Tag Archive for: Yorkshire

Bank holiday weekend and I’m motoring towards Scarborough. Mist wreathes Sutton Bank as I tackle the hairpin ascent. In drizzly Helmsley the tea rooms are doing a roaring trade and I’m consigned to the overspill long stay. This is journey’s end. No seaside scrum for me. A five minute walk across the Market Square, Pignut awaits.

Context here. This forage-centric restaurant is named after conopodium majus, a commoner than you’d imagine umbellifer, its delicate fronds confirming it’s a wild cousin to the carrot. Uproot it in spring and there’s the tiny edible tuber. Pigs love to guzzle it, hence the name. Alternative monikers include hog nut, earth nut and kipper nut. Trim off the outer skin and taste. Hazelnut? Definitely a hint of sweet chestnut apparently. Need to know more? Check out this video report from the pignut front line. 

Inside the eponymous restaurant I am not confronted by this forest gift, but there will prove to be a preponderance of late season wild garlic across the £95 eight course tasting menu I have chosen. Also figuring: sweet cicely, cow parsley and hogweed. All demonstrate the ethos behind this debut project from chef Tom Heywood and sommelier partner Laurissa Cook. Rows of ferments, pickles and oils are the sustainable bedrock of an operation rooted in the terroir. Ditto the commitment to local suppliers, proudly listed. This access to amazing raw materials played a big part in why the couple decamped from York, where they worked  together at the now departed Rattle Owl.

As it nears its first birthday I’m surprised how under the radar Pignut has been despite early Michelin recognition. Not quite on the level of Mýse eight miles to the south in Hovingham, which has been fast-tracked to an actual star inside its first year of opening. But then its chef/patron and fellow York escapee Josh Overington has a high national profile from his Cochon Aveugle tenure.

What both restaurants share, apart from open kitchens and stylishly stripped down interiors (Pignut has just six tables plus a cosy upstairs lounge), is a significant attention to their wine list. In Mýse’s case it is curated by Keeling & Andrew, the Noble Rot duo; Pignut’s is more eclectic, making the £65 seven 100ml glass wine pairing an act of global serendipity. Laurissa kindly let me have a truncated version since I had to drive home later via switchback Sutton Bank again, then the A1(M) and M62. I missed out on a Pedro Ximenez collab between Envínate and Bodegas Alvear in Montilla, a Polish Cabernet Sauvignon and, ‘local’ incarnate, Jacky Boy, an imperial stout from Helmsley Brewery 60 metres away. I’m sure the latter would have been perfect with course four, the house soda bread with whipped Fountains Gold Cheddar butter. The matches I did try (of each more soon) all worked brilliantly with Laurissa a font of information at my shoulder.

So what were the stand-out dishes – and wines – of this leisurely lunch?

After snacks built around wastage from other courses (think asparagus peelings in the chicken broth, lamb belly, heart and liver in a mini-faggot) came an exquisite salt-aged beef tartare given crunch by a soda bread crumb, accompanied by a chilled blend of Piemontese grape trio Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo – from Geyserville in California. 

To cope with the Goan spiced, Hodgson’s Crab, another wine at the natural end of the spectrum, a tropical Gewürztraminer from Slovakia. This went even better with a further sourcing from Hartlepool fishmonger Hodgson, which supplies over 20 Michelin star restaurants. This was a pearly tranche of wild brill which Tom had stuffed with a duxelle. After steaming it arrived topped with a smoked mussel under a torched lettuce leaf in an intense mussel and chive broth.

If that was subtle craftsmanship the final dish, a Moorside mushroom mousse, was the bravado barnstormer. Sourced from Luke Joseph at nearby Fadmoor, oyster mushroom and lion’s mane are made into a parfait that is then glazed with dark chocolate, topped with a coffee tuile and served with a mushroom ice cream. What could match this earthy pudding  adventure? I succumbed to the recommended Alcyone, an aromatised Tannat red from Uruguay, the bottle adorned with an image of that goddess of the sea, moon and tranquillity. Apparently the base wine was aged for several years in French oak and suffused with various herbs. Hints of chocolate, vanilla and mint reminded me of a Barolo chinato, a dessert wine with a similar savoury edge. A very clever match.

This dizzying climax to the tasting menu ‘encouraged’ me to enjoy a prolonged, post-prandial mooch around pretty, pantiled Helmsley, including its Walled Garden in the shadow of the ruined castle. Its community-focused five acres dedicated to horticultural therapy also supply herbs and flowers to Pignut. Naturally.  I hope all this kind of involvement earns them a place in the Good Food Guide’s 100 Best Local Restaurants, currently being assembled. A front-runner is Bavette near Leeds (review here), which makes up my trio of favourite new northern restaurant openings over the past 12 months.

Pignut’s menus alone, artfully adapting to the seasons, make them well worthy of inclusion. And back to that wine offering. I made my glass of Canadian Cabernet Franc stretch to include the Thornton-le Dale lamb course (maybe a heavy hand with shawarma spicing here) and Angus beef fillet from the Castle Howard estate with beef-fat baked asparagus and a pesto of wild garlic that felt relatively conventional.

My one regret from the visit? Perhaps I should have splashed out on an extra glass – of Belgian Chardonnay. No, me neither. But I foolishly balked at £16 for a 175cl glass. After it aroused my curiosity on arrival attentive Laurissa had poured me a generous taster. Could easily be mistaken for a top-end Macon. When I return to this charming spot, as inevitably I shall, staying overnight in the town, I may well order a bottle of the same. Maybe pignuts will be on the menu.

Pignut, 12 Bridge St, Helmsley, York YO62 5DX. Eight course tasting menu £95 (wine pairing £65), four courses £55 (£30).

The Rhubarb Triangle is calling. As images of the first vibrant pink shoots of the season filter onto social media I get the urge to head 30 miles east east to the forcing sheds of West Yorkshire. More specifically to the acclaimed early rhubarb fiefdom of one Robert Tomlinson. His Pudsey farm is arguably an outlier of the Triangle, which purists confine to a nine square mile area bounded by Morley, Rothwell and Wakefield, but chefs and foodies flock to order from ‘Rhubarb Robert’. The product is that good.

Alas, my M62 trek is in vain. Early days for the harvesting by candlelight that is de rigueur in the sheds and the few bundles emerging have been snapped up in the farm shop before my arrival. “Next week we’ll have lots, luv.” The season lasts until March.

