Lad from the Pub: Don’t tell anyone about this place.
(scene from the Goodmanham Arms circa 2020 AD)
I fear I may be breaking the sacred pledge of a pub promise here, but my duty as a reviewer on the hallowed web-pages of ‘Cedric Suggests’ must, I feel, take precedence, and as such I am obliged to speak of the incredible things I have seen and tasted at the Goodmanham Arms (“the GA”).The above-quoted lad from the pub, being a decent and worthy sort of a chap, was probably conscious of the danger of gems like the GA becoming spoilt by the influx of newcomers. I sympathise with this position but would encourage any interested party to examine Cedric’s blog more closely before calling foul play on this review. You see, the chances of any of Cedric’s readers actually going to this pub are very low indeed. I imagine Cedric’s readership largely comprises of his extended Albanian family and the various good-looking trendy-types he has picked up through a life of cider-drinking and making an effort with his appearance. As such not the sort of people that would be interested in going to an old-fashioned pub in the middle of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Anyway, on with the review. I had been cycling before I got to the GA, in rather inclement weather I might add, so the first thing that struck me about the place was the wood-fires. A very nice touch, and certainly useful to heat up one’s soggy clothes. Once seated and heated, I soon became aware of the superb décor. Slightly cluttered perhaps, but in the tradition of a gothic cathedral, not a student dorm room. Selecting the correct pub knick-knackery is a fine art, but I think the owners of the GA have got it down to a tee. Traditional, tasteful, and not at all off-putting.
My attention was very quickly drawn away from these more trivial matters when I ordered my first pint and tasted one of their ales. The GA has a fine selection of real ales. I had two different bitters (the stallion, and a guest ale called Bass), but I also saw a porter there. Both bitters were very excellent indeed, the best I think I have drunk in the East Riding, and certainly a rival to ‘Pave’ and ‘the Whalebone’ in Hull. A good ale is perhaps not a work of art, but it certainly is a comfort and consolation in a world full of cider-drinkers.
“The landlord of the Goodmanham Arms is Vito Logozzi, who comes from Bari in southern Italy…. Vito looks after the pub, while Abbie [the other side of this husband and wife team] manages a microbrewery across the yard [currently not brewing]. Her brews include Peg Fyfe, named after a 17th-century witch who is now reincarnated in the form of a 3.6% mild, and an elderflower ale called, almost inevitably, Elder & Wiser. The pub’s generous portions and modest prices can attract a big crowd. “I’ve seen the beef run out at 10 past 12 on a Sunday,” one regular recalled. Get there early.” – Christopher Hirst, Daily Telegraph
The food came quickly, I ordered the steak (rare). It came with peppers, chips, a black pudding, and a tomato. The chips were chunky (to my enlightened mind a disappointment), but certainly very respectable. On final reflection I think the pairing of steak and peppers was a very good one. While the food perhaps did not quite live up to the quality of the beer, it certainly was a wonderful accompaniment. The gypsy pot, which I didn’t go for, was supposedly a particular speciality, and it certainly looked like hearty comfort food. Please see below for the full menu.
Overall this was a model pub, a pub to which other pubs should aspire to be like. I think the owners must have sat and said to themselves let’s not just make something adequate that churns out money, let’s make this the best pub it can be. It rightly has a place in CAMRA’S Good Beer Guide 2020, although remember to bring plenty of fasht cash as they don’t take card. It was a real pleasure to dine there, just as it is a pleasure once again to contribute to Cedric’s weblog. I am ever grateful for his friendship, something I particularly noticed during my post-university move to Hull, and as always appreciative of his humour, loyalty and great kindness. I am mindful of the fact that I am the exception to the rule, that people take exception to, especially when it comes to his friends. I hope that I shall continue to be able to contribute reviews to this excellent blog. So, until next time, fair thee well.