THERE is a plaque outside the George & Dragon inn at Flockton which bears witness to its centuries-long history.
It reads: "This curious roadside inn was built in 1485. In those days it was known as The Noah’s Ark or Chained Poker. This was due to the pokers which appear at each side of the fireplace.
"It is said that the chains were used to murder the innkeeper’s wife, who was hanged in front of the fireplace. Folklore says that she is still present to this day. The timbered house dates back to the reign of Henry VII and the king frequented this inn on his travels to the Yorkshire Dales. It wasn’t until early Victorian times that the inn was re-named the George & Dragon. The village of Flocheton – as it was then known – is mentioned in the Doomsday (Domesday) Book (completed in 1086)."
Some of those goings on of yesteryear send a shiver down the spine, but nowadays the village inn offers a warm welcome centred on that infamous fireplace, a good range of beers and some wholesome, tasty pub grub.
A new family team of landlady Anna Brown and her mum Wendy have now taken over at the helm and we dropped by the other Saturday to check it out.
It was years since we last called there and changes have been made to the bar area. The pub is only small, but has been rearranged to maximise the space since last I was in.
There were several locals gathered round the small bar and soon they were joined by several football fans – Town were playing Cardiff City at home that afternoon. They were all Town fans, but apparently two Cardiff supporters had called in earlier for a quick drink. They were leaving as we arrived and seemed to have taken the ‘scenic route’ to the match.
"T’driver must have a Latvian sat-nav like mine," joked one of the locals.
The George & Dragon menus were on the tables. We found one near the fire and studied the choices, it was not extensive but there were some interesting sounding offerings and the prices seemed remarkably reasonable.
For starters there was Soup of the Day (tomato and basil) served with a warm roll and butter (£1.99); Potato Wedges (£1.95); Chicken Goujons with a sweet chilli sauce or alternatively a garlic mayo, and light salad garnish (£2.95) or Spicy Chicken Wings served with a choice of dip and light salad garnish (£2.95).
The friendly and attentive Laura served us drinks and took our food order. Carol ordered the soup I went for the goujons.
Both were well presented and well received. Carol’s soup was tasty and warming on a cold winter’s day and certainly it smelt very good. I also enjoyed my generous helping of goujons – strips of breaded chicken and a tangy chilli sauce with a ‘kick’ accompanied by a dressed green salad with cherry tomatoes.
The main course choices were Aberdeen Angus Burger, served with a light salad garnish, onion rings and a choice of either chips or jacket potato (£6.95, add cheese and/or bacon for an extra 75p); Scampi, with garden peas or salad and a choice of chips or jacket potatoes and tartar(e) sauce; Pie of the Week, with a choice of garden or mushy peas and chips or mashed potato (£4.95); Sausage and Mash – two sausages served with mash potato gravy and garden peas (£4.95); Lemon & Thyme Risotto with Rocket, served with garlic bread (£5.95); Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni, with garlic bread (£5.95); Salmon & Hollandaise Sauce with new potatoes, asparagus and a small salad garnish (£7.99) and Chicken Breast special, wrapped in crispy bacon with a melted cheese and herb topping. The side orders (priced at £1.45 each) were salad, garlic bread, new potatoes, onion rings and chips (add cheese for an extra 50p).
I plumped for the chicken breast which was every bit as tasty as it sounds, well cooked, moist and tender – and a sizeable chunk too. Carol had the Cannelloni – another hearty, warming serving with added garlic bread. That too passed the taste test.
Featuring on the Chef’s Specials Menu are two main meals for £8, with a 10% discount for ‘seniors’ and half price children’s portions. The main courses on offer were Sausage and Mash (or chips); Chicken Tikka Masala with rice or chips; Lasagne; Burger and Chips or Fish and Chips. You can also add a starter for just £1 extra each. The starters are: Soup of the Day; Garlic Bread or Potato Wedges with a dip. The special puddings are Lemon, Ginger or Chocolate Sponge; Apple Pie, all served with custard, cream or ice cream.
The George & Dragon Menu also includes a choice of jacket potato fillings – cheese, beans and coleslaw (£2.95); prawns or tuna (£3.95). An extra topping can be added for 50p.
All sandwiches are priced at £3.50, hot or cold – ham, tuna, cheese, cheese & onion, prawn or special hot beef, with a light salad garnish. A portion of chips is £1 extra and another topping 50p.
You can also order from the Dessert Menu (all priced £2.95) featuring Chocolate Fudge Cake with cream or ice cream; Lemon, Ginger or Chocolate Sponge Pudding with cream ice cream or custard; Apple Pie with custard or ice cream; Ice Cream Sundaes, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. Children’s desserts cost £1.99 and a child’s ice cream £1.
This fascinating, historic country inn is well worth a visit and the food prices are hard to beat – anywhere.
George & Dragon
Flockton WF4 4AL
Tel: 01924 840304
Opening hours: Food service – Monday to Thursday inclusive noon to 2.30pm, 5pm to 8pm; Friday and Saturday, inclusive, noon to 8pm; Sunday noon to 6pm. Menu also includes traditional roasts.
Children: Welcome. Special Children’s menu.
Disabled: Full access
The bill: £29.74, including all drinks.
Would you go back? Yes