I console myself five minutes up the road with a visit to the Fulneck Moravian Settlement. This is a planned village built in 1743 by Protestant Brethren from Bohemia whose denomination pre-dated the Reformation by 60 years and later influenced John Wesley. I followed the ‘Meditation Walk’ around the buildings of the still active community and pondered the ghosts of its past – actress Dame Diana Rigg, who boarded at (and hated) Fulneck School and, from the village, Sir Leonard Hutton (364 not out still the highest Test innings by an England cricketer).

A legend in a different sphere is Kaushy Patel, whose family restaurant Prashad, serving Gujarati vegetarian food in unglamorous Drighlington, is handily placed on my homeward journey back down the A58. This converted pub, now with    son Bobby and his wife Minal at the helm, holds two AA stars, a Michelin Bib Gourmand, came second in the 2010 Channel 4 cook-off for Ramsay’s Best Restaurant and was more recently visited by Gordon’s fellow telly perennials, The Hairy Bikers.

A dish chef Minal served up to Ramsay in the semi-final remains on the menu. It transferred with the restaurant in 2012 when it moved from Bradford and showcases a green vegetable you won’t find in common or garden Indian restaurants.

Step forward the colocasia plant, also known as elephant-ear leaves, taro or cocoyam. As a tuber it is edible but the leaves are the favourite in the Patels’ native Gujarat state in India. It was from there that Kaushy moved with husband Mohan in the Sixties, setting up a deli that later became a hugely popular eaterie. 

In her debut cookbook, Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking (Salt Yard, £25) Kaushy offers genuinely authentic recipes. I’ve used it a lot, but never been able to source the colocasia to make the two Patra dishes featured. Apparently you can buy it online and Indian-born US scientist/cook Nik Sharma, in his wonderful new book Veg-Table (Chronicle, £26), substitutes collard greens. Chard might do. Colocasia’s green arrowhead shaped leaves can grow up to 150cm long (above left), but the smaller leaves (10cmx15cm) are what you need for cooking, Steaming an stuffing is the way to go.

And they are good for you – containing dietary fibre, potassium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, magnesium, and folate. So how could I resist ordering a warm starter of Bafela Patra (£9.20)? So as not to scare off the uninitiated, it is described on the menu as ‘star anise and jaggery pasted chard parcels’. It arrived on a flourish of beetroot pure and topped with coconut shards, yet it looks not immediately appealing, like a portioned out olive green stick of rock. Yet it turns out to be utterly delicious, with a deep earthiness… and substantial. (see the recipe below from the excellent Prashad website).

For my main I’ve greedily ordered the Maharani Thali, giving this solo diner a rundown of a range of dishes on the one platter. At £27.50, with rice, rotis and raita all part of the package, it could easily be a sharer. Stand out components? Choli (chick peas with cinnamon and star anise), paneer masala with fenugreek and onion/tomato base, chatta palkya (cinnamon and bay leaf infused spinach and mushrooms) and a gloriously creamy shrikand for pud. All washed down with a Kernel Porter from a beer list curated by Bobby’s brother Mayur, who co-owns Bundobust.

There is Cobra on tap for curry house traditionalists. They probably wouldn’t be the prime audience for the in-depth discussion of the Patra tradition in Sheetal and Rinkal’s Gujarati food blog Route2roots. It acknowledges that colocasia is a staple across the sub-continent but achieves its apogee in the Patra dishes of the Anavil Bhramins in one corner of Gujarat. 

All very eclectic. Suffice it to say colocasia grows abundantly in warm swampy areas across India, whereas rhubarb originates from the colder corners of Siberia. Both find a home in the kitchens of Prashad. Worth a trip back soon for a forced rhubarb lassi or pickle. Did I mention no-one does chutneys and pickles better than the Patels. I can still taste the basil and green tomato one one with my pappadom nibbles.

Bafela Patra recipe (from the Prashad website)


To create the masala, you will need:

8 medium colocasia leaves

2-4 fresh green chillies (trimmed but not de-seeded)

2-4 cloves of garlic

3cm piece of root ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 pinch of salt

To create the paste, you will need:

50g dried tamarind (from a block)

150ml boiling water

200g chickpea flour

50 chapatti flour

50g rice flour

1½tsp salt

40g jaggery, finely chopped (or soft brown sugar))

1½tsp carom seeds

1½tsp turmeric

2-4tsp ground coriander

1tbsp garam masala

5tsp sesame seeds (4tsp will be used as garnish)

60ml sunflower oil

200ml warm water


Wash your patra leaves and place them vein-side up on a chopping board. Using a small knife, carefully slice off the thick central vein.

Crush your chillies, garlic and ginger together with a pinch of salt with a pestle and mortar (or in a blender) to make a fine masala paste.

Soak the dried tamarind in boiling water for five minutes, then pulp with your fingers and a sieve, draining the tamarind water into a small bowl. Squeeze the pulp to get as much flavour as possible!

Sieve your flours together and mix in your masala paste, salt, jaggery, carom seeds, spices, one teaspoon of sesame seeds and your oil. Mix well to make sure all the masala is worked in.

Pour your tamarind water and warm water into the mixture and mix to form a sticky but workable paste, before leaving the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.

Take one of your larger patra leaves and place it vein-side facing up on a chopping board or your work surface, leaf tip furthest from you. Gently spread the leaf with enough paste to cover with a 5mm layer.

Take a second leaf and lay it on top of the first, again vein-side up. Spread the surface of the new leaf with paste.

Carefully lift the sides of the leaf stack and fold about 4cm in towards the centre, keeping the sides straight.

Spread a layer of paste over the leaf sections that you have just folded in (the new top surface). Then gently lift the closest end of the Patra leaf and fold about 4cm onto itself, then fold again and continue to fold away from you until you reach the tip.

Repeat the pasting, layering, folding and rolling three more times to use up the remaining six leaves, giving you four patra rolls.

To cook, put a flat-based heatproof bowl in a large, deep pan. Pour water into the pan until it reaches most of the way up the bowl, leaving about 2cm of the rim sticking about the water. Place your pan over a high heat.

Lightly oil a medium plate with a 2cm rim or lip that will fit in the pan (the rim will give you something to grip when you remove it from the steamer and help to prevent the patra falling into the water).

Put the four rolls, with the seam of the rolls facing down, on the oiled plate and gently place it on top of the bowl in the pan. Put the lid on the pan, wrap the rim of the lid with a cloth or tea towel (if it is a flat lid) and put weight on the lid to secure it.

Reduce the heat to medium and then leave to steam for 35 minutes, turning the rolls after 15 minutes. To check they are fully cooked, insert a sharp knife into the middle of a roll. The knife should come out clean.

Carefully remove the plate from the steamer and leave to cool for five minutes. Put the patra on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to slice each one into four even slices.

Prashad, 137 Whitehall Road, Drighlington, Bradford BD11 1AT. 0113  285 2037.

It’s a glorious sweep down through the North Yorks Moors from Whitby to Hovingham. En route 30 odd miles of heather heaven in high season with the pastoral lushness of the Howardian Hills at the end of it. I just wonder if the legendary Captain Cook ever made the journey? We always associate the adopted Whitbian with seaborne expeditions to the furthest corners of the globe. Did he know this Tyke hinterland of ruined abbeys and fine local produce?

He was certainly familiar with tetragonia, the spinach/sorrel like leaves now on my plate at Mýse in bonny Hovingham. Back in the 18th century he enlisted what the Antipodeans also call warrigal greens or New Zealand spinach to ward off scurvy among his crew on the Endeavour’s long voyages.

There’s little chance of me contracting this disease of vitamin C deficiency over the course of Josh Overington’s beautifully balanced 10 course tasting menu, among the highlights of which is the Herdwick lamb ‘main’, where three tetragronia leaves are draped over Herdwick lamb, fillet and belly, cooked over coals and served with an anchovy-umami rich garum sauce on a base of pearl barley, tiny cubes of lamb tongue and addictive garlic capers. The tetragonia is tangy, slightly chewy, grown specially for Josh by a local farmer.

Such a dish is typical of Josh’s spanking new project. At the end of last year, after a decade in York, he and his sommelier wife Victoria sold up their acclaimed Cochon Aveugle restaurant and wine bar Cave du Cochon. Their new home is a restaurant with rooms in the former Malt Shovel opposite that most eccentric of 18th century Palladian big houses, Hovingham Hall (clue: its architectural focus is the stable block).

The makeover of the premises has been stylishly managed. What was a village local is now the crucible for the French-influenced ‘Bistronomie’ food that once had critics swooning, despite the no choice menu being served blind (Cochon Aveugle = Blind Pig). The big difference in Hovingham is you get a printed menu.

According to Josh in a newspaper preview the food focus has also shifted. “This is our chance to create something more ambitious and a reflection on our incredible Yorkshire surroundings. I grew up here and it has been home to Victoria for 10 years, so we wanted to create a welcoming, homely spot, each dish a nod to dinners that my Yorkshire grandmother would cook for me, but elevated and refined.”

Maybe that’s a culinary leap of faith along with naming the destination Mýse, apparently the Anglo Saxon term for ‘eating at table’ (pronounced meez). The word does translate as ‘table’, but I’ve dusted off my old copy of Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer (revised edition 1970) and got no further. My bluestocking spouse suggests it might even be a Latinate derivative similar to mesa. Surely there’s also a play on the French term mise en place (everything chopped and measured out before cooking in a professional kitchen. None of this bothers me over much. With food this sublime they could call it Beowulf’s Magic Mead Hall and I wouldn’t fall on my sword.

So what did I eat there that sun-dazzled July noon time?

A trio of snacks – a postage stamp sized tranche of smoked eel dusted with bilberry powder poised on a cup of eel and apple broth; on a wooden spoon delicate shards of razor clam given rare oomph by a tangle of salted rhubarb and lightly pickled elderflower; ox cheek fried in Yorkshire pudding batter with fermented cucumber. I‘m sure granny would have loved the latter without knowing it might rate as a beignet. I saved some of the seeded sourdough to mop the juices of the next-up Orkney scallop. The temptation was to keep on smearing it with the proffered Ampersand Dairy cultured butter and chicken drippings. The fat hand-dived mollusc was a classic Overington dish, baked in the shell with a sea urchin butter for a sweet salty kick. A crumble of bottarga-style crisped coral enhanced this further.

Josh told me the broth for my line-caught cod had been created by simmering in-season senshyu onions with water for three days. The pearly North Sea fish itself was poached in aged beef fat, senshyu and lemon verbena. Then followed that lamb – Herdwick not Swaledale as predicted, but the perfect taste of the North following Josh’s brief.

My fave pudding of a trio was ‘day old bread’, which meant soaking yesterday’s brioche in vanilla custard then caramelising the edges, so it superficially resembles a fat fish finger. It came with a trio of preserves for messy dipping, the best of which was a little raspberry and rose number but honourable mentions for goat’s milk caramel and a ‘hidden’ hazelnut crème fraîche main image – serving for two). 

Simpler was a plate of four strawberries ‘dipped in their own jam’ with a citrus marigoldice cream. Then came a petit four like tab of linseed caramel that called for coffee and a tempting local cheese offering that I declined.

I also restricted my wine intake to two glasses because I was driving. A vinho verde and a Greek xinomavro. Such a shame when the wine list is heavily weighted towards Keeling & Andrew’s remarkable ‘Noble Rot’ roster.

The obligatory tasting menu costs £80 at lunchtime (wine pairing £65pp); £110 in the evening (wine pairing £85pp).

Wheat field ramble, Tristram Shandy, Tommy Banks’ new boozer

Poppies line the Ebor Way out of Hovingham. If I keep to the dusty footpath for an hour and more I’ll be sure to reach Oswaldkirk, the sign says, but the sun is relentless over the fields of wheat and broad beans, so after a brisk stretch walking off lunch I retreat to my car and drive 10 miles east to Coxwold and Shandy Hall. Cock and Bull Story (2005) was Michael Winterbottom’s appropriately absurd attempt to film the unfilmable – Laurence Sterne’s anarchic, baggy 18th century novel, Tristram Shandy. The groundbreaking novelist’s home lies at the top of the sloping village. Now a museum, Grade 1 listed Shandy Hall is open to the public at weekends, the two acre grounds most days, but not today (‘private function’). Instead I take a table and a Harrogate Water at the Fauconberg Arms in the centre of the one-road hamlet. An umbrella shields me from the sun as I bask in the charm of a place that almost defines unspoilt.

It’s the base camp for my exploration of another pub transformed by an accomplished chef. Back in 2017 Tommy Banks and Josh Overington were part of a trio of chefs representing the North East in the BBC’s Great British Menu. Tommy now holds Michelin starts at Roots in York and his flagship Black Swan at Oldstead three miles down the road from Coxwold. 

En route to the Swan you’ll come upon Byland Abbey. A ruin under the care of English Heritage, it’s hardly in the same league as Rievaulx up the road, but that fellow casualty of the Dissolution of the Monasteries doesn’t have an idyllic pub garden opposite where I’ve been served the finest beef burger I’ve ever tasted outside Hawksmoor.

