The Boat Inn, Sprot­bor­ough

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Food&drink -

THE web­site for The Boat Inn has a line which tells you that it is “a 17th-cen­tury pub on the grassy banks of the River Don, next to Sprot­brough Lock.” And to­day, so it is – but not so many years ago, when this part of the county was sore af­flicted by flood­ing, The Boat was not so much on the banks as in the Don it­self. Way in. When the wa­ters even­tu­ally sub­sided, the poor old Boat was a sorry sight. Hap­pily, those days are now be­hind us, and the bustling Boat is once again ship­shape.

It is said that no less a lit­er­ary lu­mi­nary than Sir Wal­ter Scott stayed here in the reign of Wil­liam IV, scrib­bling away on the first draft of his epic novel Ivan­hoe, which he set in and around nearby Con­is­brough Cas­tle. One of the nice things about The Boat is that it is a col­lec­tion of nooks, cor­ners and cran­nies, so that a small party of din­ers doesn’t feel hemmed in by larger ones.

As for the beers, wines and spir­its, well, the shelves of the bar are crammed with them, and the guest ales are changed reg­u­larly. A su­perb pint of Cum­ber­land was a joy to sup. On warmer days, the court­yard is as busy as the in­te­rior, and you can work up a fine old ap­petite by hav­ing a stroll along the river banks be­fore lunch or din­ner. The area is pop­u­lar with fish­er­men, ram­blers, dog-walk­ers, and The Boat’s reg­u­lars. It is there­fore a pity, with so many other good things go­ing for it, the greet­ing on our visit was abrupt. How­ever, the menus are en­tic­ing, and it is, ap­par­ently, im­per­a­tive to book for evening and week­end meals.

The Boat Inn, Nurs­ery Lane, Sprot­bor­ough, DN5 7NB. 01302 858500.

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