A couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend in the Dales, in the great company of D&G, at The Devonshire Fell Hotel. This hotel is the sister hotel to the rather grand Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey and although it doesn’t have the old world charm of the Devonshire Arms, it does its own thing very well indeed.
The hotel occupies a wonderfully lofty perch on the hill above Burnsall, a charming lower dales village on the river Wharfe. The location has many advantages – it’s relatively short distance from Leeds is one of them: in a very short space of time you’re in the splendour of the Dales but only forty minutes from the city.
The hotel is excellent throughout having recently enjoyed a refurbishment – it has a chilled out, relaxed air that encourages the guest to feel at home. We enjoyed a light lunch (mindful of our dinner booking that evening) and set out on a not too strenuous meander along the banks of the river to Appletreewick. A couple of pints later at The Craven Arms (another dales jewel) and we’re back off down the river bank back to Burnsall.
After a brief snooze in the very nicely appointed bedroom, it was time for dinner. The food on offer was high quality, country house food. A commendably short menu – always a good sign of a chef confident in their own ability – all of local provenance and simplicity of cooking. I opted for the 24 hour cooked beef which was delicious but fell short of spectacular (high standards and all that). Everyone else enjoyed their food and we could hardly get out of the snug fitting chairs by the time we’d polished off the cheese.
Breakfast was, as you’d expect, excellent with top notch Lishman’s meat produce on show and poached egg perfection. Breakfast taken in the sunlit dining room was a splendid way to start the day and set us up nicely for the return journey via Bolton Abbey to Leeds.
All in all, we would highly recommend The Devonshire Fell and although we all felt the food didn’t quite scale the dizzying heights of some other hotels we’d visited, looking back on our visit it’s actually very hard to fault it. The service is excellent too with friendly, attentive and informality the order of the day.
We will return!