Yes, Tommy has taken over the Abbey Inn – where as a lad he washed pots – and its menu follows the sustainable tenets of his restaurants. The Dexter chuck brisket and short rib for the patty is from the Banks family farm. Topped with bacon and chicory jam, oozing cheese, tomato and cucumber pickle, it is accompanied by beef fat fries (less impressive). It will cost you £21 from the garden menu or inside, even now at the steep end for a burger, but it’s worth it. The menus here are very much posh pub, not dedicated restaurant. Once a farmhouse built by the monks, it has been a hostelry since 1853 and is staying that way. At 70, the Abbey Inn has double the covers of Mýse; each, though offers three luxury rooms to stay over. Hard to resist ordering the extra Timothy Taylors or Xinomavro red or two and crashing. This is a wonderful corner of England.

Restaurant Mýse, Main Street, Hovingham, York, YO62 4LF.

The Abbey Inn at Byland, York, YO61 4BD.

We are in the dog-friendly ‘No Man’s Land’ between restaurant and pubby bit. If I wanted, I could cross to an actual bar with hand pumps and order a pint of cask ale brewed under a mile away in an old Dales laithe (hay barn). Instead I sip my 125ml measure (I’m driving) of Swartland Chenin Blanc and contemplate the tranche of turbot on my plate. It has come from Cornwall, as I also expect have the squares of seared cuttlefish that book-end this exquisite main. Perigord supplied the wafers of black truffle; the provenance of the fermented turnip that contributes so much to the ensemble remains a mystery. 

We are eating Michelin at The Angel at Hetton five miles from Skipton. Its chef/patron Michael Wignall has been a serial star holder since winning his first in 1993 at The Burlington, Devonshire Arms just down the road. After quitting two-star Gidleigh Park in Devon in 2018 the plan has been to put The Angel back on the culinary map. Touted as the first gastropub, its best years – which we were part of as regular customers – were long past.

Our first visit to Angel Mark II was exactly a year ago on a glorious Dales summer day, only lockdown restrictions still in place muting our excitement at the transformation. Since when it has retained its star and been named No.4 (two places behind The Parkers Arms across the Lancashire Border) in the Estrella Damm Top 50 UK Gastropubs list. More recently it came in at No.12 in their NRA Top 50 Restaurants and, with The Parkers down at 44, romped home as that list’s ‘Top Gastropub’. The nod there was to its ‘high end’ food. In its 90s heyday under Dennis Watkins there was muttering  that pilgrimages to sample its seafood specials and interesting wine list ruined it for the locals.

Yet it did retains an old Dales pub feel. Now with its spacious, almost Scandi makeover that’s not the case. 

Would I ever pop in while passing for a pint of that Dark Horse Pale Ale? Probably not. Would I once again drive the 60 mile round trip to make the agonising choice between a la carte (£85)  and tasting menu (£95 at lunch)? Yes, I’m already planning my next booking. The temptation is to do an evening and stay over in one of their 15 en suite rooms.

Whatever, The Angel unusually opens Mondays, happily accepts dogs (that ‘no man’s land’ has a hugely comfortable corner booth) and who needs beer when the food is this outstanding?

Our chihuahua Captain Smidge’s last Michelin meal was at Yynshir, UK’s newly anointed No.1 restaurant. Under our table he snoozed through a four hour, 30 course plus, spice-driven tasting menu with deafening house music, mirror balls, fire pits and leathern-aproned disciples serving on. Check out my report on this astonishing place.

This time, in a more relaxed setting, the hound is more up for it, accepting his hand-fed tithe of sourdough, rabbit, confit chicken and Yorkshire spring lamb, off the a la carte this time. Most of this comes from my wife’s order choice. Before the turbot I have crab, razor clam, buttermilk, Oscietra caviar, green strawberries and a Nigiri topped with crab claw meat. Definitely not Smidge’s kettle of fish. 

Contender for prettiest dish is my wife’s intricate starter of Loire rabbit, loin and tiny best end chops, linseed and garden peas, but then her pudding of English cherry with pistachio and a woodruff custard is a looker, too, with equally intense flavours to match. Ditch any pub pretensions, The Angel is one of our great, heavenly places to eat. Certainly in God’s Own Country.

The Angel at Hetton, Back Lane, Hetton, Skipton BD23 6LT.

It’s one helluva road trip from Austin, Texas to Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire. Eventually you turn right off the B6138 (England’s largest continuous gradient that once tested the calves of Tour de France competitors) and plunge into a wooded hollow, home to the Hinchliffe Arms.

It’s as sturdy a Pennine hostelry as you’ll find and it’s about to be revived under arguably Manchester’s premier ‘pub custodian’. Well, landlady sounds a bit Bet Lynch. Esther Maylor is not giving up her controlling interest in The Eagle Salford, which she has run for a decade from the age of 25. But from the end of May she’ll be at the helm of the Hinchliffe. Big boots to fill here with the reign of one Robert Owen Brown still a recent association. Even allowing for pandemic pressures, it’s not felt the same since he relinquished the stewardship.

So how does Austin gatecrash the narrative? In March Esther was performing with her Manc band Heavy Salad at the influential South by South West Festival in the Texan capital of cool. A multi-talented musician in her own right, the Lincolnshire vicar’s daughter is currently part of Salad’s girl backing trio. To get a flavour of the band visit this link or maybe catch them at Manchester Psych Fest this September. 

Music played a part in levering Esther into the hospitality industry. She was in a band called Biederbeck with Johnny Booth, who along with actor Rupert Hill had a business turning around run-down pubs. She begged a bar job at his debut project, The Castle in the Northern Quarter, out of which arose The Eagle opening. That was a collab with brewers Joseph Holt, which entailed adding on an intimate music venue to the once grim backstreet boozer.

All a far cry from the rural idyll of Cragg Vale, but there is a certain symbiosis. The Hinchliffe’s own new lease of life sprang from another Manchester brewery, JW Lees. Taking it over, they gave it an extensive and sympathetic renovation befitting its location.

That’s where Robert Owen Brown enters the picture in the summer of 2017. I was excited to have Rob and his ‘nose to tail eating’ ethos on my Calder Valley doorstep. 

