Yorkshire is truly at the heart of everything at The Yorke Arms near Pateley Bridge
PUBLISHED: 00:00 25 October 2018
What does a new partnership mean for one of Yorkshire's leading restaurants with rooms? Claire Gallagher revisits The Yorke Arms .
This is a must-visit gourmet destination in the beautiful Upper Nidderdale.
The location is simply breathtaking. I was gripped with excitement and anticipation as we passed the Gouthwaite reservoir with moorland all around and The Yorke Arms nestled in the center of the picturesque village of Ramsgill.
To be greeted by Frances Atkins – the female Michelin legend that she is, was a real treat. Passionately telling us of her new kitchen, restaurant and hotel refurbishments along with owner Jonathon Turner and wife Karen Turner who happens to be the most amazing interior designer. There’s a sense that a great partnership is forming which has them oozing excitement, passion and an infectious enthusiasm for what has been created.
Frances is still firmly at the helm of The Yorke Arms with her culinary magic; Karen is at the heart of the renovations giving the place a fabulous look and feel that connects days of old seamlessly with today. Jonathon Turner owner and great Yorkshire entrepreneur has an infectious and energetic personality. Yorkshire is truly at the heart of everything at The Yorke Arms.
Frances works her culinary magic with seasonal local produce and a kitchen garden on her doorstep that’s amazing. When Frances gets writer’s/chef’s block she’ll take a stroll across the beck into the kitchen garden to seek inspiration for dishes and new seasonal menus, from giant sunflowers to crab apples and the biggest sweet white onions you could imagine.
I join others for a grand tour then head for the lounge. There is a style which flows with a relaxed and warm homely feel – a beautiful open fire, delightful furniture, whether it’s refurbished with local crafted fabrics, recently restored or a new purchase from the antiques store, it all seamlessly adds to the look and feel of the Arms. The quality of Yorkshire craftsmanship is all around you. Beautiful tweed and fabrics by Abraham Moon, silk by James Hare, Harrison Spinks luxury bed manufacturer, the list goes on…
We take tea and cakes in the lounge, a lovely selection of miniature dainty cakes presented along with the traditional Yorkshire fruit cake and Yorkshire cheese: ‘cake without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze’ they say; as if that wasn’t enough we also had freshly baked scones, homemade preserve and clotted cream.
I then had the luxury of some R&R time so headed to my suite named aptly enough from a foodie point of view: Rhubarb. The attention to detail in this room couldn’t be faulted in the choice of paintings and colour scheme.
There was ahead of us an evening of culinary sophistication with delicious canapés that included halibut and smoked avocado. This was balanced beautifully with a real zing of freshness and a depth of smokiness in the creamed avocado, divine.
A five-course taster menu followed and we were not disappointed.
The charred venison, cooked perfectly, melted in the mouth; everything on the plate came together in perfect harmony and was presented like a work of art. Coffee and petit fours of beautiful dark chocolate with salted caramel really closed the evening for me leaving sweet lasting memories.
My view is that there are three elements for successful restaurants, hotels and cafes. Style décor and ambience being one; service and knowledge being another and of course there has to be great food and drink
No single part is a success without the others; it’s the sum of all the parts that makes The Yorke Arms a fabulous Yorkshire destination.
The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, near Pateley Bridge has re-opened after a short closure for refurbishment and with the newly formed partnership of Yorkshire businessman Jonathan Turner and Michelin starred chef, Frances Atkins., ‘When I became aware The Yorke Arms was up for sale, I knew I had to buy it,’ said Jonathan. As a Yorkshireman, I could not bear the thought of someone from out of town buying it. I want it to remain a destination restaurant with Frances at the helm and retain the Yorkshire heritage.’
Chef Frances Atkins was awarded a coveted Michelin star in 2003 and through her skill The Yorke Arms was voted 19th in Hardens Top 100 UK Restaurants 2018. She says about the new partnership: ‘Jonathan’s deep-rooted love of Yorkshire, his style and panache are very infectious, and it really struck a chord with me. He has a genuine enthusiasm to create something even more special here and we hit it off straight away. I am thrilled to be part of his new team as we set out to deliver new, exciting plans for The Yorke Arms.’
Frances creates recipes that chime with the changing seasons in the surrounding Yorkshire Dales, and, because she is a passionate promoter of British food, the dishes combine all the colours, tastes and textures of local produce, together with vegetables and herbs harvested from the kitchen garden.
The new interior design of The Yorke Arms was carried out by Karen Turner, who has created a Yorkshire theme for each of the 18 suites and bedrooms. Karen has worked on numerous private commissions, locally and internationally.