Sunday 17 August 2008

Raven Hall restaurant, Ravenscar, Yorkshire

Appropriately-named, 200-year-old Raven Hall sits brooding on a high clifftop overlooking a sweeping arc of coastline leading up to the red roofs of the old smugglers' village of Robin Hood's Bay. Inside is something of a time warp with old leather chairs in the foyer and smart white tablecloths and napkins in the spacious dining room. But it is the beautiful view of the vintage coastal countryside through the huge windows that will catch and hold your eye. The sluggish waiters wear white shirts and black ties, loosely knotted, making them look like overgrown schoolboys. But the food is much more polished and generally good value. For a tenner, you can have a precisely-cooked, well-seasoned piece of salmon covered in a prawn sauce and accompanied by al dente vegetables and a choice of chips, new potatoes or jacket potato. The sea bream with a fennel and langouistine sauce, a chef's special, makes for a fine combination of flavours. The children's menu includes some reasonable mini-pizzas and sausages, both offered with chips or new potatoes, plus peas and sweetcorn, for £6 a dish. You can wash it down with the free water, served in large jugs, wine or a draught beer, such as Tetley's or Fosters. Fine food in a fine setting. 8/10