After all, when he was cooking at The Mark Addy (a cobble’s throw, almost, from The Eagle) I had worked with him on his cookbook, Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle. I welcomed him to Yorkshire by quoting from the book’s blurb: “Robert Owen Brown is the real thing… a chef who combines oceans of technique with an instinct to feed and a deep understanding of gutsy cooking – the verdict of Observer food critic Jay Rayner, for whom Rob is a panellist on his BBC Radio 4 show, The Kitchen Cabinet.

“Radio air time, mind, doesn’t put bums on seats. And Cragg Vale is hardly Maida Vale. Just regard it as a scenic  adventure getting there. Which is surprisingly easy from Manchester, especially if after the M62 you go the A58 wild moorland route. Alternatively, get off the Halifax train at Mytholmroyd and grab a cab. You’ll end up inching down an incline into a ludicrously picturesque wooded dell with a church and gurgling stream.”

I’d suggest following those trusted travel instructions to check out what Esther Maylor brings to the table. 

Be warned there won’t be an immediate food offering when the new era kicks off at the end of May. That’s for a future full of potential surprises. Just a full drinks menu (note to Lees – a couple of guest beers would be a plus) and the kind of warm welcome that’s big in Salford… and Texas.

Hinchliffe Arms, Church Bank Lane, Cragg Vale, near Mytholmroyd, HX7 5TA. 01422 887439.

It’s a 30 mile meander across the West Flanders fields from Dranouter in Heuvelland to Dottignies in French-speaking Wallonia. You’re always just in Belgium but aware that this is border country, in the hinterland of France’s fifth largest city, Lille. On a squally Saturday afternoon up on the Pennine Moors there’s a decided gustatory ley line connecting us to both these distant municipalities.

It’s all about food rooted in the Tyke terroir but with an undertow of new wave Belgian influences forging a bond with a powerful dark beer that similarly reflects the zest of a groundbreaking generation in that country.

In the bar of the Moorcock Inn at Norland there’s a well-thumbed copy of Kobe Desramaults’ eponymous cookbook. Moorcock co-owner Alisdair Brooke-Taylor was Kobe’s right hand man at his Michelin-starred In de Wulf at Dranouter, in a region poignantly dotted with Great War cemeteries.

When In de Wulf closed in 2105 Al and his sommelier partner, Aimee Tufford, brought back to the UK – among much else – an affinity with Belgian beer. That’s why if you look beyond hand pulls dispensing Yorkshire cask ales from Timothy Taylor and Vocation you’ll find a bottled beer list of dubbels and trippels, saisons, geuzes and lambics. Even different ages of Orval, if you’re lucky.

The Brouwerij De Ranke XX is on of my go-to beers in my quest for a true bitter finish. The hop freaks of contemporary Belgian brewing Nino Bacelle and Guido Devos have been brewing this 6.2 per cent pale ale since 1996. Unfiltered, unpasteurised, using only whole hops, not pellets. The only compromise is in the address. Dottignies, site of the brewery they built in 2004, is in Wallonia but the De Ranke official HQ is a mile or two away in Flemish territory.

• Listen to a Belgiansmaak podcast interview with De Ranke co-founder Nino Bacelle.

The XX is not on the Moorcock beer list but, to our surprise, there’s a limited edition 750ml sharing bottle of a De Ranke Back To Black, originally brewed for the 10th anniversary of another forward-thinking Belgian brewery, lambic specialists Moeder. Remarkable value at £16, it is billed as an imperial porter and it pours almost black. Brewed with seven different malts and aged in barrel for nine months, it is as complex as you’d expect, with a nose of oak (obviously), dark chocolate and figs/raisins, yet its smooth cherryish taste combines sourness and bitterness in perfect balance.

 Not quite what you’d expect but a Eureka moment. It is a quite perfect match for the Moorcock menu de jour (as they don’t say in the hills above Sowerby Bridge). When Kobe Desramault moved from farmhouse-based In de Wulf  to open Chambre Séparée in Ghent he took foraging and fire with him to an urban setting. The five-ton smokehouse and industrial-grade grill in the Moorcock car park seems a better fit here. So too, as the website proclaims, “250 acres of productive moorland, providing plenty of plants, berries, mushrooms and game”…. and an onsite organic kitchen garden.

Pick of the dishes off the blackboard were both fish-led. A mackerel tartare with preserved chestnuts and radish (£8), a combo I’ve never encountered before, tasted as distinctive as it looked – autumn on a plate, while the under-rated grey mullet becomes a star in treatment Al calls a ‘bouillabaisse’ that is a remove from the Provencal stereotype. Chunks of the line-caught fish are cooked en papillote with fennel and preserved lemon, both of which scent it marvellously. At £18 it is the second most expensive dish on a menu that usually contains only a couple of meat ‘mains’ these days. My companion is a vegetarian/pescatarian, so we veered in that direction.

The porter had a particular affinity with wood-roast kabucha (Japanese) pumpkin gnocchi (£13.50), strewn with a walnut pesto and curls of house ricotta. Not the prettiest dish and as substantial as it sounds, it felt a proper antidote to the inclemency of the weather.

Perhaps we were being greedy ordering the crispy smoked potatoes that are a Moorcock constant as well as a confit Jerusalem artichokes, wood-roast mushrooms in another intriguing marriage with laverbread and miso-pickled beans. I’m not quite sure this gelled, but then where else for miles around would you find any chef as consistently inventive. The drinks list put together by Aimee is equally special. 

Do make the trip up. On foot’s best for the sheer adventure. But definitely choose the right day! Captain Smidge (below) was the very definition of ‘wet dog’.

Moorcock Inn, Moor Bottom Lane, Norland, Sowerby Bridge HX6 3RP. 01422 832103.

Summer 2021 marks two milestones in the post-industrial bubble that is Kelham Island. Cutting edge restaurant Jöro has expanded beyond its upcycled shipping container base to open a four-room boutique hotel nearby, complete with chef’s table, while the homely pub at the heart of this buzzing urban community is celebrating 40 years of just being The Fat Cat.

A maverick umbilical cord links that almost bucolic cask beer mecca, whose in-house brewery spawned the iconic Pale Rider ale, to the sleek steel (well it is Sheffield) Krynkl complex where chef Luke French has transformed the city’s culinary expectations over the past four years. It reached No.34 in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards (announced on August 16).

Post lockdown it seemed a good time to visit both pioneering venues. So a tram from the station (after a Thornbridge Jaipur refresher, naturally at the Sheffield Tap on Platform 1B), then across the busy Shalesmoor roundabout to a suddenly hushed warren of backstreets to establish the respective locations.

