The Victoria at Cattal
The Victoria sits next to the platform of Cattal train station on the main railway line connecting York to Harrogate. Wander inside and you’ll see there is nothing pretentious about the décor – it is a proper pub and looks like one with its patterned carpet, dark-wood tables and impressive bar, making it as appealing to drinkers as hungry diners.
Staff nip impressively around the busy bar and dining room yet still notice new arrivals. We were guided to the bar, drinks ordered and menus handed over in a jiffy.
Star of the bar is The Victoria’s owner, ex-Leeds United footballer Steve Balcombe. You might want to sample Balky’s Best Bitter, a unique house beer brewed by Rudgate Brewery to Steve’s own tastes. Several other locally brewed cask ales are also available.
Looking at the specials boards, fish is the speciality of the house – and what a choice: lobster and steak, lobster and king prawn thermidor, and whole lobster. I chose stone bass with a prawn sauce and asparagus, perfectly cooked and presented. My marker of a good restaurant is its cauliflower cheese, and it was perfectly presented here.
There are choices galore when it comes to desserts, and crème brulee with homemade shortbread hit the spot.
Judging by our visit, at The Victoria you can expect lovely staff, warm hospitality and great food and drink.
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor