Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Square and Compass - North Rigton, Harrogate (Parish of) LS17


The Square and Compass has been around longer than I would have thought had I of thought about it, with its clean decor and modern branding it's far from the old traditional Yorkshire pub. The Square and Compass was a regular haunt of D's parents when they were younger and their fondness for the place was stretched so far in that they held their wedding reception there 30 odd years ago. I'm almost certain it has changed hands a few times over the years. Currently however The Square and Compass is owned by Malvern Inns and in addition to this they also own The George at Blackwell in Bristol.

The Square and Compass has a Leeds postcode but lies on the edge of Harrogate in a small village called North Rigton which is included in the Parish of Harrogate.  

We'd had a recommendation from a friend that The Square and Compass did a great Sunday Roast, after a walk around Swinsty reservoir we'd decided it was a more than apt time to check them out for ourselves. 

We arrived around 3pm this particular Sunday afternoon, more restaurant than pub the place was packed to the rafters and when we were asked if we had made a booking I was starting to get a little nervous that we would be turned away. Luckily there was room to squeeze two on a small table beside the bar. 

The choice of roasts include chicken, pork, lamb, beef and a trio of meats. For something a bit different they also offer a fish dish or vegetarian options such as bean Wellington and aubergine gratin. 


D was hankering after the trio of meats which includes chicken leg, beef and pork, his mind was changed as we watched food being brought out and he instead plumped for the pork having being enticed by the crackling which came with it. 




Once upon a time beef used to be my go to option for Sunday roasts however these days I tend to shy more towards lamb, it just feels a bit more luxurious than beef. The menu warns that they serve the lamb pink, which isn't a problem for me. The lamb is accompanied by roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and minted gravy. Vegetables are served separately for you to plate yourselves. 





The rundown:

Lamb: it was very pink in places but not too rare, there was quite a bit of gristle and fat which resulted in a small pile of discarded (and a little bit chewed) meat on my plate at the end of the meal. 

Yorkshire pudding: fairly fresh with only a slight hint of staleness attempting to creep in, D's Yorkshire pudding was much better shaped than my own. 

Roast potatoes: not overly crispy, personal choice would dictate these to be more so for me. They were starting to soak up some gravy by the time they reached our plates but they were lovely and creamy nevertheless. 

Gravy: we needed to ask for more and it was nice that there were two separate gravies tailored to our meats. As mentioned previously my own was served with minted gravy and D's was apple cider gravy to suit his pork. 

Condiments: apple sauce and mint sauce were provided on request at no additional cost. 

Pork: D was more than happy with his pork eating every last piece although the crackling sounded like it was about to break his teeth. 

Veg: seasonal served in a separate serving dish included broccoli, carrots, mangetout, courgette and leaks. At home we'd normally devour more veg than this but that's simply because we love our veg and our Sunday Roast plates are always overflowing. It was crisp not soggy, with a fresh flavour rather than sat around afternoon merging into one flavour flavour. 



We'd refrained from having a starter in favour of dessert, being sat next to the specials board we had spied the crumble as soon as we had sat down. By the time we had finished our roasts we were sadly told that there was no crumble left, not wanting sticky toffee pudding or brownie we asked for the bill instead and vowed instead to pick up dessert on the way home. 

The table next to us both opted for the trio of meats plus a side of cauliflower cheese, they struggled to manage the portions and a lot appeared to be leftover, I think I would have struggled to eat a chicken leg covered in gravy so in a way I was glad we hadn't ordered the trio. 

The staff were incredibly pleasant and friendly, I felt quite a home despite it being a very busy Sunday afternoon with people dashing about all over the place.  The clientele included couples like ourselves (mid to late 20s with disposable incomes, I speculate of course, they could be battering their credit cards for all I know) and families who have a bit more spare cash than the family I grew up in, with their children dressed in Joules, Barbour jackets and Hunter wellies. Altogether feeling very middle class and more Harrogate than Leeds. 

The bill came to just under £35 which is, I reckon, about standard for the quality and the area in which The Square and Compass resides. It doesn't quite come up to scratch to homemade but I don't think I will ever find somewhere that does. 


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