Review: Castle Arms Inn
Snape, United Kingdom
Shhhhhhhh! It's a secret
Now I pride myself in having a good knowledge of pubs with good food in West and North Yorkshire, but this was a new one on me, even though it is a Grade II listed, and has been around since the 14th century.
It lies in the pretty village of Snape, just 3 miles from Bedale and the A1, but the road is far enough away so as to not have any effect on this tranquil spot. Swathes of daffodils adorned the verges on our visit.
Driving through the village on the country main road, you need to be alert as the pub sits on a parallel lane and is not easily seen.
Once the attractive whitewashed exterior hoves into view, you see the lane-side outside tables.
Entering the premises is no disappointment either, blazing log fires greeted our small party of damp walkers whilst the row of hand-pulled ale wickets immediately grabbed my attention.
This is a Jennings pub, an ale more associated with the Lake District, but I was drawn to the Wychwood Black Wych Porter. This was a creamy headed, dark, full bodied treat, which I was unable to change from during my visit. Simply delicious.
The new landlord Ian and his wife Lisa are making a real go of this, with many recent renovations. It feels well looked after, clean and comfortable. Ian talked about his pride in the beers, and we were certainly hooked.
The separate dining area looked inviting and a glance at the menu revealed that home cooking rules, with meals prepared to order and an emphasis on local produce. The menu varies according to seasonal availability, always a good sign.
Starters are around the £5 – £6 mark, with mains at £10 – £12 and desserts around £4. Superb value for money.
The steak and ale pie was a carnivores delight. The fat chips put me into a dream like state!
Even trenchermen like us were fazed by the sight of the cheeseboard at £6.50. Three huge chunks of various cheeses, crackers, apple, celery and chutney proving too much for one person.
This is not just a dining pub, however.
Nine new stone-built rooms, all with en-suite facilities have been added to the rear. As many architectural features of the original building as possible were retained. The rooms have the usual facilities and are of good quality. Terms for B&B are currently £35 p.p., although the rates reduce for longer stays.
There are numerous attractions nearby, including 5 golf courses, 5 race courses, 2 breweries (Black Sheep and Theakston's, with tours), and more castles and stately homes than you can shake a stick at.
The famous Thorp Perrow Arboretum is also close by. This is an 18th century country house with a visitor centre and 85 acres of trees, many of them rare.
What a stunning venue then for a weekend away or even longer.
I didn't know about this place, but now that I do, I will definitely be back. The cat is now out of the bag, perhaps I should have kept it a secret.
For photographs and more information, go to www.castlearmsinn.com
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.