A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of spending some time with relatives who live in Australia, for the short time they had in the UK some day trips were planned to show them around the area. One of these trips was whistle-stop tour into the Dales, firstly popping to Betty’s for a quick cuppa and a buttered tea cake, where we got superb service throughout.
A quick saunter around Bolton Abbey; taking in the view for a few moments listening to sheep baa-ing away, watching the other half and his dad skim stones in the river, quietly walking through the priory ruins and its cemetery. There was even a wedding going on as we walked passed the Priory Church, nice little touch was the tractor, adorned with ribbons (I think, not too hot on farming equipment!)
With lunchtime was fast approaching, the plan was to make our way to The Craven Arms, in the lovely sounding village Appletreewick. My father-in law knows most of the Dales like the back of his hand, and has visited this charming pub many a time after long walks in the area. You could tell it was a popular pub early on, as we’d passed one down the road with hardly any one there, but this one had people spilling onto the street outside! A good sign, but could we get a table for seven?
After a few minutes of hunting around, a man and his partner very kindly offered up theirs as they weren’t eating, which we gratefully thanked them for. Initially thinking we couldn’t all fit around, with a little bit of budging up we managed it and decided on our lunch order.
The menu is written up on black boards behind the bar with a number of family favourites, such as Yorkshire pudding with red onion gravy, beef burger and shepherds pie topped with cheesy mash potato. Great to see the chefs make use of their local produce, reading dishes using locally sourced partridge, lambs liver, grouse and mallard too. I also liked the sound of the items listed on the artisan deli menu: homemade cider flavoured black pudding, piccalilli, marmalade and chutneys.
Food arrived in good time and were certainly hearty portions, I didn’t expect anything less being in the Dales. Mine especially looked massive (Jacksons pork sausages with mash)! It was so big I just couldn’t finish it, shame really as there were meaty sausages, smooth mash and decent gravy going to waste. Before I got too full I did manage to get a little taster of the other half’s steak and ale pie….extremely good, light, buttery pastry the meat was tender and fell apart, came with decent chips and a rich glossy gravy. That’ll be my choice the next time I visit! But saying that the fish and chips looked particularly handsome too.
We were all pretty much full and needed to walk it off, so the last part of our whistle-stop tour was a stop in Grassington, straight up the Main Street, passed The Square and back around, it was a shame we were running out of time and could’ve spent a little longer absorbing the area more, but a lot had been planned into one day. From the response of our visitors, it seemed like the day had been a success, they got a taste of the Yorkshire Dales.
Lunch for seven people came to £97.10 with drinks.
Food: hearty, uses local produce, decent portions, filling.
Service: lovely staff who were friendly and helpful.
Atmosphere: it has a buzz about the place, filled with many locals and visitors.The Craven Arms Appletreewick Nr.Skipton N.Yorkshire BD23 6DA http://www.craven-cruckbarn.co.uk/index.htm