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111759 1

The Hare Inn

AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Dramatic moorland cooking at a medieval inn

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Wines by the glass

There isn't much to the unassuming little village of Scawton, near Helmsley, at the southern fringe of the North York Moors National Park, but it does boast the Hare Inn, and that's reason enough for tracking it down. It's a modest-looking medieval inn dating back to the 13th century, red-roofed and whitewashed, its window-frames done in pale khaki. There are a couple of wrought-iron tables outdoors if you fancy taking the country air before dining, and the surrounding tranquillity is certainly sufficient to inspire such a thought on balmy noondays and early evenings, but then the place has such an air of unmolested venerability that you'll soon be hastening into the stone-walled indoors, with its iron wood-burner, deeply upholstered clubby armchairs, cask-conditioned, hand-pumped ales and pervasive air of relaxing bonhomie. Paul Jackson likes to share his culinary panache, and can often be seen demonstrating at regional fairs, from the Scarborough Seafest to the Harrogate Flower Show. Back at the Hare, Liz Jackson makes a capable and effective front-of-house advocate for the kitchen, though nothing quite prepares you for the gastronomic dramatics to come. In the best present-day fashion, Paul sources locally, drawing on the produce of moorland farmers and growers for menus that combine great creative energy with concentration and intensity on the palate. Every dish is imaginatively conceived, with a mixture of textural and colour variations in one intricate construction after another. The core menu is a multi-course affair, with a longer taster to supplement it, and there is the option of what are discreetly called 'beverage pairings' (for which, read thoughtfully chosen wines) to go with the successive dishes. After a selection of ingenious appetisers, the principal dishes might open with a serving of sea bass and a bunch of its seafood friends, a king oyster, mussel and cockle, before a serving of marinated Dexter beef with bone-marrow, radishes and macadamias. The voguish technique of offering one of the central dishes in two servings is observed here, but often for fish rather than meat surprisingly, so that the ever-versatile mackerel might appear first in Japanese guise with cucumber in shiso, ponzu and soy, before a follow-up take presents it with anchovies in lemon verbena and garlic. The main meat might be tenderly rare pigeon, accompanied by asparagus, ramsons and spelt, and a refreshing granita primes the palate for the brace of desserts to follow. Expect perhaps a chocolate and cherry pairing charged with Kirsch, and then strawberries with sheep's curd and fennel. A list of discerningly chosen wines is on hand to accompany it all, assuming you don't go for the pre-selected beverages, but as they may well range from Drouhin Chablis to a South African Red Muscadel, it seems a shame not to.

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Opening hours

  • Closed: Annual holidays vary (see The Hare Inn website for details)
  • Days closed: Sunday to Tuesday
  • Closed for lunch: Wednesday to Friday (Thursday to Saturday must be booked in advance)
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.30
  • Dinner served from: 6
  • Dinner served until: 9


  • Chef(s): Paul Jackson

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 8
  • Wines over £30: 20
  • Wines by the glass: 12

Price guide

  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 1
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome


  • Seats: 22
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 22

Getting here

1 mile from A170 between Helmsley and Thirsk

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