There were some eyebrows raised when the Duke of York in the Holderness village of Skirlaugh was declared the best pub for food in East Yorkshire. There are pubs in the Riding with national awards (and even Michelin stars) which would justifiably consider themselves rather more worthy of such a title.
It turned out that the Duke of York had, in fact, found itself topping a food list on that decidedly unreliable arbiter of public opinion, TripAdvisor. Still, the pub must be doing something right to even stand a chance of ending up top of a list, however dodgy that list is. And indeed it is.
The pub has been run by Lisa Campbell for the past five years or so, and she and partner Stewart have turned a tired village boozer into a vibrant, popular place with an excellent food offering and keen, attentive staff. There is a comfy bar with a log fire and a larger dining room, with the same menu available in both. The food is typical pub fare – scampi, lamb shank, prawn cocktail, that sort of thing – which makes up in quality what it may lack in imagination. All the dishes are better when they arrive than they are read on the menu and are presented on the plate with pleasing flair.
Apparently the pub does very good trade right through the weekend (so booking is definitely recommended) and plans are afoot to offer more exotic meats such as crocodile and ostrich. Done right, this may be the sort of thing that sets the Duke of York apart and tips it into the realms of excellence.
The Duke of York, Hull Road, Skirlaugh, HU11 5ET. 01964 500300, dukeofyorkskirlaugh.co.uk