[Welburn, North Yorkshire] Crown & Cushion

There are many dining pubs these days. Places offering much better food options than the “pub grub” of the big chains but not hitting the heights of the small number of gastropubs that have TV celebrity chefs with Michelin stars or other well-known accolades. Places where folk might just go for a pint, but most customers have come to eat. There’s a comfortable predictability about such places. It’ll have a friendly pubby atmosphere, decent service and a menu of dishes that tick the boxes of food you want to eat. This one has a relatively short menu which means most of it is probably cooked from scratch rather than being bought in from the catering wholesaler.

There was an Asian style duck salad to start. Bits of nicely cooked duck topped a small mound of dressed shredded vegetables. It was pleasant enough but it lacked any real oomph. There was nothing of the citrus and chilli you’d have expected in a Thai style salad. Nothing of the hoisin and soy if they’d leaned towards China. The crisp sesame crackers did perk it up somewhat. The other starter involved perfectly cooked scallops on a pea puree with a slice of crisp pancetta. A classic preparation and one that’s always going to work.

Tomato tarte tatin was nicely finished off with a balsamic glaze and a couple of slices of burrata. A side salad kept this as a very seasonal and light dish. Chicken and ham pie was a “proper” pie, with pastry top, bottom and sides. None of the stew in a dish with a pastry topping lark. And it’s a cracking pie. Lovely crisp pastry with a well seasoned filling . It came with mash and mixed green vegetables – beans, mangetout and cabbage – all still nicely crisp (but not overly so).

Good meal with expectations met.


This is exactly the type of place we gravitate to, either at home or abroad. Just a place to be comfortable and well-fed, and requisite adult beverages for us. Spring Onion hits the milk pretty hard.


I love a good pie!

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo