To some, the Angel at Hetton in North Yorkshire is the UK’s very first gastropub, but that’s not a debate we’re willing to get into right now.
Another area we’re not willing to debate is the greatness of the food served at this charming and cosy foodie pub.
Those behind the gastropub consider the Angel to be a venue that offers pub food ‘reimagined’.
High on the venue’s list of priorities, as well as delivering top nosh, is providing you, the diner, with the best service in the industry.
The pub was one of two pubs to be awarded a Michelin star in the guide’s 2020 list and also rocketed up the Top 50 Gastropubs 2020 list from 50th spot in 2019 to 11 last year, making it 2020’s Highest Climber.
“A place where unsurpassed levels of service, outstanding food and the warmest of welcomes, meet North Yorkshire’s most beautiful landscape,” says its website.
But don’t take our word for it, should you be in the area or lucky enough to live a short journey away from the Angel at Hetton, it wouldn’t be a great risk to try it for yourself.
Michael Wignall, an acclaimed Michelin star-decorated chef, heads this gastropub that he claims is his “most exciting venture to date”.
Wignall and his wife Johanna took over the pub in the September of 2018 along with James and Josephine Wellock.
In just a short space of time, they have gathered a strong team around them, the combined skills and experience of whom “will take the Angel to a brighter future”, says the website.
What’s to eat? Well, it all depends on your needs. The pub has a dedicated restaurant area – don’t worry, it remains a pub in spirit and image – where Wignall showcases his impressive skills.
That’s not to say the bar, vegetarian or breakfast menus don’t receive the same impressive treatment, because they do indeed sparkle.
On the bar you could find the likes of pumpkin soup with teriyaki, hen of the woods, toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil.
Not a fan of gourds? Then something a little more traditional awaits in the form of fish fingers sandwiched between two slices of brioche and a generous smear of home-made tartare sauce.
Now, back to that glorious restaurant menu. We’d start with the Cumbrian loin lamb, which comes with turnip, barbecued kale, chestnut, roast onion and winter truffle.
Following that, we’d be tempted by the turbot, which is served with salsify, sea leek and smoked pike roe butter, scented with kombu vinegar. But, instead we’d definitely opt for the loin of Scottish venison, which is served with butternut squash, pumpkin, teriyaki shiitake, pak choi, cocoa and brioche.
Now, even after all that we can fit in a dessert and would advise nibbling on something light and cleansing. The caramelised apple and skin sorbet with meringue, celery and muscat grape will hit the spot nicely.
If you’re romantically attached, then the Angel at Hetton is also set up for weddings, just so you know.