Helmsley and Thirsk. North Yorkshire mini report

Juts back from North Yorks. Other half was recovering from lurgy so didnt beat out much. Three places to mention though

  1. The Vinehouse café, Helmsley

Found this on off chance/ overheard recommendation in a shop. Outside and inside tables at a walled garden. Homemade dahl for one of us and the infamous buddha bowl of pulses,salad and chicken for the other. Very simple, dahl with a nice zingy kick. Warm pittas all round. Healthy food in a lovely setting. Recommended.

  1. Bantam, Helmsley

On the Michelin Yorkshire list, this.
‘Sharing plates’ - which turn out to be small plates on arrival. Intriguing menu but none of the fish we fancied available when we land ( at 8pm, so hardly last orders). Interesting drinks - Kombucha for the lady ( still tastes like vinegar to me ) a none alcoholic whiskey sour for me - good.
Food just didn’t work for me as small plates. We ordered
Bread and butter - lovely but, well, its bread ( sourdough, obvs) and why three slices for two people? This kind of thing does annoy me - can we not have two pieces each ? are margins really that tight ?- we are paying after all.
Pigs head croquette - a dirty as it should be - with great walnut ketchup.
So far, fine, but then the small plates ‘any order we like’ kicked in.
In order, we were given
Scallop with caremalised cauliflower (which turned out to just be a very rich sauce)
Roast carrots (with yoghut, mint,dukka etc)
Buttered greens
Buttermilk fried chicken ( with quite a fiery sauce )
So, no real centre or focus to what we were eating.
All quite sauce based, all quite rich. It just felt disparate.

We passed on puds ( rare for us ). On the online menu they had a lime and ginger sorbet - which sounded intriguing. On the night it was lemon sorbet. Infinitely less intriguing.

To add to the confusion there was a definite Londoners oop north for Easter, dahling, vibe from other diners.

Hmmm and hmm once more.

  1. Westgate Fish and Chips, Thirsk.

Boom ! Recommended by place we were staying. Super fresh fish, cooked to order, that old school batter taste, chips nicely browned, quality mushy peas too.
Check them out


They do do bloody good fish & chips in that part of oop north.

I’m not a fan of small plates, at the best of times (although going for such a meal this week, as friend has specified that’s where she wants to go).

By the by, our last meal in Helmsley was very unthrilling. That was the Feathers on the market square. Something of the opposite to your experience. This was “big plates”. Couldnt finish either my starter or main, and no chnace of even considering dessert.

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Blimey - it must be atop rec for you to be considering it ! - await your review with interest.

One place I wanted to get to, but missed out on last week, was this

Again overheard someone talking about it…

Working link…

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