Pinchinthorpe Hall Pinchinthorpe NrGuisborough NorthYorkshireTS14 8HG. Tel: 01287 630200 www.pinchinthorpehall.co.uk
Food served - Choice of two dining styles The Manor Restaurant is grand but intimate.
The Brewhouse Bistro offers a less formal relaxed atmosphere.
6 luxury rooms from £120 per night
There is an ever-growing desire of restaurants and hotels to gain a sense of what the French call ‘Terroir’ – a sense of place and attachment to the land. Many pay lip service to it smattering menus with local produce but tucked away in the furthest tip of the county Pinchinthorpe Hall near Great Ayton is doing more. Owner George Tinsley is embedded in his ‘Terroir’.
“We want to be as self-sufficient as we possibly can. We have our own eggs, fruit, veg and salad from the garden, and now we have pork and beef from our own animals” says George. “We can’t do everything, we couldn’t possibly keep enough chicken to provide the meat we need, but we certainly try”.
The elegant country house hotel has been with the Tinsley family since 1996. In that time it has grown from a simple restaurant with rooms in need of renovation. There is now a microbrewery, two restaurants – one fine dining and the brew house Bistro a more relaxed space - 6 luxurious bedrooms, an extensive kitchen garden and land acquired for rearing animals.
There are plans afoot for further expansion. The beautiful setting of the hall close to Roseberry Topping makes it a favourite for weddings. The hall can only sleep a few guests but all that looks likely to change with plans to add more rooms.
Head chef Kevin Mulranny creates menus to reflect what is available in the garden and from the animals and today’s lunch was set to be a showcase of Pinchinthorpe produce.
It was perhaps a touch too much information to be told the organic pork in the terrine had come form one of the young pigs in the nearby sties. Thankfully we couldn’t see them from the dining room. Bless him, the little pig and the clever hands of chefs in the kitchen produced a tasty, almost sweet terrine, an older pig though would have been more flavourful. Asparagus from the kitchen garden came whipped into a silky velouté, and the pease pudding from peas frozen from last season a truly, home produced dish.
A delicious pinot blanc came from ‘vielles vignes’ (old vines) in Alsace. The old vines produce less wine but the quality is better, this one from producer Claude Dietrich was a stunner.
With the main course of Dexter beef came from another good source, Irvine wines in the Eden Valley Australia in the shape of Red Horse 2002. It is an excellent red for the meat and the complicated flavours on the plate.
Another inhabitant of Pinchinthorpe made it onto the plate in the main course - a chunky piece of fillet from the resident Dexter herd. A delectable piece it was, tender, moist and succulent. A zippy stew of gratinated wild mushrooms were a fitting accompaniment and the brittle Parmesan crisp a little superfluous but nonetheless good.
Locality played another large part in dessert, rhubarb from the garden, the honey from nearby. The Bavarois (or blancmange as George chose to call it) trembled softly on the plate and the syrup of honey and ginger had a sweet stickiness. The Praline meringue for me was a step to much, but then I don’t have a sweet tooth. Certainly, those around me devoured it with relish.
Ginger in a dessert is almost impossible to match to any wine but a slightly sweet wine, Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Demi Sec 2002 from Domaine Huet in France was fresh, slightly herby wine and worked well, anything any sweeter and the result would have been cloying and sickly.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better along came a platter of local cheeses, wafers and sherry soaked raisins. Drivers beware the raisins were seriously sherry soaked. George proudly presented an organic blond beer from the microbrewery at Pinchinthorpe to drink alongside. By this time I had had more than enough to eat, and to drink. The sip I took of the ‘home brew’ made me promise to save the pleasure for another time and occasion.
Food miles are clearly not something the staff at Pinchinthorpe lie awake at night worrying about. Nor should they. They are doing their part with quality and in great style.