I visited ‘East Yorkshire’s best pub’ to see if it lives up to the accolade

Old Star, Kilham, near Driffield
Old Star, Kilham, near Driffield -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

Recently recognised as the pick of the crop in the region and even more than that, one of the best in the whole of the UK, I decided to find out if the praise heaped on an East Yorkshire pub was justified.

Happily less than an hour’s drive from where we live, I booked a table – as its followers on Facebook recommend you to do – to coincide with my birthday, because who wants to cook and wash up on that day if they don’t have to? The Old Star at Kilham, near Driffield, is in Church Street and is opposite the said church, the prominently-perched and pretty All Saints’.

The welcome is laid out for customers at the Old Star, its name imprinted but well-worn by many feet on the coir mat as you walk in. The place was buzzing before 7pm, with plenty of people already eating and drinking in the “snugs” off the main passageway in, and it was a squeeze to get to the small bar area, where we announced our arrival.


We were shown to our table, a cosy spot right beside the fireplace where a log fire was blazing. Our seating was a comfortable L-shaped settle and we had plenty of space to relax, chat and eat without bumping elbows and weren’t crowded by our fellow diners.

There was a pleasant hum of chatter – no need for tinny piped music in here – the lovely view out of the elevated church from the front window and plenty of interesting knick-knacks to look at. I am sure there must be a story behind the old bowler-style hat hanging from the end of the curtain pole; one to enquire about on another occasion.

Cosy atmosphere created by the blazing log fire at the Old Star, Kilham
Cosy atmosphere created by the blazing log fire at the Old Star, Kilham -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

There was a comprehensive choice on the regular menu, with plenty of starters and mains to tempt us. There was also a good selection on the specials board for the night.

I chose garlic mushrooms to start and fish pie to follow, from the “normal” menu; my other half stayed with the specials for his starter of stuffed field mushroom and main of lamb shank. To drink, it had to be glass of prosecco (birthday bubbles) for me and a pint of Birra Moretti for my partner.

The two very different treatments of our mushrooms were both delightful (we each had a taste). My creamy garlic mushrooms came served on two pieces of toasted sourdough topped with salad leaves and a balsamic glaze and were delicious and so garlicky I could have warded off vampires for miles around.

My partner’s two large field mushrooms had been prepared with an interesting topping of onion, mushroom, pepper, garlic and chorizo, topped off with mozzarella and served on a bed of salad leaves. I tried to make a mental note of how they had served this dish as I’d really like to replicate it myself.

Main course of slow roasted lamb shank
Main course of slow roasted lamb shank -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

My fish pie main course was a piping hot dish of smoked haddock, cod and salmon, in a cream and paprika sauce, topped with mashed potato and cheese, and served with a separate helping of vegetables. This was oh-so tasty and very filling.

The lamb shank came with creamy mash and vegetables, served with a red wine, rosemary, mint and garlic sauce (absolutely no chance for local vampires). My partner savoured every last mouthful and didn’t have to pick the bone clean; the meat just fell away.

Though we were now feeling quite full, it would have been rude not to try some of the desserts on offer – unfortunately, my partner’s first choice and absolute favourite, sticky toffee pudding, had sold out, so he plumped for Daim Bar tart, with ice cream, and I couldn’t resist the Bailey’s cheesecake.

I was so excited by their arrival that I forgot to take pictures of how tantalising they looked. They were both delicious.

Field mushrooms starter
Field mushrooms starter -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

We both agreed it had been a great night, my partner declaring it “one of the best meals out” he’d had. The welcome was warm and the service attentive.

It will be interesting to see how the Old Star fares at the National Pub & Bar Awards 2024 this summer, having already been awarded the East Riding regional title. From our experience, it has to be in with a shout for the overall honours.