North Yorkshire restaurant guide - The Copper Horse, Seamer

Dinner at the theatrical Copper Horse in Seamer, near Scarborough is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, says Tony Greenway

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Fancy a fun theatrical night out without actually going to a theatre? Then  your spotlight really should fall on The Copper Horse in Seamer. From the outside, the building, a former farmhouse dating back to the 17th century, looks like a traditional whitewashed English pub. Inside, it’s anything but.

Yes, there’s a great bar selling a variety of beers, wines, champagnes, spirits and liqueurs; but the real showstopper at The Copper Horse is that every available inch of wall space (and ceiling space, come to that) is covered with photos, posters and other bits of theatrical memorabilia from the past 50 years.

This is no real surprise, though, when you discover that The Copper Horse’s owner is Nick Thomas, a leading theatre producer raised in Scarborough who was named as one of the ‘kings of British light entertainment’ by The Stage.

The Copper Horse has now become something of a destination venue, says marketing manager Julie Finnigan: people go out of their way to come here. And no wonder because, putting aside the starry interior, it’s the food (local ingredients are used whenever possible) that’s become the talk of the town.

We sat in the Scarborough Suite area, framed with red curtains with goldtassels, looking down into the main bar. Then it was showtime and the food began to arrive.

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To start, I ordered a superb smoked salmon and crab roulade which hadbeen finished with a mild tomato and pepper salsa. The latter was sweet but still had a kick and went wonderfully well with the hunk of crusty, warmgranary bread that had been brought to the table. My wife had a deliciouscarpaccio of beetroot with goat’s cheese, walnuts and baby leaves, finished with a charred tomato dressing.

For mains, my beef wellington was cooked to perfection: medium rare and with a rich yet sweet mushroom and Madeira sauce. The pate and pastry were intense and light, respectively - just as they should be.

My wife had the rolled pork tenderloin, which was beautifully prepared and presented, stuffed with wild mushrooms and spinach and served with a cream and white wine sauce, and buttered new potatoes.

After a short interval (we really did love the theatre theme) came  desserts. I liked the look of the deep fried ice cream and said so to Julie. ‘That’s a  Copper Horse classic,’ she said. ‘And one that we’ve recently reinstated.’ 

Thank goodness they have, because it was both fabulous - and fabulously filling: a confection of chopped nuts surrounding a ball of delicious vanilla ice cream, deep fried and sitting in a satisfying swirl of warm toffee sauce. As I cut into the nutty outer shell, the vanilla ice cream oozed out lazily into the sticky sea surrounding it. Terrific.

My wife’s vanilla cr�me brulee was delicate and smooth. Afterwards, we had good, strong single espressos.

The Copper Horse, then, has drama (this is proper cooking, although it doesn’t take itself too seriously), fun (the posters and pictures are supremely entertaining) and even intrigue (how do they prepare that deep-fried ice cream?)

In fact, it has everything you need for a spectacular night out. We’ll be back for an encore.

The Copper HorseMain Street, Seamer, ScarboroughNorth Yorkshire, YO12 4RF.01723

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