If you're ever in the vicinity of North Yorkshire and need some proper food, get yourself down to the The Star Inn at Harome, near Helmsley. Lunch today was marvellous - I had (a) new season asparagus wrapped in Yorkshire ham with bubble and squeak with a lightly fried quail's egg (b) chicken livers, with soda bread toast and salad with pickled celery (c) lemon tart with raspberry sauce. The ingredients were fab - fresh, tasty, and where possible local - and nothing was overly fussy or ridiculously overwhelming (I hate generalising, but in Yorkshire in the main the portions are pretty huge, and if you hate wasting food it's often a bit of a guilt trip even considering three courses). Everyone else's food looked rather good too (in fact I sneaked some of Rob's black pudding and fois gras, and a bit of his crab salad starter...). Another triumph for proper English food.

Off to France on Monday, for a week of sunshine, wine, cheese and tarts. It'll be such a hardship. I'll let you know how I cope...


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