The Star Inn The Harbour Review

Sara Harland visited the popular Andrew Pern restaurant, The Star Inn The Harbour; here is what she thought.

Having the Whitby area as your birthplace and moving away for your career is something some local people must do. But you will always miss the sight of the Abbey, the seagulls’ sound and the sea air’s scent. This was certainly the case for Andrew Pern, the owner and head chef at The Star Inn The Harbour.

Please note: The Star Inn The Harbour has sadly been permanently closed. However, we have left this review available to read, and you can find more information about their York-based sister restaurant, The Star Inn The City and The Star Inn Harome by clicking on the links. 

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The Chef

Star Inn The Harbour Andrew Pern

Andrew is the owner of three other successful restaurants, one being the Michelin-starred, The Star Inn Harome. He is from the Whitby area and was brought up in a local village on the outskirts of Whitby. This local chef discovered his passion for cooking by helping his mum in the kitchen when she developed MS. Local produce around him growing up has influenced Andrew ever since. From Andrew’s success with The Star Inn at Harome, he opened two restaurants in York, The Star in the City and Mr P’s Curious Tavern.

With 22 years in the restaurant trade and winning the North East Final of the 2011 Great British Menu, Andrew took the chance to develop the former Tourist Information Centre on Langborne Road into his latest venture. Andrew has put his stamp on this area of Whitby, making this building another Star restaurant attraction, making this seaside town a new influence on Yorkshire’s food scene. Family is another big theme and motivator for Andrew as his parents are regular visitors to the Star Inn the Harbour as they still live near Whitby. 

The restaurant

Star Inn The Harbour Restaurant in Whitby

Just walking into this fantastic Whitby restaurant and taking in the décor and the ambience is just the start of your Star Inn the Harbour journey. Rachel Mclane is the designer who brought Andrew Pern’s vision to life, merging the styles of the other star locations and giving this restaurant a Whitby twist. The theme reflects the Whitby location and the East Coast Heritage. You can enter through an ice cream parlour and one of the first bar areas. This junction area has a bar bait menu where you can nibble on seaside delights such as ‘Jar ‘o’ pickled cockles and mussels. 

Star Inn The Harbour Restaurant Inside

The main brasserie area of this restaurant ceiling is covered in sails, thick ropes, crab pots and maritime objects. You can even enjoy your fish and chips in booths decked out in timber with plenty of seaside memorabilia to take in whilst choosing from the menu split into two parts with dishes from the harbourside or from the countryside. Everything is finished to such a high standard, thanks mainly to local craftsmen such as James Godbold from Godbold Blacksmiths Ltd to handcraft bespoke octopus door handles, for example. There is also a private dining room for you to experience being in exclusive captains’ quarters for any special occasions to celebrate with family and friends.

Star Inn The Harbour Ice Cream

Once you enter the central area of this restaurant, you are completely submerged in the nautical theme with modern twists that create that feeling of being beside the seaside; it’s a lot of fun, with one feature of a mounted plush toy donkey head on the wall with its teeth clenched holding a stick of seaside rock with a ‘kiss me quick’ hat perched on its head; the head is in encased in a Star Inn the harbour life ring buoy!

Time for the food


Our table was situated in the window area of the restaurant, so we could view the harbour and watch the fishing boats come in, with the Abbey and Church Street as a backdrop. We ordered a bottle of Muscat dry white wine from our waiter’s suggestion to accompany our meal. My mum and I both ordered seafood dishes for our starters so that we got to try some of these classic dishes with the Star twist. I had my favourite dish in the world, which I have every time it is on the menu anywhere I go – The stars version of Moules Marinere, headlined as ‘Steamed Shetland Mussels served in ‘Scarborough Fair’ with parsley, sage, rosemary and Thyme.’ I was presented with a massive bowl of this shellfish delight with a wedge of lemon, the flavour of mussels was strong, but the Scarborough Fair broth balanced this flavour out.

Star Inn The Harbour Moules

My mums’ starter was a classic take on a prawn cocktail, ‘Posh Prawn and Oak Smoked-Salmon Cocktail, Bloody Mary sorbet and fresh horseradish.’ This came with an even more striking presentation style, and my Mum was very impressed. Our main courses came from the countryside menu as we chose meat dishes.

Main Courses

I had ‘Pan-roast Beverley reared duck breast with poached Yorkshire rhubarb, anise carrot puree with candied orange traditional Yorkshire sauce’ and seasonal vegetables. The appearance of this meal was stunning, with the whole meal arranged so that the flavours were infused as you ate it. The seasonal vegetables came in a small pan with the traditional Yorkshire sauce on a wooden stump.

Star Inn The Harbour Duck

My Mum ordered what could be described as a Fred Flintstone style- ‘14oz Salt-aged T-Bone Steak with anchovy, caper and herb butter and skinny fries.’ Even though we had polished off our starters and main, we both found room to share some desserts.


It is standard for me to have sticky toffee pudding if it is on the menu, and the Star Inn the Harbour’s did not disappoint with its delicious texture and the epic flavour combination of toffee and ginger ice cream. We also had a personalised The Whitby Guide brownie! We were spoilt, and the service was exceptional.

Star Inn The Harbour Whitby Chocolate Brownie

Excellent wheelchair access at The Star Inn The Harbour

There was one brilliant thing that struck a chord with myself and my mum; the whole layout of the building is totally wheelchair friendly; this was a significant factor for going out with my family for meals 12 years ago. My dad had developed Motor Neurone Disease and went into a wheelchair quite quickly, and we had to choose family meals based on wheelchair accessibility. The Star Inn the Harbour has used to great advantage the excellent wheelchair access already in place since the days of the Tourist Information Centre, so this has helped this venue become different again – another strength in Andrew Pern’s trademark of being inclusive for everyone to experience the Star Inn the Harbour.

Star Inn The Harbour Mussels

Last word on The Star Inn The Harbour

I loved the food at The Star Inn The Harbour. The sense of theatre and fun pouring out of the interior – the restaurant’s décor is like being in an art gallery – makes each mouthful a joy. The quality of the food and design quirks of the restaurant are the trademarks that have made Andrew’s name in the food world – his skill is in infusing the local area and its culture into the menu.

Star Inn The Harbour Roast

The Star Inn The Harbour brings a different kind of dining experience to Whitby that won’t suit everyone’s food palate; some folks like their fish and chips wrapped in paper and with a vital breath of sea air on the pier. Still, for those seeking a delicious meal in a beautifully appointed restaurant with attentive and professional service, The Star Inn The Harbour is a sensory delight that I feel will be a popular choice with locals and tourists alike.

3 thoughts on “The Star Inn The Harbour Review”

  1. How much of the seafood,meat and other produce is sourced from local Whitby business as this hasn’t been mentioned in the article above ?


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