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Yorkshire Life Luncheon - 315 Bar & Restaurant, Lepton

PUBLISHED: 13:38 04 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:38 04 June 2017

Salmon fillet topped with wild bass souffle and saffron potato

Salmon fillet topped with wild bass souffle and saffron potato

Andy Bulmer

Guests join us for lunch at a West Yorkshire restaurant where 3+1+5 equals quality modern cuisine in a stylish setting.

Jason Rhodes, Lauren Salmons, Jason NeilsonJason Rhodes, Lauren Salmons, Jason Neilson

Most satisfied diners just leave a tip, but entrepreneur Terry Dryden did one better – he went into business with the chef.

‘I just really liked his food and wanted more people to get the chance to eat it,’ said Terry of his business partner Jason Neilson.

Together they have created 315 Bar & Restaurant in Lepton, West Yorkshire, which has just been awarded five gold stars for accommodation to go with its two AA rosettes for food.

‘We are very much food-led,’ said Terry. ‘But people expect top-end facilities if you offer top-end food.’

315 restaurant315 restaurant

And that is exactly what they get at 315. Interior designer Joan Webb has created a beautiful sanctuary that reflects the muted tones and inspiring landscape of the surrounding Yorkshire countryside.

Nowhere more so than in the state-of-the-art Spa & Wellbeing Centre, which opened in January.

‘I wanted people to feel calm and cared for from the moment they walked in,’ she explained. ‘Nothing has been left to chance – everything has been thought through very carefully, from the wall-coverings and art to the shelving and lighting in each of the treatment rooms.’

Guests can now enjoy a host of indulgent pampering treatments and ultra-relaxing wellness experiences, including a dip in the calming waters of the HydroPool, a halotherapy session (using the rejuvenating properties of salt) and, when the weather allows, a woodland terrace escape, where they can relax among the trees with a glass of champagne between treatments.

The all-enveloping elegance of the spa is echoed in the 18 stylish double bedrooms, each decorated with precision and skill in a range of contemporary colours and boasting luxury en-suite bathrooms with double walk-in showers, and in the all-important dining areas.

The main dining room at 315 is elegant, with crisp linen settings and fresh, smart décor. For a more informal experience, there’s a stepping stone casual lounge between the bar and fine dining room, with a wood-burning stove and soft leather chairs, that gives diners full access to all menus in a more chilled out atmosphere. And, last but certainly not least, there’s the lovely triple-aspect conservatory, which is airy, light and offers spectacular countryside views whatever the season.

But a restaurant isn’t built on contemporary furnishings and fine views alone – it needs topnotch food created by a chef with flair and a passion for innovation.

While head chef Jason Neilson is not a naturally starry man, this quietly-spoken, naturally modest Yorkshireman has certainly enjoyed a starry career. He started at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, moved to the three Michelin-starred Auberge de L’ill in the Alsace region of France and was offered jobs by Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay. Instead, he decided to take on the role of head chef at Newark Park before opening Thorpe Grange Manor in Almondbury, Huddersfield, which won a coveted place in the Good Food Guide, and taking over the Spencer Arms in Cawthorne.

At home, he likes nothing more than to fire up his wood-burning pizza oven to treat his family – wife Ruth, who leads the front-of-house team at 315, and children Zachary and Jessica – to a tarte flambée with sour cream, red onion and smoked bacon. At work, however, he sets his sights a little higher.

‘My aim is to always provide the very best food, service and hospitality for everyone,’ he said. ‘I don’t like fussy food. I like everything to earn its place on the plate and for everything to work together.’

If the menu he produced for our guests is anything to go by, he’s achieving his aims – and more.

A starter of creamy pressed goats’ cheese in a piquant terrine of tomatoes and courgettes was beautifully balanced, with the soft musk of the cheese holding its own alongside the subtly sweet and sour vegetables.

Next came a perfectly cooked salmon fillet – moist and buttery to the last bite – topped with a featherlight wild bass soufflé that floated above the fish like a fluffy, deeply savoury cloud.

