Hotel review - The Pheasant at Harome
- Credit: Love Lucille Photography
Just making your way to The Pheasant at Harome is a delicious experience itself. A meander through lanes offering brilliantly big moor views - once you’ve risen to the challenge of Sutton Bank just off the A19.
Just a few miles from lovely Helmsley, The Pheasant is tucked away in the unspoilt village of Harome and overlooks a duck pond and field upon field. Buildings were originally a blacksmith’s and village shop. This is Yorkshire village-perfect.
We arrived in annoying summer drizzle but the courtyard orchard full of blossom looked pink, perky and refreshed by its drink. Our room, Mallards, was up some well-worn steps in a converted outbuilding.
You could hole up here for some time – a mini kitchen, twin and king room meant it would make a perfect family base. Nice Cowshed toiletries in the bathroom were noted, and a selection of DVDs and family games were ready and waiting. It being the British summer we grabbed the logs and lighters to make a roaring fire.
We headed to the pool (there are restrictions on numbers so you have book a slot) and had it to ourselves. This kind of behaviour is what a cheeky midweek escape is all about and seemed like a such a novelty – the freedom to splash again.
And getting dressed for dinner – how do we do that again? Somehow managed it and tottered across the courtyard to the bar. (Covid-wise, everything is spot-on in terms of hand-san, spacing and staff awareness).
Local ales on tap, Yorkshire fizz and good cocktails menu make the bar a nice place to linger and perhaps plan a Sunday lunch return someday soon. The wine list has a good selection by the glass and carafe too if you want to mix and match with courses.
Mini cheese choux buns and prawn toasts were heavenly amuse bouche that kept us happy as we pondered the menu. You can do a seven-course tasting menu but we went for a la carte. The vegetarian menu was imaginative too.
We ate in the airy conservatory overlooking the courtyard, a cool spot with a bit of buzz about it and great music. Home baked beer bread was a revelation and we were teased with a cauliflower veloute and mini bhaji pre starter.
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The menu was of the ‘can’t choose’ variety as far as I was concerned. A neat selection peppered with local provenance.
I started with sea trout gravadlax which came in lovely chunky slices with great depth of flavour and the gentle kick of radish and creme fraiche. We also had the crab starter which I had to dip into. A goodly mound of fresh crab flecked with red and brown meat and fresh herbs served on a pool of gazpacho, topped with a cucumber sorbet and scattered with samphire.
We wanted to order another one. Each. Such fresh, summery balanced flavours and a deft pairing of textures. The cucumber sorbet a delicious revelation.
For main course I had plaice cooked in brown butter with new season asparagus, morels and Jersey royals. It looked a picture and tasted great - the fish was cooked with a light touch and the blend of fresh and earthy veg was ideal.
Across the table it was time for fillet beef. Slabs of pink 60-day aged fillet given the full garden accompaniment of black garlic, broad beans, bone marrow, hazelnuts, heritage beetroot and boulangere potato. It looked a picture of garden goodness with a light touch and balance. Excellent, thoughtful cooking and attention to detail at play here.
For dessert, souffle fans might well have fainted with pleasure at this kitchen’s stunning raspberry and rose souffle. I loved the gorgeous faded pink shade as much as anything – a vintage rose kind of colour. It was a showcase of a souffle. Light and delicately perfumed and accompanied by a dark chocolate ice cream.
After dinner there’s plenty of space to enjoy coffee and chocs in the comfy lounge and take a walk outside – the terrace looks a picture with its sparkly lights and inviting, warming throws.
Next morning breakfast in the conservatory was spot on – the full Yorkshire, hearty and local, the coffee nice and punchy. Time too to head to the deep cushions of the sofa and linger over the papers. Exactly what a break is about.
From the hotel there’s a footpath to Helmsley, which in itself is a gourmet treasure as well as the perfect spot for the kind of market town mooching that we’ve all missed. Happy days!
A la carte menu: starters and desserts from £10 and main courses from £24
A range of DBB breaks and offers available, see website