The Millstone at Barnack
26th June 2023
Husband-and-wife team Laura and Paul McSorley have just celebrated two years of ownership of The Millstone at Barnack. Nicholas Rudd-Jones caught up with them and found them still brimful of energy and ideas
The huge investment that Laura and Paul made in the fabric of the buildings at the start has really paid off – the place is bustling and still looks enormously well kept and classy. The Courtyard outside is just gorgeous in the summer months and it’s very popular with cyclists and walkers. Surrounded by mellow stone buildings, beautiful, very solid wooden furniture is dotted about on the raised patio area, which is something of a sun trap.
The pub has stayed at the heart of village life – there was a village coffee morning taking place the morning we visited, and lots of comings and goings. Paul regularly keeps in touch with the parish council to discuss their future plans, including drinks discounts for locals on Tuesdays, plus cinema nights, a charity race evening and quiz/games nights.
The launch of The Lounge
The Lounge opened last month and it will give the village and surrounding area a new venue for drinks, food and live music. With its high-beamed ceiling and stone walls clad with wood panels, this space is immaculately styled and bright and airy. Although the shop that was in this space will no longer be open, locals will still be able to order and collect their newspapers, Hambleton bread, fresh local eggs, Grasmere bacon and sausages, etc, here.
The Lounge will continue to be a haven for dog walkers, cyclists, weary parents and anyone who wants to escape during the day, but, with the extra space created, the pub can now cater for up to 60 people for afternoon teas, private hire, corporate events, etc. It is fully licenced.
Great chef, brilliant new menu
Laura told me about changes in the kitchen and to the menu: ‘Many of you will remember Chef Sam Sharman, who was delivering superb plates of food up until the end of last year. Sam has trained under a number of top-level chefs, including Daniel Clifford and Aaron Patterson at Michelin- starred restaurants Midsummer House and Hambleton Hall respectively. Great news… Sam is back!
‘Sam has been joined in the kitchen by Sous Chef Scott White, who has previously worked at Barnsdale Lodge and for Select Chef Agency. He has made an immediate impression with his love for creating wonderful dishes and his passion for pastry.
Scott told me: ‘I just felt like I fit here, the vibe is right, this is a place you can thrive and be creative.’ He has already been commissioned for his pastry skills in connection with a private event coming up in The Lounge.
Laura explained: ‘Expect a sensational new menu. Sam will be simplifying the menu, so he can ensure absolute quality and give more flexibility for specials when the opportunities arise. His mantra to source locally remains as strong as ever.’
The friendly team
The team of 15 or so staff are all committed to giving you a great experience when you visit, whether that is just for a drink or also for a bite to eat. Many of the staff members are very local and passionate about maintaining the pub’s traditions and keeping it at the heart of the village. They have recently been joined by front of house manager, Tracy Carter, who had been at The Crown Inn in Elton. She brings a wealth of experience and new ideas. She told me: ‘The place feels like one big family, and that’s one of the great attractions of working here.’
With a friendly team, fabulous food, incredible cocktails, gorgeous surroundings and a great atmosphere, the beautifully renovated Millstone is a stunning place for a drink, meal or event this summer. Book now!
FIND OUT MORE & BOOK: Call 01780 769979 to make a reservation or visit www.themillstonebarnack.co.uk