Classical country house style with fresh, exciting modern British menus using some of Yorkshire’s finest ingredients…

What a delightful way to start the weekend –  The Devonshire Arms Country Hotel and Spa at Bolton Abbey is such a lovely place to visit at any time and is most enjoyable when dining is part of your visit.

We have eaten in the famous Burlington Restaurant many times and also enjoyed their fabulous afternoon tea on numerous occasions, however for some reason we had not been to The Brasserie. So on a recent visit to Bolton Abbey, we decided to dine there for lunch and we couldn’t believe what we had been missing all this time. The vibrant brasserie and bar has a riot of rich jewel colours and contemporary art, this together with the buzz of diners, a mixture of guests, locals and day visitors, makes this a really unique little spot where Ruth and her friendly team make sure your visit is memorable for all the right reasons, starting with a genuine warm welcome for everyone.

When we entered, I realised that I know Ruth, our paths had not crossed for a few years and I was so pleased to see her as I know how passionate Ruth is about great food and service. All of the dishes on the menu at The Brasserie are available at the bar, in The Brasserie itself or, weather permitting, on the terrace. The day we visited was still very cold, although a lovely sunny Friday, there was no heat in the sun so we chose to eat in the warmth of the restaurant with its lovely atmosphere.

Down to the menu; a good selection of six starters and two extra ones described as ‘To Share or Indulge Yourself’! These were very large portions and as we wanted different starters, we chose Textures of Beetroot – goats cheese, truffle dressing and roasted hazelnuts (I absolutely adore beetroot and simply have to try it when it’s on any menu), and Tri of Wharfedale Pig – glazed pork belly, black pudding sausage roll and homemade scotch egg. Oh my goodness, this was the perfect prelude to our meal. The textures and flavours were simply lovely and we were looking forward to our main courses.

Our mains of Beer Battered Whitby Haddock with fat chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce and Nidderdale Venison Haunch with Yorkshire blue cheese croquette, braised red cabbage and blackberry jus, arrived and we took a moment to admire each plate before tucking in with gusto. I don’t often have fish and chips but when I do I really enjoy them and this was no exception. Be warned however, go with a hearty appetite as this dish is especially large and I am proud to say I did it justice. It was actually way too good to leave and I will definitely be ordering it again. The Nidderdale Venison Haunch was another stunning dish but the blackberry jus did give it a very sweet finish so if you don’t have a sweet tooth you may want to consider another option. There’s plenty of choice with seven options plus a ‘From the Grill’ selection.

We were too full for a pudding but next time we will make sure we don’t over indulge and can enjoy one of the scrumptious looking desserts from the menu. This is a delightful way to start any weekend and a phrase from The Devonshire Arms website sums up our visit perfectly… “Personalised service and good old fashioned hospitality are our speciality at The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, known fondly to its loyal guests as ‘The Dev’.”

Reviewed by Angela Riches, March 2017

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AJ

Tel: 01756 718111

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