The Red Lion
Tel: 01904 793957
Food served Tues – Fri 12 – 2pm, Sun 12 – 3pm (carvery only)
Dinner: Tues – Fri 6 – 8pm, Sat 6 – 9pm
Sunday lunch is my favourite meal of the week, one love to cook and to eat. My pursuit of a good pub lunch will sometimes lure me from the kitchen and following a tip from a Yorkshire Life reader I decided to give the Red Lion at Knapton, near York a go.
Knapton is surprisingly pretty, sitting as it does a stones throw from the York Ring Road and The Red Lion a picture perfect village pub. A freshly painted exterior with overflowing baskets of winter flowers and a sympathetic refurbishment inside merged cosy country with modern chic.
Settled by the log fire all looked well until I saw the carvery - had I known this was what was on offer I would not have left the comfort of my own stove. Probably overcooked meat, dried up roasties, lukewarm veg and Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puds I grumbled into my glass of Chardonnay.
I was wrong. It was perhaps the best pub Sunday lunch I have eaten for a long, time.
Here the customers come to the carvery table by table, so no queuing and between servings dishes magically refill with piping hot fresh food. With just beef, pork or turkey and mushroom pies the choice is small but that’s because this is fresh, home cooking. The Yorkshire’s were small and perfectly formed - absolutely home-made. The roasties were glisteningly hot having come straight from the oven; crisp and golden on the outside, inside soft and fluffy. Also locally grown cauliflower, carrots, sprouts and spring greens and silky gravy made their way on to my plate.
I had everything and left nothing except a small piece of pork and that was only there because I was full.
The dessert menu was a pudding lover’s dream featuring classics of jam sponges, tarts, chocolate, roly poly… the list was endless and with a choice of custard or ice cream. A good sticky toffee pud disappeared with relish, the plate again wiped clean of crumbs and custard. My only irk in this otherwise lovely lunch is pudding plates came over-dusted with chocolate powder - unnecessary and passé.
Owners Tracy and Richard Butler had given me everything I want from a Sunday lunch. Excellent home cooked food, relaxed yet precise service and a feeling of being a welcome guest not just another customer. Was it not for the fact they had their five-year olds birthday party that afternoon I think I would still be by the fire drinking another glass of the Brown Brothers Everton Chardonnay.
I look forward to returning for dinner one evening if this lunch represents their cooking,
At £34.75 for two including wine this is amazing value for food of this standard.