And, for pudding, our guests were treated to a velvety vanilla panna cotta, which undulated voluptuously like an island of sweetness amid a spice-infused pool of caramelised apples and seeds.

It was, as the chef promised, an unpretentious, unfussy yet inspired menu. The next time someone asks one of our guests for the number of a great restaurant, they’ll probably just say ‘315’.

For more information about 315 Bar & Restaurant, Lepton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD8 0LX, call 01484 602 613 or visit 315barandrestaurant.co.uk

Menu

Pressed goats’ cheese and tomato terrine with chargrilled courgettes

Salmon fillet topped with wild bass soufflé on saffron potatoes

Vanilla panna cotta scented with tarragon on caramelised apples and seeds

Coffee and homemade truffles

Wine notes

Gardet Brut Reserve, France

Perfect as a simple aperitif or with canapes that have a depth of flavour and spice, this champagne has warm notes of ripe yellow fruits and a fresh, persistent finish that adds to its delicate complexity.

Fiano 2016 Carlomagno, Puglia, Italy

This very well-balanced white is intensely fruity with hints of melon, banana and grapefruit. It’s a superb accompaniment to fish, seafood, white meat and cheese.

Basa Rueda 2016, Telmo Rodriguez, Spain

With an abundance of citrus and stoned fruits, this highly refreshing yet elegant wine finishes with zesty kick of lemon and green apple. Try it with seafood paella for a true taste of Spain.

Muscat Beaumes de Venise Chapoutier

As dessert wines go, this is not excessively sweet. Instead, it has a well-balanced aromatic persistency and offers richly elegant candied fruits and flowers.

: Wines by House of Townend. For details, visit houseoftownend.com.

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So when are you going to write a book? It was a question that at first just made Martin and Jill Fish smile because they hadn’t given the idea much thought, if at all. ‘But so many people kept asking,’ says Martin, flicking through the newly published Gardening on the Menu, written with his wife Jill. His mind is already on volume two.

It was an obvious thing to do together. Martin is a professional horticulturalist, garden writer and broadcaster. Jill, a former infant teacher, is a cookery writer who loves to make the most of the fruit and vegetables they grow in their North Yorkshire garden.

Everything was at their green fingertips – Martin’s many years of writing about practical gardening and Jill’s cookery writing plus her collection of family recipes all quite naturally came together over one winter. ‘There were times when we did wonder what on earth we had taken on. It was quite intense but it was a case of just getting on with it,’ says Jill.

The 300-page book is a practical guide to more than 25 different fruits and vegetables Martin and Jill have enjoyed growing in their three quarter-acre garden and eating as a family over many years and still do today. Some are eaten fresh and others stored or preserved. Martin includes easy-to-follow advice with tips on getting the best from your crops and there are 100 recipes from Jill, including the toffee apple pie that launched her cookery writing career 10 years ago.

Ask Martin about growing organically and he will not lecture. ‘I would never tell anyone what to do. I will only pass on what I know works really well.’ He uses as few chemicals as possible and his growing tips throughout the book reflect good practice and common sense that help to keep soil and plants healthy.

Gardening expert Carol Klein explains what makes Gardening on the Menu different to every other grow and eat guide. In the book’s foreword she writes: ‘Good gardening and good cooking should not be slaves to fashion, they rise above trendiness and though Martin and Jill’s book is bang up to date, the quality of their knowledge and their ability to transmit it will be relevant indefinitely. You’ll read these pages and think just as I have: “Thanks Martin. That’s a better way to do that. I’m going to do it like that in future…and thanks Jill. I can’t wait to taste that!”’

There’s a chance to visit Thornycroft, the Fish family garden on July 23rd when it is open to the public from 11am-4pm as part of the National Open Garden Scheme. Martin will be there to answer your gardening questions. Other visits by appointment can be made too. Visit martinfish.com for more information.

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