Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Copper Horse, Seamer, Scarborough
PUBLISHED: 12:28 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 20:01 02 November 2015
Guests enjoy a perfect performance on a plate, says Annie Stirk
It’s not just the theatrical décor that takes centre stage at The Copper Horse Restaurant in Seamer, near Scarborough; stunning, locally-sourced food also makes a curtain call.
Owned by prominent theatre producer Nick Thomas and wife Sandra, who also run The Tanglewood, Restaurant@SJT and the Mayfield Hotel, the coastal restaurant-come-pub is bedecked in a dazzling array of stage and screen memorabilia dating back to the 1950s, which Nick has collected from his years in the business.
‘The décor adds to the diner’s experience and when you walk through the door it’s as if you are walking on to a stage,’ says general manager Rob Lazenby. ‘But it’s all about giving customers a memorable experience too and, while it’s a fun environment, we all take our work very seriously.’
And the food and drink is seriously good at The Copper Horse. Taking our seats in this culinary auditorium, we kicked off our lunch with a sip or two of beers and lagers from the Great Yorkshire Brewery of Cropton alongside a tasty selection of pork scratchings, olives and spicy cashews, before a pre-starter Plate of Seamer with its crumbly and delicious black pudding with Farma ham, egg and a Hedgehoggers cider reduction.
One of the leading lights on the menu was the smoked haddock and leek risotto starter made with spankingly fresh and beautifully smoked fish from Mainprize’s Seafood in Scarborough. The fish, along with the leek, gave the risotto a real depth of flavour and texture. Here it was served as a starter, but it could have equally made a great main course.
The Duc de Morny Picpoul de Pinet 2012, with its light lemony bouquet and gentle acidity, was the perfect accompaniment. All of the interesting and delicious wines at the lunch were supplied by Betton Wines of Scarborough (bettonwines.co.uk; 01723 866054).
The quality of the local produce at The Copper Horse shone through in every course, with the black pudding and Farma ham coming from Seamer Fayre of Seamer, other meats from Sykes House Farm, Wetherby, and fruit and veg from Threshfields of Guiseley. Chef Dan Hargreaves had even collected apples from the village for his cider reduction.
For me, however, the Yorkshire steak and ale pie stole the limelight, with its combination of braised shin and beef skirt providing a gutsy alternative to the usual cubes of stewing steak and, as a gravy lover, the generous jug of beautifully seasoned gravy went down a treat – as did the accompanying Domaine Belles Granges Syrah. The perfectly cooked broccoli, carrots and red cabbage were a great supporting act.
The passion and talent of Dan’s young team is clear to see and many of the kitchen brigade – including James North and Callum Chaplain – have come via Yorkshire Coast College in Scarborough. The Copper Horse puts a strong emphasis on nurturing local chefs and allowing young talent who are excited about work to tread the boards at the restaurant.
Assistant manager George Prew spends every Wednesday evening at Yorkshire Coast College assisting the front of house staff in training and cementing the already strong links they share.
Our finale, a tier of Copper Horse classic desserts, was a real showstopper (especially for those with a sweet tooth). A mini copper pan filled with a beautifully textured custard accompanied a sticky toffee pudding, Bramley apple crumble, cherry chocolate brownie, toffee meringue, berry and vanilla cheesecake and orange Eton Mess. Phew!
Given the breadth of desserts on display, they were all finely executed and utterly delicious, as were the coffee, fig and raisin notes of the 75-year-old Antique Pedro Ximenez Sherry from Fernando de Castilla. This has won just about every award going for a fortified wine and, while certainly a class act in its own right, is an absolute marriage made in heaven for puddings.
The Copper Horse puts its success down to good, trustworthy suppliers and a raft of customers who have become friends and loyal followers, and it’s easy to see why they flock back for a repeat performance. The food, service and atmosphere of The Copper Horse deserve a standing ovation. n
For more information about The Copper Horse, Seamer, Scarborough, visit thecopperhorse.co.uk or call 01723 862029