Dining Out: The Falcon Inn, near Cloughton

The Falcon Inn, near Cloughton.
The Falcon Inn, near Cloughton.
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After three decades of living on the east coast I must have passed the Falcon Inn literally hundreds of times without ever popping in for so much as a pint.

Back in my mum’s teaching days, the staff used to book the Falcon for their Christmas meal, as half of them lived in Whitby and the rest mostly in Scarborough – and I never recall hearing a bad word.

So after years of being on our ‘to do’ list, we finally booked ourselves in for a family meal early on Saturday evening.

The first thing we noticed entering the Falcon – on the Ravenscar turn-off from the Whitby to Scarborough road –was the box of toys and books which is great for parents of a teething, potentially irritable one-year-old. While she had her usual distractions with her (cuddly toys, books and annoying electrical things which devour batteries), new material is always good and, bless her, she was good as gold anyway.

We were shown to our table in the corner, which overlooked the beer garden.

Unsurprisingly, on a March evening with the sun setting, this wasn’t massively full, but I can see how popular this might be on a balmy summer’s evening.

We’d seen the menu on the website prior to booking – 
another of the reasons we chose this particular spot – and had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to eat.

Mrs A kicked off her evening with the wild mushrooms and roasted garlic bruschetta, roquette and hazelnut pesto, with Wensleydale crumbs (pictured above) while I decided to have the stack of black pudding, which came with a lovely goat’s cheese (the cheese, not the goat, although I’m sure the goat is also a decent type), red onion and roasted new potatoes which I initially mistook for sausages.

Don’t ask. It’s not funny turning 40.

This can also be served as a vegetarian dish, basically it’s the same, minus the black pudding.

The presentation of the dishes was exquisite and both were very good, washed down in my case by a pint of Theakston’s.

Lucky we’d arrived hungry as the wife’s main course could only be described as hearty – The Falcon steak pie with crust pastry, home-made chunky chips and possibly the beefiest sauce we have ever sampled.

She remarked that the chips and gravy alone could have almost comprised a meal, let alone with a pie which was a cracking winter warmer, especially as we were only a few metres from the fire. I had the belly pork, with crackling, creamed potato, burnt apple sauce, black pudding (yes I am partial to a small helping of these, I just don’t think too much about what’s in them), served with root vegetables with a red wine and juniper reduction.

Again, the presentation was sleek but don’t mistake the minimalism for small portions – there is more on the plate than you might think. After two courses – and Hoovering up the remnants of the pie, which had defeated the better half – no-one was leaving hungry.

Our son’s pizza and chips, from the Kiddywinks menu, was given the thumbs-up too, so we were content with the quality of the food, which was fairly priced, along with the speed and friendliness of service. It might have been 30 years, but it was worth the wait.

Rating: 9.