Pub Of The Week: Chestnut Horse, Great Kelk.

I’ve long maintained that, to be successful, a pub simply needs to do one thing supremely well.

Some have great beer, some have great pickled eggs – the Chestnut Horse in Great Kelk near Driffield has great (nay, amazing) pies.

The pub dates from the 18th-century and current landlord Jon Allen has been in charge for the past decade. He keeps good ale, a few imported beers and a happy atmosphere. But, since Lucy Scrivens joined him in the kitchen a couple of years ago, the Chestnut Horse is best known for the 30-odd freshly made pies on the menu.

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In keeping with the name of the pub, all the pies are named after breeds of horse and, quite frankly, they are big enough to feed one too. Lucy bakes four portions per tin “so everyone gets a corner”, a policy with belt-loosening consequences.

The fillings are traditional (steak, chicken, pork), inventive (black pudding, oxtail, venison) or exotic (Indian, Moroccan) and all of the ingredients are sourced locally. The herbs and a few of the veg are even grown in the walled beer garden.

The pub is also gaining something of a reputation for its “Chestnut Challenge” – eat a 1kg portion of pie (and chips and veg) and you get if for free along with a T-shirt saying “Who ate all the pie? Me!” Fail to eat it all, though, and you have to pay double and donate a fiver to charity. At the time of writing 109 people have taken up the challenge and only five have won a shirt. Surely this kind of mildly unhealthy pastime should be encouraged?

Great Kelk takes a bit of finding – best check out the website directions before you set off – but with a fine, pie-filled pub like the Chestnut Horse at the end of the trek it’s a journey well worth making.

Dave Lee

The Chestnut Horse, Main Street, Kelk, Driffield YO25 8HN. 01262 488263, www.chestnuthorse.co.uk

THE VERDICT

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