served Monday to Saturday 12 – 4 it includes a Petch’s pork pie with homemade plum chutney, sandwiches, cakes, fruit scone with jam and clotted cream and ‘Bottomless Breakfast Tea’ – all for £16.95.

I can thoroughly recommend this after a stroll round the wonderful Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum just down the road.

Royal Oak, 123 High Street, Great Ayton, North Yorkshire TS9 6BW t: 01652 722361,

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