The Good­man­ham Arms, East Yorks

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - The Sunday Cook -

Splash­ing through an iso­lated cor­ner of the York­shire Wolds, you reach the Good­man­ham Arms by way of a long, nar­row track of great an­tiq­uity. You park op­po­site a small Ro­manesque church (c 1130) with the sea­son­ally ap­pro­pri­ate name All Hal­lows, and a waft of woodsmoke leads to the pub.

It took a while for my eyes to ad­just to the can­dlelit in­te­rior and take in the Step­toe-like ac­cu­mu­la­tion dan­gling from the ceil­ing: pails, tankards, a sad­dle, a coal scut­tle, pitch­ers, ket­tles, jugs… De­spite in­clement weather, the pub was pretty much full on a Fri­day lunchtime.

While I dithered over the dozen or so beer pumps at the bar, some­thing hap­pened that was new to me in 50 years of pub-go­ing. A reg­u­lar of­fered me a sip of beer from his glass. Flow­ery and tart, Ex­tra Pale Ses­sion Ale from York’s Hop Stu­dio mer­ited in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion, while my wife took on board a half of Thatcher’s cider. Seated at the soli­tary free ta­ble, we lux­u­ri­ated in the glow of a wood fire while tuck­ing into lunch. My slab of rab­bit and veg­etable pie was as suc­cu­lent as it was prodi­gious and my wife was equally im­pressed by her savoury mince in York­shire pud­ding. “Quite ex­cel­lent,” she en­thused. “It’s at least 10in in di­am­e­ter.” With rain cours­ing down the pub win­dows, our ta­ble was the quin­tes­sence of cosi­ness.

If this seems all too English to be true, you’re quite right. The land­lord of the Good­man­ham Arms is Vito Lo­gozzi, who comes from Bari in south­ern Italy. “He ar­rived in Eng­land in 1980 at the age of 16,” his wife, Ab­bie, told us. “We’ve been here eight years. Yes, it is nor­mally this crowded.” Vito looks af­ter the pub, while Ab­bie man­ages the All Hal­lows mi­cro­brew­ery across the yard. Her brews in­clude Peg Fyfe, named af­ter a 17th­cen­tury witch who is now rein­car­nated in the form of a 3.6% mild, and an el­der­flower ale called, al­most in­evitably, El­der & Wiser.

The pub’s gen­er­ous por­tions and mod­est prices can at­tract a big crowd. “I’ve seen the beef run out at 10 past 12 on a Sun­day,” one reg­u­lar re­called. Get there early.

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