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May 28, 2014 08:53 AM

Yorkshire Dales

Any suggestions for the Yorkshire Dales would be highly appreciated.

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  1. Where are you going? It's a big area.

    12 Replies
    1. re: mr_gimlet

      I think we'll be near Harrogate and maybe Skipton. We've been there before but stayed elsewhere that time. My husband remembers a pub called The Drum and Monkey in Harrogate, but he was there many years ago.

      1. re: zuriga1

        Drum & Monkey used to be very good and may still be. It's years since I've been but recall it was particularly strong on seafood.

        No personal experience but I read a good review on Van Zeller on egullet back in 2012 that I made a note of just in case we're back anytime soon (unlikely as extended family no longer live there)

        1. re: Harters

          You are right about the seafood, John. That's just what Himself remembered as being the standout at Drum & Monkey. It sounds like a good destination for a dinner if we stay in Harrogate.

          1. re: zuriga1

            Visited the drum and monkey a couple years ago and it was awful- very very clumsy poor cooking and trapped in a different age. Having said that I think it has recently taken on new owners so worth trying to find some recent reports ..

            1. re: mjgauer

              Thanks... I'll report back if we do eat there.

        2. re: zuriga1

          I was there a couple of months ago. The weekly markets in the various larger towns (Leyburn etc) have some great producers - excellent fish, bacon, cheese. There's a couple of posh pubs - obviously the Star at Harome, but there's also the Black Swan in Oldstead and the Yorke Arms near Harrogate. I had heard that the Yorke is a bit up itself, but I think it's a restaurant in a pub building and people expect to turn up with their dogs and have a beer.

          I was planning on taking family to the Swan but got a typical Northern frosty response (even though we were paying). We went to a few pubs and most of the ones in the pub guides had above average food, you can eat early and save quite a bit of cash.

          My standout meal of the trip was at the Star in York. I would happily have spent all afternoon there.

          We also did a nice scenic drive across the Moors to Whitby, over-ordered lunch at the Magpie, walked around a bit to fight off the dripping-induced coma, got cold and wet, and came home.

          Edit: if you don't know the area, Harrogate is posh. It's full of people who work in Leeds but don't want to live there, and old people on coach trips. Food is disappointing considering the wealth. Skipton (and Ripon) are old, big market towns with wealth built on the land and farming, so they have a different kind of affluence to them.

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            Re the Yorke Arms - no I think it is up itself - not a pub but a old style country hotel.

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              Thanks for the suggestions, mr_gimlet. I remember the market town of Leyburn from our long ago, previous trip. We stayed somewhere up that way. I'd like to stop in York to see the Jorvik, so maybe the Star would do nicely for lunch that day.

              I considered staying at the Yorke Arms, but it's a bit expensive when adding on the dinner, and to be honest, the menu didn't excite me all that much.

              I think it's always raining in Whitby (down the road from where my husband's family is from). At least it's been that way every time we're there. :-)

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                Mr G's right about folk living in Harrogate & working in Leeds. Herself's aunt used to be head of make-up at Yorkshire TV. Uncle was a generally out of work actor.

                Re Whitby. I have it mind that I've read there's a new kid on the block by way of a chippy, replacing the Magpie. Or am I imagining that.

                1. re: Harters

                  I don't think you're imagining it, John. I remember reading about 2 places in Whitby that are supposed to do great fish and chips. I probably have the names somewhere.

                  Harrogate sounds like both bedroom communities that I've lived in most of my life. I should fit right in!

                  1. re: Harters

                    No, you're right. it's Quayside. I went and had a look but the Magpie still has a bit more ambience (unless you're getting takeaway and have to sit in the rain outside the fish market).

                    1. re: Harters

                      I think the Magpie is for the tourists there are a few other which are very busy around the town, the one we went to had lots if awards, and was very basic (and traditional) but I am afraid I can't recall the name.

              2. The problem, I think, with Harrogate itself is that it is a strange town which has more places to eat than you would expect because it is popular venue for conferences for political parties and other large institutions - so qulaity is not that great. There is a Betty's Tearoom there, which apparently is good for old fashioned British food and service.

                However, you'll be in an area with some rich pickings pub-wise.