Only disappointment of a dazzling day, the Kelham Island Tavern had been forced to shut

A detour might have been in order, too, to the Kelham Island Tavern, arguably the city’s best craft beer pub venue but – sign of the times – there was a Covid-closure note on the door. Still the pre-amble ramble did allow me to soak in the atmosphere of a district that defines industrial heritage and cool renewal…

Renewal, of course, means creatives clustering in shiny new build apartments or brick-heavy warehouse conversions with a casual bar/dining scene springing up to service the influx. And occasionally big hitters show up such as Mana in Ancoats, Brat in Shoreditch or Casamia on the Bristol waterfront. Sheffield has its own contender…


One slight tremor as I entered the penumbral interior, the normal 50 covers reduced as a Covd-safe measure. Would the widening horizons of Luke French and his wife and business director, Stacey Sherwood-French impact on the core operation? Not jut th hotel project but also street food spin-offs. Fear not this was an outstanding £65 eight course lunch that ate up three joyful hours. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the building, shaped from 29 shipping containers but I am of a serving staff that included one who had a sake qualification (thanks for the New Mountain Junmai recommendation) and another who knew his way round the new Spanish wine frontiers of Ribeira Sacra and Sierra de Gredos.

Chef Luke has previously expressed his desire to “find something similar to L’Enclume or The Black Swan at Oldstead, somewhere rural we can forage in and with a smallholding to grow our own ingredients.” For the moment he’s as urban as it gets, albeit with some amazing rural suppliers. Just a Michelin Bib for the moment but the food I encountered across my tasting menu surely deserve a star. Manchester’s own Mana deserves a second, but that’s a whole other matter.

Jöro Highlights? Virtually everything, from an early introduction to Chawanmushi, a savoury Japanese custard here flavoured with smoked eel, a tiny tranche of which also featured alongside salmon roe and pancetta. Wortley wagyu rump in a tartare with celeriac and mustard was less groundbreaking but equally wonderful. I should have asked about the Wortley provenance (it’s the fabled beef of Japan but reared in South Yorkshire’s grasslands); I didn’t make the same mistake with Doncaster peas. “You’ll taste them and know why,” was the enigmatic response. Their yoking with mint and lamb fat yielded more detailed exegesis. The key to the dish was ‘lamb garum’ where lamb mince and koji had been given 10 weeks in a water bath to create a fermented base for this incredible dish. For more on garum read my recent article.

What I really loved about the whole experience was a straightforward punch of flavours, whether a pure tranche of Cornish cod on a bed of smoked haddock and creme fraiche sauce or among the desserts the stand-out strawberries with lemon verbena and organic yoghurt. You get the dedication to our own raw materials filtered through an appropriated  Japanese and Norse (hence the name) sensibility.

Stays and JÖRO Packages can be booked online via this link.


Neither of my two destinations is on the island proper, man-made in the 13th by diverting water from the River Don to power medieval mills. So a distant seed sown for the Industrial Revolution proper, the catalyst for which in Sheffield was the opening of John Crowley’s Iron Foundry in 1829, tapping into river power abundant coal and iron ore. 

If you want to get the full story visit the Kelham Island Museum, which was created 40 years ago. You can see it prize exhibition for free because the only Bessemer steel converter still in existence stands in front. This egg-shaped black hulk quickly revolutionised 19th century steel production.

Thirsty work, the industry in its heyday and pubs like The Alma just down the street of that name existed to slake those forge-driven thirsts. Then came the long slow decline of the Steel City. From the Seventies onwards recession and dereliction battered Kelham.

It took a brave man to acquire the Alma, change its name to the ironic Fat Cat and start brewing his own exceptional beer in the yard. 

That was the grand plan of Dave Wickett, the new co-owner. The pub introduced Sheffield to a cavalcade of guest beers and by 1990 when Dave took sole control he created his own Kelha Island Brewery in the beer garden. The pub survived flooding in 2007; the level is charted on the exterior alongside that of the The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. It survived Dave’s early death and is still brewing in premises across the street.

In 2004 their flagship beer Pale Rider was voted Supreme Champion Beer of Britain at The Great British Beer Festival. It has hardly been off the hand pull ever since, though a recent month’s hiatus perturbed devotees.

Matthew Curtis, in his highly recommended new survey, Modern British Beer (CAMRA Books, £15.99) descrIbes Pale Rider thus: “There was some malt character in the flavour, soft and candy-floss sweet, but only fleetingly. This allowed a crescendo of hop to build with notes of candied orange peel to the fore, but they were restrained throughout with a balanced bittersweet finish forming at the end of this orchestral flourish. 

A touch flowery but a good summary of my ‘aperitif’ experience before lunch over at Jöro. Old meets new in one memorable Kelham Island afternoon.

So you think you know what Provencal rosé is all about? At the pale end of pale pink, ripe fruit with (you hope) some fresh acidity and a dry aftertaste? There will be a wide price range but a reassuring homogeneity, especially when chilled to within an inch of its roseate existence. 

Every summer now there seems to be a mad scramble to think pink, especially Provence. Hence an obligatory tasting of 300 in the current issue of Decanter magazine. Verdict of their rosé expert, Elizabeth Gabay MW: “Quality was consistently high, with some squeaky clean wines at all price points. The downside was an almost unending monotony of style.”

In the resultant Top 30 recommendations the rosé at No.5 (with 93 points) stands out as a ruddy maverick interloper among the pale brigade.

She describes Château Gasqui, Silice, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2019 as: “Pale red copper. Perfumed, almost grapey, red fruit aromas. On the palate a beautiful explosion of ripe red fruit, creamy apple compote, a touch of orange peel, marmalade, crushed citrus and some pretty leafy acidity. Quirkily different, intensely fruity and fresh. A gorgeous wine from a biodynamic producer, who is not afraid of ripe fruit and who makes wines which age with ease.”

What did also surprise was the UK supplier, https://www.owtleeds.comOWT of Leeds. Weren’t they the outfit that set up in the city’s Kirkgate Market with a menu generated from what was freshest on the stalls daily? ‘Owt!’ being the answer to what was available. It was a natural extension of co-owner James’s time as a volunteer chef at Real Junk Food Project flagship Armley Junk-tion. 

How does all this link to Southern France’s fields of lavender, sunflowers and vines? Bear with me for a paragraph. Well, OWT has now decamped from the Kirkgate to a cafe unit in the nearby Corn Exchange, Grade 1 listed, domed Victorian gem. The casual but precise food offering remains much the same – from breakfast to late afternoon but with a more expansive Thursday evening menu that wasn’t possible under market hours. 

