The Yorkshire Dales is one of my favourite places in the whole world, verdant from the misty Yorkshire rain and quiet enough that you can easily escape the roar of busy roads and the chatter of busy people.
I have wanted to visit The Yorke Arms, run by one of Britain’s top chefs Frances Atkins, since I heard of its existence. Nestled in the Nidderdale valley, about 40 minutes’ drive from the elegant spa town of Harrogate, it is one of only a handful of buildings in the tiny village of Ramsgill – named after the wild garlic that grows in abundance in the area.
It was the peaceful location, but also Frances Atkins’ food, that attracted me to the place. Creative, colourful and happy, it is food born of the Yorkshire landscape with its rolling green hills and moors. Fruits and vegetables grown in the extensive gardens of The Yorke Arms, wild plants and flowers that pop up over the seasons and gorgeous cheeses and dairy products from the cows and sheep that litter the pasture.
The Yorke Arms – a ‘restaurant with rooms’ – is housed in a cluster of eighteenth century buildings (a former coaching house) with trees and fields and birds all around. The feel is traditional, but there are touches of contemporary flair that reflect the vibrancy of Atkins’ cooking and personal taste.