They say three is a crowd: but it was the perfect number of people to tuck into the seafood tapas sharing board at The Carpenters Arms.
Two people, and you’d be lucky to finish your main. Four people – I’d be slapping someone’s hand to keep them away from the delicious smoked salmon, olives wrapped in anchovies and the smoked mackerel and horseradish pate.
The salmon, from The Rivers Severn and Wye, is wild, and you can tell. It’s bright pink with no white fatty strips that are prevalent in flabby farmed salmon, wonderfully lean and tasty. It’s smoked by Severn and Wye Smokery, which supplies fish to venues such as The Ritz, Claridge’s and The Berkeley.
We sit outside, sip Bloody Marys and my Aussie friend – who’s back in her native North East and on a pit-stop tour for three weeks visiting family – loves the lush countryside.
Tandoori chicken breast, Black Sheep beer battered fish and pan-fried salmon fillet make their way to our table. The tandoori chicken served with courgette and spinach curry, crispy onions and minted yogurt hit the spot for a Sunday evening. The beer batter gives a crisp finish to the fish. It doesn’t get soggy.
The only reliable way to know the source of your food is to shorten the chain, and The Carpenter’s Arms works with people who are passionate about sustainable agriculture – just as they are. Fish is sourced from Hodgson’s of Hartlepool and seasonal fruit and vegetables from farms across North Yorkshire and the venue’s own kitchen garden, Mount St John, in Felixkirk.
Service, however, could be a little sharper.
Food and drinks: £95 for three.