Esther and James are, step by simple step, rising stars of the Leeds food scene

Oh and on the left as you go in among some chic OWT merchandise you’ll find a trio of exclusive Provencal wines from the family vineyard of James’s partner, Esther. Her surname, Miglio, is a clue to an Italian bloodline way back, but she is the very French daughter of Francois, winemaker for 30 years at Château Gasqui.

She’s proud of the Gasqui wines and so she should be. After hopping on a train to Leeds I can confirm what a complex belter the ‘Silice’ rosé is, like the Roche d’ Enfer! red, dominated by the Grenache grape. Yet just as striking was Esther’s favourite, the Roche d’ Enfer! white from 2013. The ageing has obviously benefited the Semillon that forms part of the cepage with  Rolle and Clairette. What struck was a hint of jasmine on the nose, a waxy mouthfeel and spice notes among the honeyed peachy fruit.

Château Gasqui’s vineyards are set in and support an idyllic natural landscape in the South of France

All three wines are available by the glass at £5, £25 the bottle (which is also the takeaway price). Not cheap but worth it for the purity of fruit extracted by Francois, driving force behind Gasqui being one of only two biodynamic producers in the region. Pictures of the vineyards radiate healthy, blossomig terroir. The brand-heavy fleshpots of Saint-Tropez and the Med Coast may be only 40km to the east but this is a world away, a sustainable enterprise, the antithesis of vinous bling. 

OWT’s food is a perfect complement to the wines. I lunched mid-afternoon off a small menu offering a choice of summer tartelette, aioli with prawns, ‘pepper patchwork’ or panzanella. I went for(and didn’t regret) the £10 steak plate that consisted of a 7oz Yorkshire rump steak, properly rare as requested, plus a herb salad and salsa verde. Fries had run out for the day (it was 3.30pm), so I ordered a side of OWT pickles at £3.50. Carrot, cucumber, ginger and red onion, all fresh and tangy as Esther recounted how after a history course at Marseille University she decided to check out Manchester and fell in love with it gigs and bars. There she met James and he persuaded her a future together lay in his native Yorkshire. God’s Own Country got the best of the deal, you feel, when you taste the wines she has brought with her.

OWT, Unit C12A&B Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BR. 0113. 247 0706.

A swift guide to biodynamic winemaking and how it benefits Gasqui

Biodynamics is often referred to as ‘super-charged organic’. Its roots are in the theories  of the Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Rather than simply reducing chemical inputs, biodynamic production is a proactive attempt to bring life to the soil with the use of natural composts and organic preparations. 

It’s more than just an agricultural system, rather an altered world view that then impacts on the practice of agriculture. Winemakers drawn to this philosophy tend to be creative, spiritual types, deeply connected to their land and always experimenting to see what works best. Which seems to sum up Francois Miglio’s approach.

Gasqui holds Demeter biodynamic certification after the Château’s owner was persuaded to go down this radical route, which forbids chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Instead insect life and spiders are encouraged to control pests; manure encourages organic growth. After hand-harvesting the grapes the wine is produced in a gravity-fed cellar without winemaking additives. Ambient yeasts are used, with no or scant sulfites and no fining.

More controversially all significant vineyard activities –  soil preparation, planting, pruning, harvesting – are done in accordance with the influence on earth by the moon, stars and planets. Finally, the aspect that can spark scepticism – the use of nine preparations 500-508 (a bit like homeopathy), using  plants such as nettles, dandelion and chamomile, to be applied in powdered form or as sprays. Most divisive is Preparation 500’, where cow horns are filled with cow manure and buried in October to stay in the ground throughout the dormant season. The horn is later unearthed, diluted with water and sprayed onto the soil.

In a magazine interview Francois said of the Steiner strictures: “It is important to understand that 50 percent is symbolic and 50 percent is real… it all helps focus.” 

All of which reminds me of a memorable trip to Ted Lemon’s Littorai winery in Sonoma, California. In Ted’s absence his young deputy confessed to not being a total convert to biodynamics (the perfection of the Pinot Noir was proof enough for us). And yet, as he put it, “It sure does make you pay attention.” 

We loved the copper hue of Château Gasqui but if rosé has to be pale pink for you?

Much has been made of a celebrity influx of Provencal rosé providers, led by Brad and Angelina, whose Château Miraval is made by the Famille Perrin, Chateauneuf du Pape royalty at Chateau Beaucastel. Majestic have it at £19.99  bottle, £14.99 in a mixed six case.

My Provencal pink alternative from a celebrity duo would be Domaine de Triennes, a joint venture by Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. It’s a serious well structured wine without sacrificing all the  joyous fruit (£13.95 from Vin Cognito. A simpler favourite would be Coeur De Cardeline Rosé, better value at £8 than its Co-op stablemate, Brangelina’s ‘Studio de Miraval’ (£12).

Admission: I’ve got a thing about angels. From binge-watching Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire to a treasured print of Marc Chagall’s Jacob’s Dream with its striking Seraphim enmeshed in the battle between good and evil… I’m smitten. Maybe less so with Robbie Williams and his angelic vision.

Still one chunk of Angel’s lyrics strikes a heavenly chord: “I sit and wait/Does an angel contemplate my fate/And do they know/The places where we go/When we’re grey and old?”

The answer, in this grizzled food lover’s case, is back to the Angel at Hetton. Our Own Private Angelo, in another age, when it staked a claim to being the nation’s first ‘gastropub’. Well ahead of The Eagle in Farringdon, one much-touted contender.

The surrounding Dales countryside looks little changed from the Nineties when this was a regular foray but, pulling off road, we notice all the roseate creepers have been purged from the inn frontage and the signage is now a discreet ‘Angel’ and a Michelin star insignia.

We park next to a silver Jaguar F-Type convertible, which may signal the presence of pop royalty for lunch. Or his Satanic Majesty. We never find out. It’s the weather that has us dazzled. If memory serves, it rained incessantly in Yorkshire between September 1996 and April 1999. Today, July 19, 2021 offers the dry heat of Provence in high summer and the Hetton village limestone is all honeyed Luberon in the glare.

The Angel interior, reassuringly well-ventilated, is cool and grey. Like me, only with better manners. Yet it does not feel stuffy. Staff are young but properly drilled. This means a Kir Royale (for birthday girl whose treat this is) and a water bowl (for Captain Smidge, the panting chihuahua) are swiftly brought. It’s touch and go which of the pair will have the prime share of a lamb main in this dog-friendly establishment. 

