In tiny Sawdon, on the North Yorkshire moors, The Anvil Inn seats 36 and sleeps four in two self-catering cottages – it’s a perfect destination for getting away from it all. A former smithy (hence the bar’s centrepiece being a forge), The Anvil is an atmospheric nook – exposed stone, glowing log-burners, gorgeous lighting – and a family affair. Mark and Alex Wilson cook, and their daughter Sabina is front-of-house. Little wonder it has become a hot destination for Yorkshire foodies and visitors to Whitby, Wykeham Forest or Castle Howard.
What to eat Mark and Alex are clever chefs. They serve a cracking roast on Sunday, but a starter of black pudding and ham hock fritter with grain mustard cream illustrates their modish creativity. Similarly, their menu is founded on local, seasonal ingredients, but is globally inspired. A dish as classically English as roast partridge with confit leg croquette, celeriac remoulade and a port and damson jus might sit next to a Moroccan-spiced lamb tagine with cumin-crusted cutlets, orange pickled carrot, pistachio and mint pesto, and saffron rice.
The booze The Wilsons try to steer people from merlot to less obvious wines, serving 20 by the glass (try the El Viejo del Valle sauvignon gris). Hyper-local ales feature, such as yhodr from North Riding and Scarborough Brewerys.
Star suppliers Dennis Crooks fish merchants in Whitby; butcher Glaves & McNay in Staxton; and Michael Lee Fine Cheeses in Featherstone.
The bed Two chic, self-catering cottages each sleep two. olive loves the views from the Old Nail Shed, with its courtyard garden and bespoke staircase.
The breakfast Pick up ingredients at Glaves & McNay (glavesbutchers.co.uk) or eat at the Forge Tearooms (bromptonforge.co.uk), both in Brompton-by-Sawdon.
The bill Accommodation, two-night minimum, from £230. Mains from £12. (theanvilinnsawdon.co.uk)
Written October 2015
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