PYGMY goats, Polly the horse and a pint are all on the menu at our Pub of the Week.

A very warm welcome – from the staff as well as the pub 'pets' – await customers at The Gold Cup Inn, Low Catton, eight miles from York.

The pub is a family affair run by brother and sister David and Sarah Hales and David's partner Nicola Morris. The couple's daughter Harriet works there too as does Sarah's daughter Holly.

York Press: Publicans David, Sarah and Nicola at the Gold Cup InnPublicans David, Sarah and Nicola at the Gold Cup Inn

We asked David to tell us why the pub is special.

He said: "We’ve been running our family business for 30 years and we’ve worked hard to ensure our pub is as safe as possible while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere and continuing to serve delicious home-cooked meals."

If you would like to nominate your local to be our next pub of the week, click this link here

What is the best thing about this pub?

The pub’s rural setting adds to its charm and we have plenty of picturesque outdoor seating areas. While savouring a bite to eat and a few drinks in the beer garden, the pygmy goats - April and Bambi - and horses may even come to say hello!

York Press: Pub pets - pygmy goats April and Bambi and horse PollyPub pets - pygmy goats April and Bambi and horse Polly

Also, the large car park ensures that we’re easily accessible and we’re the perfect place to refuel after exploring the stunning scenery on the public footpath from Stamford Bridge to Low Catton.

What is the history of the pub?

The building itself dates back to the mid 1800s, the low wooden beams in the bar are indicative of the pub’s age and two original fireplaces remain. It was originally three cottages before being converted into a public house and a milliner’s. In 1989, the Hales family took over the Gold Cup and have been running it as a family business ever since. As with many historic properties, the pub is believed to be haunted and numerous members of staff have reported an eerie chill and things mysteriously moving. The ghost, a hostler, is supposed to alert the residents if there’s ever a fire.

How do you keep its customers happy and coming back for more?

We pride ourselves on serving freshly cooked meals and providing a warm welcome to everyone. Couples, families and four legged friends are all welcome! With 30 years experience running the pub, you’re assured consistently good food and we’re fortunate to have many regular customers.

What challenges have you faced during the Covid-19 crisis?

We closed for six weeks due to Covid-19 and when a regular customer asked if we would offer a takeaway service, we gave it a go despite being apprehensive. To protect our other staff members, just the three family members were working during lockdown which was quite the challenge! Thankfully, it was a roaring success and many local customers said that the takeaways were a real treat to look forward to during lockdown! Ordinarily, we rely a lot on large groups but this isn’t possible anymore due to the virus. Instead, we’re continuing to offer a takeaway menu and we’ve also started serving luxury ice creams to takeaway.

How have you adapted to reopen during the Covid-19 crisis?

We’ve implemented a number of measures to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible, including taking contact details for track and trace. To aid social distancing, we’ve put a one-way system in place, all of our tables are spaced out and we only offer table service.

York Press: Beer garden at the Gold Cup InnBeer garden at the Gold Cup Inn

Hand sanitiser stations are available on entry and exit and we’ve enhanced the frequency of our already meticulous cleaning schedule. We ensure menus are sanitised after every use and all doors are propped open to reduce touchpoints. In addition, all front of house staff wear face shields and the kitchen staff wear masks. Rest assured that we’ve conducted a thorough risk assessment and we’ve been certified covid secure by the council.

What is your favourite story about the pub?

In the past, a rogue landlord allegedly started a fire down the field so he could claim on the pub’s insurance. Luckily, a villager foiled his plan and put out the fire. Perhaps the helpful ghost alerted the villager to the fire? Whatever the case, we’re very grateful that the pub didn’t burn to cinders, otherwise the Gold Cup as we know it wouldn’t exist!

What type of drinks do you sell and what are the best sellers?

We offer a variety of drinks including an extensive wine list with mini cellars, real ales, Guinness, lager and draught cider. Our locally sourced real ale, Wold Top, is a new addition to the bar and has been extremely popular. G&T's are another firm favourite, so much so that we’ve sold out of our homemade raspberry gin!

What about food?

Food is served every weekday lunchtime and evening (aside from Monday lunchtime), and all day Saturday and Sunday. We have an extensive menu that caters for all tastes, ranging from pork belly and seabass to pub classics such as steak pie and Cajun chicken.

York Press: Some of the food on the menu at the Gold CupSome of the food on the menu at the Gold Cup Dietary requirements can be catered for including gluten free and vegetarian/vegan options. Also, smaller appetite meals and light bites are available and we serve sandwiches Monday-Saturday lunchtimes. If you have a sweet tooth, our homemade desserts include cheesecakes, sticky toffee puddings and brownies. We’re an extremely popular destination on Sunday lunchtimes, our roast silverside of beef being a particular favourite!

To nominate your local as our next pub of the week, click this link here. If you are a landlord and are proud of your pub, you can also apply to be our pub of the week.