Saturday, 26 March 2016

BRAPA - Cropton (at last) .... and Lastingham

Dodgy toilet decor in the Blacksmiths Arms, Lastingham
The Easter Weekend four day break is just too good an opportunity not to get some BRAPA done, so we devised a family 'walking' trip to assist my purpose.  In truth, my dodgy foot (which we don't like to talk about) and some rather inclement weather meant it turned into a glorified pub day.  How guilty did I feel on a scale of 1-10 about this?  I rated it at 1.2,  Mum and Dad didn't care anyway.

Our now legendary SatNav woman loves her rural outings, and having negotiated the busy Scarborough road and the centre of Pickering, we were soon at a pub which was a real 'monkey off the back' for me.....

Me and Mummy Everitt at the New Inn, Cropton
843.  New Inn, Cropton

Ah yes, the fabled New Inn at Cropton as revered by local CAMRA and walkers all over the county, this was a real "oh my god Si how have you never been here before?" pub, I was expecting big things.  It was only just gone 11am so the pub was perhaps not at the peak of it's powers, with a huddle of locals chatting at the bar like extras from Postman Pat.  Cropton brewery is a great one, though their decision to change it's name to 'Great Yorkshire Brewery', thus losing their local identity, is one which I'll never understand.  Luckily, the beers were the same quality as before, 'Yorkshire Pale' on top form and probably good I hadn't spied the 6% Monkman's Slaugter or Chocolate Orange as I was still fragile from yesterday's Horsforth Beer Festival.  They had a huge range of non handpulled fonts as well, but you won't get many hipsters to the dozen in here.  A bit like Danby last week, you felt this pub had lots of hidden rooms, nooks and crannies with a pool table in one room, a collection of Teddy Bears suffocating behind a glass case, t-shirts and carry-outs for sale, a restaurant luckily hidden away, and rooms to stay overnight in.  No prostitutes to be seen.  The brunette barmaid was a nice lass, and after much jiggery pokery with my loose change, I was able to somehow get a £5 note back in change from seemingly nowhere.  Some pubs work better in the daytime, most probably work better on an evening, and you felt this was in the latter category with a lot of pot polishing and glass clinking as the staff worked hard to get organised for the inevitable influx of Easter scum (I mean visitors).  One man staying overnight insisted on parading his baby around the pub, cute the first time, irritating after that.  When the whole family arrived, it was time to move on, but I still had time to return a lost hat to the rightful owner, to a vague degree of gratitude,  It was that kind of place.

Teddies and indoor view of the New Inn
Mummy Everitt does the 'book work' on her first BRAPA appearance of 2016.
After a 'token' gesture of a walk in the pretty village in Lastingham, where we'd previously come for my Grandma's 90th birthday celebrations and involves one of the best churches ever, it was time to stop messing about and get inside pub two......

At the sign of the Blacksmith
844.  Blacksmiths Arms, Lastingham

I'd been so caught up in the anticipation of Cropton, I hadn't considered that this pub might actually be brilliant, so imagine my surprise when it actually was!  As soon as we walked in, the smell of real fires, and busy hub of friendly locals in the main bar, a low ceiling made even lower by tankards hanging from the ceiling.  We ordered ales from a new brewery, Dick's of Brough, and three bowls of tomato and basil soup with crusty bread.  Acceptable pub food, cos I just said so!  We sat towards the back and after a bit of calamafludging  (if that's a word) about whether we were at the one reserved table, we settled down in a room with flat caps hanging from the ceiling -  classic Yorkshire touch.  There were jars of jam, honey, chutney, marmalade (basically anything you could 'jar') for sale, this was a classic rural pub.  The decor in the loos left a bit to be desired (see top photo) but the mood was friendly as a strange old woman sat behind us and started coughing in a musical way.  Dad commented the soup was a bit herby (errm, that might be the basil) whilst I ordered a treacle tart which I'm still digesting now and found it too 'treacly', good job we're not food critics isn't it?  But what a cracker.  So the next time you hear people waxing lyrical about the New Inn, tell them to make the short journey here aswell/instead.

Sitting down to digest my treacle tart.

Enjoying the range of flat caps
If you can put it in a jar, they'll sell it here.
So, what will tomorrow bring?  Well, more from North Yorkshire in my seemingly never ending quest to complete my home county.  March has been a tough month for pub ticking, but a late flourish this weekend should ensure some level of respectability.

Remember to put those clocks forward!  



