You don’t have to search far to find scrumptious scran in the Yorkshire Dales and our guide is guaranteed to tickle every taste bud.
It’s time to savour the best flavours that this lovely bit of England has to offer...
Transformed by Denis Watkins, the ‘Godfather of the Gastro pub’ in the mid 1980s, this 15th century inn was listed in The Times’ Top 20 Pubs for Food, 2014. The original gastro pub holds its own against the abundance of others which have followed in its pioneering wake. Back in the 80s it was unheard of to be served new potatoes and fresh green veg in a pub... and The Angel was one of the first to introduce an extensive wine list too. These days expect to enjoy a blend of classical and contemporary dishes made with meat and game from the Dales and Lancashire and local fruits and vegetables. The Bar Brasserie offers a relaxed dining experience, whilst the restaurant is a more formal affair. The atmospheric and unusual wine cave across the lane is also owned by The Angel and is offered as an intimate wedding venue.
Made famous across the world by the delightful animated duo with a weakness for crumbly white cheese, you don’t have to be Wallace and Gromit to get excited about a trip to the Wensleydale Creamery. After you’ve learned all about how to make the stuff, ponder the wonderful panoramas and treat yourself to scones and Yorkshire tea accompanied by a drop of Wensleydale milk, of course. If you’re looking for a bigger bite, try the Creamery’s restaurant for a Yorkshire Wensleydale Showcase Ploughman's, or their renowned Wensleydale and ginger cheesecake. The old man and his dog are salivating at the thought of it!
In the wonderfully named village of Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, this former 18th century coaching house and shooting lodge is an elegant affair, swathed in green creepers and huddled in picturesque fashion in the beautiful Nidderdale valley. In short, The Yorke Arms is ideal for a romantic liaison. Basking in foodie award glory and swooned over by critics, the kitchen is headed by Frances Atkins, one of only six Michelin-starred female chefs in the UK. A meal or tasting menu at The Yorke Arms is certainly a very special treat. Frances tantalises diners with dishes such as Honeyed lamb with minted pickled gooseberries, Parsnip & vanilla soup and Yorkshire curd & plum Tart, created with delicious, locally sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients.
Yorkshire pork pies are the stuff of legend and in Skipton it is Stanforths’ celebrated pork pie establishment which stands out. The Guardian hailed their pies as ‘possibly the best pork pies in the world!’ Stanforths have used the same recipe and methods for the last 80 years; their meat is traceable to local farms and the pies are still made in Skipton. You can buy them warm direct from the shop, and we hear tell that the pork and apple variety is a must to truly appreciate tradition with a twist. If that isn't encouragement enough, there's a market and a castle to visit, and, if your trip gives you a craving that can’t be satisfied back home, Stanforths will deliver their fabulous fare anywhere in mainland Britain.
In the attractive spa town of Ilkley on the edge of the Dales, The Box Tree has been part of culinary life since the early sixties. Housed in one of the town’s oldest buildings, the restaurant was originally a Yorkshire stone farmhouse and dates from 1720. The famous box trees were planted in the front garden in the late 19th century and the rest, as they say, is history. The restaurant holds a Michelin star and the trailblazing celebrity chef Marco Pierre White began his career in its very kitchen. Today, its modern French menu changes daily and specials might include risotto of Maine lobster with tarragon and shellfish essence, or an impossible-to-make-at-home signature soufflé!
With sweeping views of the Swale valley from their lovely beer garden, The George and Dragon holds an enviable position in the village of Hudswell, on the Dales’ northern border. It was the first community owned pub in Yorkshire and now provides a local shop, free internet access, a library and community allotments – it was also recently picked as one of the 10 best pubs in North Yorkshire. The reasonably priced, locally sourced food includes tasty pies and sharing plates plus interesting specials such as lamb sweetbreads and has plenty on offer for veggies (aided no doubt by fresh produce from the allotments.) Why not pop in for a pie and a pint of Yorkshire real ale whilst strolling along the nearby Coast to Coast Walk.
We might not always get the weather for it, but ice cream is big business and the farming family at Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream have been selling theirs for almost 60 years. All the ice cream is made on the farm using family recipes with fresh milk and cream solely from farms in the Dales. You’ll also find Billy-Bob’s Parlour here, a sort of ice cream emporium combined with a 1950s-style American diner. They serve all-time favourites such as handmade burgers, waffles and pancakes plus homemade sodas from a restored 1940s Chicago soda stream! Almost all of the food is made from scratch with farm-to-table ingredients and if the kids aren’t already excited about hot dogs and ice cream cones, let them run wild in the outdoor entertainments overlooking stunning scenery.