Food review: Laurent Perrier Seafood & Champagne Pop-up, The Devonshire Arms Skipton
PUBLISHED: 12:07 03 August 2020
We try out a luxurious new al fresco eating experience in Yorkshire
How to make the worst of times into the best of times is a question the restaurant and hospitality business is struggling with. Today’s new ‘eat out to help out’ campaign will put bums on seats – but alongside this, the pressure on restaurants to attract diners and keep them safe, is relentless.
Creative thinking is everything and the clever posh champagne and seafood pop-up at Skipton’s Devonshire Arms is an idea that definitely ticks the boxes for safe and spacious dining.
The Laurent Perrier Champagne & Seafood Terrace, to give it its grand name, certainly looks the part – it’s a dales version of a safari tent – a sweeping canvas roof covers a large seating area with natural flooring (your heels won’t sink into the ground) heel-friend). There’s plenty of space between tables under cover or, if you want some sunshine, there are tables scattered on the lawn with umbrellas.
There are new very clean pink blankets on the chairs to cope with any sneaky breeze – and twinkly lights suggest it will be a magical place to sip your glass of fizz in the evening in such a lovely sertting airs
There’s a flower garland entrance and reception area where you give your hand a douse of hand sanitiser while you wait to be seated.
The menu is predominantly cold seafood and dishes which are created for the pop-up in a small kitchen nearby. A vintage French van serves as the Laurent Perrier bar serving up the brand’s champagne, including the signature rose LPR (£10/15 a glass). Cocktails include Aperol spritz and Rhubarb spritz, made with house-infused rhubarb gin and prosecco.
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The position of the pop-up at the side of the Devonshire Arms means there’s a view towards the river and Bolton Abbey with walks that make it the perfect easy scamper before or after a lazy brunch or late lunch. The outdoor atmospheremakes it feel easy-breezy so walkers pop by for a coffee or lunch snack while others enjoy a celebratory lunch and the joy of being out-out after a long time away from restaurants. There’s plenty of space so it’s especially nice for small family meet-ups with little people too.
The menu features the delicious seafood classics you might expect. Creamy Lindisfarne oysters (£8.50 for three), wellexecuted juicy prawn and crayfish salad (prawn cocktail to you and me £15.50), as well as decadent lunch dishes such as lobster and crab toastie (£12), deep fried cod cheeks with tartare sauce (£9), as well as simple poached lobster, half or whole (£20/£40).
We shared the seafood platter (£50), which includes a taster of some of the above as well as smoked salmon with sweet cured shallot and the some lovely light and summery Whitby crab, with radish and pink grapefruit salad - a chunk of sweet lobster and potato salad is also part of the platter. For a shared dessert with coffee, lemon tart and raspberry sorbet was a patisserie ten.
The well-spaced seating area makes it feel very safe and comfortable and staff are pleasantly smiley over their masks - and good at the distancing required for their role. Bathrooms are within the hotel itself and can be busy at times but there are sanitisation stations provided and distancing measures.
All of which make this a feel like a real treat of place to spend some time.