Provenance Inns Directors, Chris Blundell and Michael Ibbotson, are two men who call Yorkshire home and share a passion for quality fresh food. After considerable experience and success in the business world and the food industry, both Chris and Michael have returned to their North Yorkshire roots and created Provenance Inns.

Provenance means exploring the origin – whether it be food, drink or architecture. And their quest for provenance is at the heart of their inns. The aim is to bring customers distinctive, seasonal and local produce, in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Over the years, Chris’ enthusiasm for farming and fresh, locally sourced food has brought him together with Michael to form a collection of inns, with provenance at their core: “My entire career has been based in the food sector covering food manufacturing, retailing and farming. I wanted to enter the hospitality sector with someone who had a good track record to complement my food industry experience. Somebody with hands on experience of running highly successful restaurants, and Michael was just the man I was looking for.”

Over recent years visiting the Durham Ox with his family, Chris was impressed with their consistent quality food and service and particularly friendly atmosphere of a traditional village inn. It is over this period that the two food enthusiasts began sharing their ideas and Provenance Inns was born.

Michael purchased The Durham Ox in 1999, and quickly learnt the key to successful hospitality in Yorkshire – being welcoming to all, great service and food and drink that hits the spot. From this point he began to turn this village pub into a roaring success. Speaking of the progress made, Michael said: “It is very important to have high standards. At the Durham ox, we have proved that you can have professional kitchens, experienced service and great drinks, without losing the inherent traditions and charm of a proper Yorkshire Inn.”

“We have some fabulous and exciting support and recognition, such as the AA Pub of the Year, England’ 2007/8, The Publican’s Freehouse of the Year 2008, Yorkshire Life’s ‘Traditional Pub of the Year 2008’, Yorkshire Pub of the Year, at The White Rose Awards, in September 2008 and ‘The Good Pub Guide’s ‘Yorkshire Pub of the Year 2009’.


“We are now a family friendly pub that embodies informality with good food and drink.”



Chris and Michael have since been on a journey of discovery that they have very much enjoyed since their chance encounter, when they first began to develop the Provenance Inns philosophy. A Provenance Inn will reflect this journey in every aspect, from the interiors of the bedrooms to the fire that will warm you on a cold winter’s night.

  • “…THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL SHOWS IN MENUS AND ACCOMMODATION THAT ARE TRADITIONAL YET TOP-NOTCH.”

    As listed in the top 15 Best New Pubs with Rooms, The Sunday Times Travel Section 24.07.11’…The Oak Tree

  • “A SPLENDID MEAL WITH EXEMPLARY SERVICE. PROVENANCE INNS HAVE NAILED ALL THAT THIS NOW GORGEOUS INN SHOULD BE AND IT SEEMS THEY HAVE CHARMED THE VILLAGERS INTO THE BARGAIN TOO. ”

    Elaine Lemm, Yorkshire Post 24.12.11

  • “THIS WAS REALLY TOP-NOTCH, SIMPLE, PUB FOOD COOKED WELL, WITHOUT ANY PRETENTIOUSNESS, AND SERVED BY A VERY EFFICIENT, SINCERELY SMILEY STAFF.”

    Darlington and Stockton Times Malcolm Warne, 14.1.2011

  • “BIG TICKS TO THE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE, LACK OF PRETENSION AND IMPECCABLE SERVICE WHICH MAKE THIS ALL A GOOD QUALITY INN SHOULD BE”

    Yorkshire Post 24/12/10

  • “A COUNTRY PUB IN A BEAUTIFUL SETTING, WHICH ATTRACTS IMPRESSIVELY CONSISTENT REPORTS, NOT LEAST FOR ITS ‘EXCEPTIONAL’ SERVICE.”

    Harden’s, the UK’s Most Authoritative Restaurant Reviews

  • “PUNTERS ENJOY A PINT OF THEAKSTON, AND A DAPPER, YELLOW-WALLED AND WINE-THEMED RESTAURANT THAT DRAWS ALL AND SUNDRY. THE BAR BITES MENU AND THE SUNDAY ROASTS ARE INEVITABLY POPULAR.”

    Top 10 Cosy Pubs, The Guardian

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