  1. Lovely stuff.

    How close are you to completing North Yorkshire ? Could be a decent competition.

    You were close, you could have popped up and finished off the family parmo 3 of us couldn't finish and left outside the Boro Premier Inn. Best cold I feel.

    Glad to see you're becoming more family-hostile by the day. Ever been to the Albion in Chester ? You could take over if Mr Mercer ever retires.

    We're staying at the New Inn this summer. Got a Red Letter Day voucher and that was the most beery option.

    1. Mention of the Albion reminds me of this post including its famous sign. While I agree with the sentiment, it's never really appealed to me as a pub somehow.

  2. I have so many gaps in North Yorkshire, it constantly annoys me. Still plenty to do in the very north, a bit in the Dales, but not too bad otherwise. 113 after today's three.

    Cold Premier Inn Parmo would have tempted both myself and Dad.

    I looked at that link, wow that guy sounds crazy. I can't recall seeing the Albion in the GBG, certainly not on my messy visit in 2014. But a good beer town.

    Enjoy New Inn, I bet it's better on an evening. Just don't carry any random babies/kids around the pub. Have you done Lastingham already?

    1. Lastingham and those pubs around Malton you did to do; public transport ropey so rotating the DES.

      49 left in Nth Yorks - psychologically a big county. What are you aiming for before GBG17 ?

    2. Good question. I think I might get within touching distance by end of Aug. More ticks hoped for this Sat.
      My sister has just done Muker and said it's ace, seemingly just to annoy me!
      Psychologically, physically and metaphorically! Roll on Bucks!

  3. I wish to accuse Cropton Brewery of selling out by changing their name in order to attempt to attract a larger, more global market. Dreadful conduct. On the positive it would appear to be a rather good pub to have prospered with having Chris Irvin syndrome. Is this barmaid in line for an award? It would seem fitting for it to be won on the same weekend as the appearance of a Father Jack tribute beer.

    Treacle tart should have a thick, well, treacly filling. It should also be served with vanilla ice cream, the creaminess of the ice cream should counterbalance the otherwise oversweetness of the filling. A good buttery pastry helps in this also.

    1. Fear not Tom, I remind Untappd of this fact every time I check an ale in by them!! CIS eh? I had no idea. No barmaids have yet done enough in 2016, need a conversation lasting more than 30 seconds to qualify!

      The base of the treacle tart plus all round sweetness was my gripe. But Mum also got ill next day, as did Dad, and deduction puts that down to the cream in the soup! And sadly 'sours' Lastingham's pub experience despite initial brilliance!

    2. I therefore wonder if Chris Irvin syndrome is psychological. When you have no knowledge of it you are able to enjoy the pub, when it is there too much pressure is applied.

      A poor pastry base is understandable but for a professional unforgivable. Was there an accompaniment? If it was the cream in the soup, would you not be ill?

      I have had the though that BGE may have expected the basil in the soup to be rat, hence the complaints of herbiness.

    3. It is psychological, I much prefer to have no knowledge of a pub, having said that East Witton and the Derby Falstaff did live up to expectations despite potential CIS so it can be overcome if the pub if is truly great!

      Custard! Which actually took the edge off the sweetness!

    4. As for as I know, neither of the above pubs has ever had CIS. Traditional Derby haunts are the Brunswick and Alex, but I suspect there are others as beer festival attendance there was regular.

      Custard won't have as much effect as ice cream in taking the edge of sweetness, despite the latter effectively being a frozen version of the former. You need ice cream to do the job, the creaminess will cut through more. Custard also risks adversely affecting the structural integrity of the pastry.

    5. Just a reminder Tom that CIS is not exclusive to your Dad, he is simply the figurehead as I'm sure the glossary states.

      The pastry had no integrity, structural or otherwise. It was lacking ethics and morals too. Considering creaminess was what poisoned us, I'd not have wanted ice cream on off chance it was homemade from the same stock! I can't believe this most bollocks BRAPA conversation is still going on.

    6. I have revisited the glossary and can confirm my mistake, I am very ashamed and will be revising the glossary thoroughly. Please feel free to test me on it in future to prevent further transgression.

      Pastry lacking integrity is a disgrace. I think the fact that this conversation has even taken place is proof that pubs should be pubs, restaurants should be restaurants and trying to be both will lead to incompetence in both areas.

  4. Tom, great idea about Basil, but regret that was not my thought. Gut rot apart, North Yorkshire is proving to be a prolonged treat. It seems to have above average weirdness potential.