Friday, 9 September 2016

The George and Dragon, West Haddlesey

There must be hundreds of villages in the north of England which have fabulous pubs that no-one outside of the village has ever heard of. A friend of mine found one in West Haddlesey. The village lies to the north of the M62 and to the west of the A19 in the Vale of York near Selby and when we visited the grain harvest in the surrounding fields was in full swing.

The entrance is on the east side and as we went in we were confronted by a little man holding a chalkboard advising us of the Tripadvisor ratings for the pub. Next to him was a full suit of armour with a board advising  that it was bookings only tonight if you wanted to eat.

Bookings only on a Thursday night? Well it was Tenner Thursday! All food at half price or better! Fortunately my friend knew this and had pre-booked so our trip was not wasted. My first impression was that the ceilings were very low which immediately made you feel that you have stepped back in time.
The next thing I look for in any pub that I visit is the selection of beers available. After all the prime function of a pub is to sell intoxicating beverages! There are 3 handpumps on the bar. Two of them had beers on that were new to me.

On the left is White Dragon from the very local Brown Cow Brewery at Brayton which has been in operation since 1997. The beer, described by it's makers as "pale, aromatic and bitter with a hint of citrus" is 4% abv and looked the same colour as the grain in the surrounding fields. An East decision then - Dragons all round! I am sure that George would have approved.

The White Dragon received unanimous approval so it was only natural that our thoughts turned to food.. The walls of the pub are covered with menus and there is food to suite all tastes and pockets. However  it was "Tenner Thursday" so we checked out that menu.

When I am trying a pub's food for the first time I usually go for a pie - traditional fayre and easy to compare with pie from other pubs. However the crab fishcake caught my eye so the pie would have to wait.

Now that is a substantial starter and the chilli & lime sauce certainly complemented the crab. With my appetite more than just whetted we proceeded to the main event the steak pie!

Now that is what I call a pie! Crisp brown pastry brimming with steak - a veritable meatfest! it was delicious. My wife chose the cheese and onion pie which was equally magnificent!

After such a substantial pie it was only right that we should have more beer. The ladies stuck with the White Dragon but I had noticed that the middle wicket on the bar was pulling a "Pirate brew" from Bolton, Lancashire. Probably not a coincidence but the landlord and landlady of the  George & Dragon are both from Bolton. A dark bitter, Captain Jackman, 4.3% abv is brewed by Bank Top brewery which is housed in a former tennis pavillion and very nice it is too.

Meanwhile there had been considerable debate with the landlady about puddings, mainly centering on what different cheesecakes were available. The outcome of this was a very nice chocolatey one which my mate demolished.

So a splendid evening was had in the George and Dragon which is a little gem. Hard to find but worth the effort if you like good beer and traditional pub food in atmospheric surroundings. We will be returning on Bonfire Night if not before. In the meantime make the effort and take a trip to West Haddlesey . You will not be disappointed. 

Footnote: The pub is having a beer festival on the weekend 21/22nd October. Check out the website for details.

No comments:

Post a Comment