A 15th Century North Yorkshire village pub has been acquired by two top restaurateurs at their third attempt.

Richard and Lindsey Top restaurateurs Richard and Lindsey Johns have re-opened the Plough Inn in Wombleton, on the A170 between Helmsley and Kirbymoorside.

The pub is just four miles from the Hovingham Inn, which they opened in 2019. They exited their lease in summer 2022 citing “a drastic and unrealistic rent increase.”

The couple earned much recognition during their tenure there, including a Michelin guide listing, a Times ’30 best places for the perfect pub lunch’ listing, a ranking in the Top 50 Estrella grastropubs list, plus top billing from the Hardens restaurant guide.


After a year away from hospitality, the Johns have reflected on the changing and tough conditions the sector faces, but have returned because “this is what we do.”

"After all we have gone through, especially over the last ten years, with setting up three previous ventures, learning to pivot in business is essential. It's understanding about long term viability. Knowing your customer base. Something we hope to carry forward at the Plough".

The couple added: "Our plans for the Plough are simple. Start from where we left off in Hovingham with a continued quest for improvement."

The Plough's a la carte food offering will add a new spin to classic dishes and showcase the best seasonal produce.

Richard explained: "It's all about trying to make a delicious plate of food that you really want to eat. That is what we will continue to strive towards".

Richard cooks alone in the kitchen, from preparing the starters, all the way to deserts. It’s hard work but delivers consistency.

York Press: The Plough Inn

The a la carte menu will evolve seasonally, with Lindsey building a "considered and balanced" wine list including "little-known" labels and English sparkling wines.

The couple added: "In addition to the food and wine, we intend to keep the bar just as it is. The Plough has historically enjoyed a strong wet side and long may that continue. Expect a selection of lovely hand pulled beers, some being very local from nearby Helmsley Brewery, whom we have worked with previously.

"It is very important to us that folks feel they can nip in for a pint or two and feel no pressure to eat from the menu. Or worst still, feel they should not be allowed in. That is not what we are about. A pub, even if it does provide a decent restaurant food offering, should ultimately be a happy and relaxing place to enjoy a drink or light snack."

Before the Hovingham Inn the Johns had owned Rascills restaurant in Raskelf, York, and for ten years, Artisan restaurant in Hessle, East Yorkshire.

The Hovingham Inn is now Myse, a restaurant run by Josh and Victoria Overington, who previously owned Le Cochon Aveugle in York.