Restaurant and bar area are both being used for meals, a la carte or tasting menu, to  maximise covers while spacing out tables. It’s done well. The attention to detail will carry over into the food. We are here because Michael Wignall is here. 

Wignall is one of the star chefs that have contributed recipes to Lancashire Diamond, celebrating 60 Years of Wellocks

A chef not given to self-publicity but among the profession a legend. Not so much for his one-time consultancy role with Hotel Football when Gary Neville gave this Preston-born United fan the opportunity to create Nev’s Noodles and a black-pudding sausage roll (both splendid but maybe the punters weren’t ready for umami and the like). 

The rest of his career path, though, reads like a road map of New British Cuisine with two star tenures at The Latymer and Gidleigh Park. We last tasted his fastidious food, with a hint of Japanese influence, when he guested at Northcote’s 2016 Obsessions festival.

Two years later the Angel became the first restaurant of his own, the ambitious transformation made possible by a partnership with friends James and Josephine Wellock, top end catering produce suppliers.

We watched all this from afar as the pandemic narrowed all our dining out opportunities but noted the swift recognition of a Michelin star and a meteoric rise in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list. Until this mellowest of Mondays it remained on a bucket list as I persuaded myself the joys of labour intensive home cooking could more than compensate for a proper restaurant experience.

Which brings us – as some seriously cute amuse bouches reach the table, prompting explorative sniffs from The Captain on his cushion – to why we first patronised this off the beaten track drovers inn that dates back to the 15th century (though the oak beams and other ‘original’ features are 17th).

It’s all down to Moneybags. No, not the kind that helps fund Jaguars. As far inland as you can get in our realm and fish specials were the lure. Owner Dennis Watkins would chalk catches of the day up on a blackboard but the one constant was a little filo parcel in a pool of lobster reduction. The full name, ‘Little Moneybag of Seafood’.

The barn complex across the road houses some of the Angel’s en suite accommodation

Simple pleasure that it sounds now, yet it became a kind of signature dish of the Watkins dynasty that began in 1983 and turned The Angel into an unexpected foodie destination. The family kept going when Dennis died in 2004, just after an expansion into a former barn had created bedrooms and a ‘wine cave’. A decade ago its reputation was still high enough to merit a visit from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the original series of The Trip.

Chefs came and went. One former private chef to Donna Karan with a back story in the Turks and Caicos introduced his own silver hake satay and other innovations but when Moneybags orders dipped the writing was on the wall.

A bottle of Chinon, lightly chilled Cabernet Franc, is now at my elbow, alongside a freshly baked sourdough loaf with parsley and lovage butter. I’m driving the birthday girl home so I just get to sniff and have two very modest glasses. There was never a chance of staying over. Across the land the places you’d love to stay at are fully booked up until well into the autumn. It doesn’t stop me dreaming of a siesta, dinner and a next day Wignall breakfast followed by a dog walk over Rylstone Edge before the heat gets too intense. One day.

Never go back? Sometimes it’s good to. Hetton in high summer has just offered a slice of heaven.


There is a £75 tasting menu We chose three courses from the a la carte, which came with inevitable extras, including an intense pre-main mini chicken in ramen broth, a perfect little sourdough ‘pain’ with parsley and lovage butter plus dreamy petits fours. It cost £70 each.

Arctic Char

Pleasingly fatty, troutlike tranche in rich shrimp butter, cut through by gooseberry; kohlrabi and razor clam adding texture. 


A fan of lightly marinated raw Scottish scallop is given the freshest of treatments. Frozen buttermilk, peas and cucumber are natural allies. A slash of charcoal and a scattering of Ocscietra caviar on th buttermilk is the masterstroke.


A triumph of sourcing and restraint on the plate. Cumbrian loin and belly, blobs of celeriac puree, barbecued gem lettuce and leek with an earthy undertow from hen of the wood.


So a Norfolk quail, ethically reared by the same enterprising East Anglian farm that supplied the Norfolk poussin on the menu at Michelin soulmate Northcote. The quail is the base for an elaborate combo of breast with bitter dandelion, a leg paired with a veal sweetbread, miso/sunflower oil on the side. Artichoke dice and winter truffle all contribute to a very special dish.


The obvious birthday treat across the table, featuring a steamed sponge and cherries, alongside an Orelys bronze chocolate base topped by sugar snaps, frozen estate dairy milk and more cherries. I had no chance to explore further since it was devoured so swiftly.


Aerated parfaits I can do without, even flavoured with my favourite, verbena. Otherwise there was much to admire in the yoking together of strawberries and their distant wild cousins, pineberries with olive oil and yogurt.

The Angel at Hetton, near Skipton BD23 6LT. 01756 730263. Mon, Fri, Sat and Sun lunch 12pm-2pm, dinner 6.30pm-8.30pm; Thu dinner 6.30pm-8.30pm. Closed Tue and Wed. Under the new regime there are now 15 en-suite rooms – on the first floor, in a neighbouring cottage and across the road in the Fell View Barn, which once housed the ‘wine cave’. Two dog-friendly rooms are available, with doggy bed and bowls provided, while dogs are allowed to join their owner for meals in the normal bar area. 


Devonshire Arms Brasserie, Bolton Abbey

Two decades ago the peripatetic Wignall was chef at the Devonshire Arms’ showcase restaurant, the decidedly formal Burlington. In complete contrast is the venerable hotel’s second dining spot, a riot of candy-striped upholstery and ‘bold’ artworks on white-washed walls. The plan had been to lunch on the pop-up terrace next to the helipad but the weather wasn’t Hettonesque, so the perpetually sunny Brasserie it was. It shares the commitment of the Burlington to fine raw materials, Try the torched house cured salmon with beetroot, pickle and horseradish, followed by lamb rump with lentils, tomato mint, Yorkshire fettle, green olives, spring greens and pan jus. 3 courses £35, 2 courses £28.

The Fleece at Addingham

Just a couple of miles down the road from Bolton Abbey and Wharfedale has become Airedale. Cars thunder into Ilkley along the A65 bypass, leaving Addingham village relatively serene. Its best pub has twice come back from the dead after being gutted by an arson attack in 2015, then shut after Joycelyn Neve’s Seafood Pub Co, which expensively restored it, went into administration. New owners rescued half of the chain and she’s back at the helm, with supplies from her father Chris’s Fleetwood seafood business. So go for the Fleece’s fish specials or a sharing plate of fruits de mer. We pushed out the boat and splashed out £69 on two full lobsters as rain swept the terrace. We were happily under cover. Atypical’s the word for that sun-dappled day in Hetton.