                The Malt Shovel Inn in Brearton, not far north of Harrogate - haven't been for years, but looks the same and worth checking reviews.

                The Angel at Hetton - again, it's ages since I've been, but I believe that they have kept the same formula and 'signature' dishes which make for a really good meal.

                Further north on the east edge of the Dales is The Blue Lion in East Witton near Leyburn - somewhere I have always wanted to stay and eat, but never made it.

                A bit off your patch maybe, but the Inn at Whitewell near Clitheroe is in a fabulous location and great food - another long-standing favourite. Worth a detour on your journey home maybe.

                Ribble Valley Inns have a few places on the edges of the Dales - The Bull at Broughton and the Highwayman Inn are the nearest and also The Three Fishes, a bit further away. They are run by the Northcote Manor people, so they know what they are doing. I'm not overly keen on their corporate approach to renovating their pubs, but they serve some really good Lancashire and Yorkshire food.

                One town/village I've just thought of is Askrigg - I seem to remember that there is a really good small restaurant there - it's right in the middle of the Dales and very beautiful, so it's worth a google!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Theresa

                  I like the Ribble Valley Inns. Good grub with a strong committment to local produce and local dishes - expect to see black pudding and hotpot.

                  I'm looking forward to their first venture into Cheshire - the Nag's Head at Haughton (between Tarporley & Nantwich) opens on 9 June. I expect it to give the Dysart Arms (Brunning & Price ) at Bunbury a run for its money. And, hopefully, it will get its Good Food Guide entry like its sister pubs - which might mean the GFG can delete the two not very good places in the area that it currently lists (Yew Tree @ Bunbury and the Fox & Barrel @ Cotebrook.

                  1. re: Harters

                    That's interesting - will have to give it a go. I agree about the food - I love the way the Northcote team are putting NW food on the map. I wish they would be less clinical in their renovations though - they are designed to within an inch of their lives, with the aim of making them look like the old pubs they used to be, but just making them feel like they are part of a big national chain... I think the few Brunning and Price places I've been to manage to avoid this.

                    1. re: Theresa

                      By the by, I've always thought B & P are sort of very corporate in trying to not look very corporate. Certainly a common style - the mis-match of tables & chairs, lots of space between them, the old prints on the wall usually including very local ones. Corporate, maybe, but I like it.

                2. While touring the dales 3 years ago, we had a very memorable lunch at the Grassington House in... you guessed it... Grassington. I had tempura prawns to start, can’t remember the other starter, main courses were pork loin with black pudding and cabbage (the chef raises his own pigs) and roast Goosnargh chicken. This is very serious food and beautifully presented.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rrems

                    Adding to my post above:

                    We also had a great lunch at the General Tarleton in Ferrensby, which is near Harrogate and fairly close to the dales. I had a rabbit dish that was especially good.

                    1. re: rrems

                      Thanks rrems... that place looks really good. I also found out about a gastropub with a Michelin star.. the Pipe and Glass in Beverley, but that's in the wrong direction for this trip. I guess we'll have to do the Whitby/Scarborough trip again sometime.

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        Yes, that's why I didn't mention it earlier. It's almost in Hull.

                    1. re: Foxeyblue

                      I remember going to Betty's (I think it was in York) a long time ago. I suppose it's a must if we're there at the right time of day. It was a novelty for me years ago as America doesn't have anything quite like it.. now I'm rather spoiled. Thanks for reminding me about the Harrogate branch.

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        We went to the one in York on our last trip, and though it was very nice, the atmosphere of the one in Harrogate is magnificent.

                        1. re: rrems

                          I agree. The Harrogate one is THE one to visit if possible. And Fat Rascals the thing to order, if you're not having the full afternoon tea.

                          Since family moved away from the town, our trips now follow a theme - visit to Harlow Carr Gardens (I'm an RHS member so we get in free), followed by Betty's. We go into town to the original, rather than the branch at the Gardens, which has as much atmosphere as a garden centre caff.

                          Foody visitors to town will want to pop in to Weeton's -

                    2. June

                      Marina O'Loughlin has a very good Yorkshire food article in today's Guardian (Travel section). Well worth a read.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Harters

                        Thanks so much, John. We'll definitely take a look.