The Brownlow Arms, Caldwell, Richmond DL11 7QH (t: 01325 718471)
You’ll need your sat nav to find the Brownlow Arms in the cosy village of Caldwell on the Co Durham/North Yorkshire border.
It is 15 minutes through leafy lanes from Scotch Corner and 30 minutes from the M6 over the A66 and it is popular to best to phone ahead. We had to book for a Sunday night and it was packed.
No wonder. The Brownlow Arms offers a big selection of mouth-watering restaurant food and bar meals and we found it the perfect environment for a meal with friends.
Our visit was in July but I could imagine pulling up a chair alongside one of their log fires and enjoying a pint of real ale in deepest winter.
Chef aims to capture traditional country dining with an elegant modern twist. He does and the menu – which also boasts fish and game – is augmented by a large selection of specials.
Our scallop and crab thermidor was appealing to the eye and palate. Sizzling pork with cashew nuts, spring onion and noodles proved a tasty alternative.
Belly pork on black pudding was deliciously different, the Cumberland sauce adding a pleasing addition to the overall taste, and the 10oz sirloin was cooked to perfection.
The meal came with an ample portion of red cabbage, al dente carrots and a tasty cheese treat as well as an ample portion of delightful chips.
Chefs mission is simple, to serve delicious, affordable food that guests will want to return week after week. They do and we will.
They also look after their beers. The Timothy Taylor Landlord slipped down as did the Semer Water from Wensleydale Brewery.
Sema’ is a light, blonde, easy-drinking ale. I was concerned about the floral undertone, but it was delicate and this pale ale (ABV 4.1%) was refreshingly different.
Service was slick and the atmosphere welcoming. Menus on the website were difficult to read initially, but that is a minor point which can easily be addressed this does not take away from the overall picture.
Do make the effort to go as this traditional country pub with a welcoming atmosphere is a hidden gem.