PUB OF THE WEEK: The Cross Keys
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The Cross Keys is not unlike many Yorkshire country pubs.

The prepossessing inn at the heart of Hillam, near South Milford, comes festooned with colourful hanging baskets and tubs.

On a summer evening, the dark wood, heavy- beamed and swirly carpet interior is less appealing than out, but a hefty wood burner in the fireplace promises warm and cosy on inclement weather days.

What excites about here though is that the place is heaving.

There is barely an empty table in the large dining room; it is a hive of activity filled with families, couples, old and young.

They are tucking into plates of good Yorkshire portioned food, mainly whale-sized fish and chips; Friday night offers two for £6, bargain or what?

The menu is unnervingly long, giving rise to the thought how any one kitchen could manage to cook this amount of food.

The proof though lies in the evident enjoyment around the packed room.

Food is not, however, the only driver of this establishment.

At the bar, there is an acceptable range of hand-pulled local beers and the list of wines is reasonably thought out.

Add to this a smaller, food-free room off the bar for drinkers, dart players and TV watchers, and the Cross Keys seems to have all bases covered.

The staff appear totally unfazed by the pressure of a packed house, taking the time to stop and chat, with smiles all round at the bar too.


About The Author

Following a successful career as a chef and restaurateur, Yorkshire's Elaine Lemm is a highly respected food and drink writer and recently voted one of the top 50 in the UK. Elaine is a member of the Guild of Food Writers and author of three books,The Great Book of Yorkshire Pudding, The Great Book of Rhubarb and The Great Book of Tea.

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