Restaurant reviews

The brasserie at the Devonshire Arms: Beautiful food fit for the stunning Yorkshire countryside

The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa is nestled beautifully in Wharfedale, a stone’s throw from the majestic Bolton Abbey. Not only does the hotel boast beautiful rooms and a stunning, relaxing spa, but there are also two excellent dining options suitable for different tastes and occasions.

The hotel’s 3AA Rosette Burlington Restaurant offers fine dining in a country house style, with chef Paul Evans turning out gorgeous and memorable dishes, whilst the vibrant brasserie offers more relaxed dining for those looking for a hearty meal where local produce and consistent cooking is still the order of the day.

We popped along for a Saturday lunch service a couple of weeks ago and, with our little girl in tow, found the brasserie to be a buzzing, family-friendly environment in which to spend our lunchtime. It was a sunny March day and the sun beat through the long windows that our table looked through. It was great to be able to look out on the Yorkshire countryside bathed in sun.

We decided against starters and instead skipped straight to mains. My pork belly, from Ripon, was outstanding, perfectly cooked, the fat melting into the meat and giving it just the right texture.

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The mash was smooth and moreish, and the creamed Savoy cabbage, which I thought might get lost next to the pork and mash, was actually one of the best parts of the dish. Creamy and extremely indulgent-tasting, I wish cabbage always tasted like this! A real winner of a dish and one which you should definitely order if you head to the brasserie at the Devonshire Arms.

Kyle’s Nidderdale venison haunch was served with a delicate Yorkshire blue cheese croquette, braised red cabbage, and a stand-out blackberry jus.

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The local ingredients shone through here, and the strength of the jus brought out the gamey flavour of the venison really nicely. Our only quibble might be the price of the dish. At nearly £30, this isn’t cheap, but let’s not take away from the quality of it.

We didn’t really need pudding after all that, but we’re not usually ones to say no to dessert! My eye was caught by the sticky toffee pudding and I didn’t regret my decision.

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The vanilla ice cream was proper vanilla ice cream, with vanilla pods running through it, and it provided the perfect complement to the moist sponge and naughty toffee sauce. I could have eaten this pud twice over!

The blackberry cheesecake with apple sorbet that Kyle chose was a contrast to the excess of my sticky toffee pudding. The sorbet kept the dish light, despite the generous portion size of the cheesecake. The blackberry flavour tasted fresh and vibrant, and was a perfect way to round off our lunch.

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As for our little one, she was kept very happy courtesy of some tomato pasta and a bowl of the very nice vanilla ice cream. The staff were keen to keep her happy throughout our service, which was really appreciated.

On a sunny day, the countryside around Bolton Abbey is up there with the best, and for a really good feed with the family, the brasserie at Devonshire Arms takes some beating.

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