Firefighters failed to save historic Michelin starred restaurant

Award-winning restaurant The Star Inn at Harome has fallen victim to a catastrophic fire. The 14th century Inn is situated on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, part of its heritage appeal being its expansive thatched roof. Chef Patron Andrew Pern has said that fire has always been a risk, especially as the timber frame and thatched roof are somewhere between 700-800 years old. 

Andrew received a call on the night of November 24th informing him that the roof of the building was on fire. Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after and took over from the staff on site who had made heroic attempts to contain the blaze. He tweeted a short video of the fire and said, "It’s been a long night so far. I’m afraid we won’t be open for a while as we are reduced to ashes with The Star on fire and still burning."

Pern has been celebrating 25 years at The Star Inn this year, and has held a Michelin star for much of this time

Andrew and his team have been met with an outpouring of commiseration and support from industry peers and diners alike. Chef Shaun Rankin responded, "I hope you are all safe, if you need anything at all please yell, Andrew!! Very sad to see this, best wishes." 

Renowned food critic Jay Rayner said "Terrible news. Thoughts with you all." 

Star Inn At Harome Signature Foie Gras And Black Pudding Dish
The Star Inn was famous for dishes like foie gras with black pudding and apple Image: Confidentials

Thatched roof fires are notoriously difficult to put out for a number of reasons. Thatch is usually very dense, it's combustible, and is of course designed to shed water. This means that you can’t just extinguish a thatch fire from the outside, you have to dismantle the thatch to ensure you fully extinguish any flames. 

Usually, a fire team will create a firebreak, removing the thatch a couple of meters away from the blaze to get ahead of it. This process of removing and breaking apart the thatch is why these fires usually take so long to fully extinguish. The images of the Star Inn after the blaze show that this section of the building has been reduced to a blackened frame.

2020 01 28 Star Inn Harome Estrella Gastropubs
Happier times. The Star Inn regularly wins accolades like the Top 50 Gastropubs. Image: Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs

Pern has been celebrating 25 years at The Star Inn this year, and has held a Michelin star for much of this time - it was lost in 2011 and regained in 2015. The restaurant has been extended over the years to add a modern dining room and cocktail bar, which overlook the beautiful kitchen garden. The Star Inn is known for showcasing local produce, be that herbs or vegetables from the kitchen garden, forrages fruits, or game from local estates and farmholds. 

The building is steeped in history, and the pub bar was built by Rober Thompson, the "Mouse Man" of Kilburn, known for his furniture carvings complete with tiny mouse details. The cruck construction - curved timber frame - of the building was visible in the upstairs Coffee Loft, and drew many curious historians to have a nosey. 

We have no doubt that Andrew Pern and his ambitious team will rise from the ashes, but it is a truly sad loss for diners country-wide. This was a building that drew people in with its unique history and character, and it shall be sorely missed. We encourage you to follow The Star Inn at Harome on social media, and keep your eye out for ways to support, and to book a table when they are ready to welcome guests again. 

We anticipate there may be several months before they are ready to do so, and in the current climate as hospitality tries to find its footing after a damning couple of years, they will need all the support we can give them.

Read next: First look at Crimple Hall's new restaurant and food hall

Read again: Top 50 Gastropubs 2021: Which pubs in the North are included?

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