The George and Dragon, North Yorkshire’s 1st community pub

After two years of fundraising and hard work, The George and Dragon in Hudswell has now reopened as North Yorkshire’s first community pub.

Locals raised £227,600 in a matter of weeks to purchase the property, and a £50,000 grant from North Yorkshire County Council further boosted the coffers.

And, according to the Facebook group set up to keep people in touch with what’s going on, not only has the hard work paid off but the venture is soon to be the subject of an ITV feature next January/February.

I went down to have a look recently and, of course, try out the food.

Before it closed, the pub was a popular place for excellent Sunday lunches which always had a wide range of vegetable accompaniments cooked in imaginative ways, but the décor left something to be desired being outdated and a bit dingy.

The first thing to notice is the general brightening up of the place, newly decorated and furnished plus the terrace out the back with its stunning views has been spruced up too…onto the food.

If I list some of the menu items you’ll get the idea of the style of the place – Whitby cod and chips, lasagne, bangers and mash and shortly there’s to be a special which is due to be either hotpot or shepherd’s pie. (Worth noting that there’s gluten-free bread on offer too.)

It’s traditional food, the sort of thing you might cook at home.

We went retro with a prawn cocktails, steak and veggie bangers. The best thing about the meal were the proper chips – all lovely and crisp and the properly cooked veg. It was a homecooked meal – nothing fancy but honest. And cheap.(Under £10 a head)

It’s probably not the sort of place that you’d get the car out and take a drive to just for the food, but then that’s not what this place is about.

The community pub is just that, a place for the local community to get together and enjoy a meal and a drink. Good luck to all involved – I’m certainly looking forward to repeat visits over the summer.

The George & Dragon Pub is at Hudswell, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6BL. Phone: 01748 518373.