The Durham Ox

photo of pub interior

A sublime country pub, The Durham Ox of Crayke, is on The Guardian’s List for the top 50 Sunday Lunches in Britain. It’s certainly not hard to understand why. Picturesque beyond belief almost to this city girl, The Durham Ox is surrounded by rolling green hills and valleys and scenes out of a book. In fact, the setting reminds me of the chalk drawing Bert draws in Mary Poppins of the countryside they then jump into. Utterly gorgeous. Inside, it is full of dark wood and exposed brick; it’s warm and rustic and all of the things you need it to be. I am there for one thing only, a Sunday roast. Since coming to the UK in July, I was yet to experience a proper Sunday roast. I’d dabbled at the local carvery, but this was what I had been waiting for.

photo of scallops

For those who ordered starters, the scallops were as big as my fist almost, and looked mouthwateringly good, with a crust of melted cheese.

photo of cheese soufflé
The twice-baked cheese soufflé was light and full of flavour.

photo of beef roast dinner
Finally, starters done, my baby arrives: beef roast. “We serve our beef pink. Is this ok?”It sure is. The meat is succulent and soft. And the Yorkshire pudding (I am new to these) outdoes any prior pudding I have eaten. It is crunchy and smoky and makes a lovely added texture and gravy mop. The duck fat potatoes are crisp and the sides are gorgeous too: cheesy cauliflower and steamed carrots.
My glass of shiraz is bold and beautifully compliments the roasted flesh.

photo of creme brûlée
The chief reason I didn’t order a starter, apart from the fact that I feel a roast doesn’t need a starter, is I wanted dessert. My crème brûlée is rich and decadent, with a hat of perfectly burnished toffee; I pair it with a lovely sauterne. A fabulous finish.

photo of sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is ordered by the rest of the table and was demolished, almost. The sauce was outstanding and fortunately I get to lap up the excess.

If you’re in the Yorkshire region, book a table immediately for this stunning country pub. Show up at 2pm and roll out at 5pm as the dark is descending. Mmmmm.

 

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