Monday, 12 July 2010

Boo in Yorkshire - Grassington House

A few weeks back I travelled to the picturesque village of Grassington near Skipton, in Yorkshire. This was a wedding road trip and my first time to the county and I must say I was completely won over by the Yorkshire Dales, miles and miles of hilly green landscape, it's idyllic and unspoiled and really the ideal venue for a wedding, well done John and Sue for choosing such an amazing location.

The hotel we stayed in, Grassington House, is a Georgian style building in the centre of the village offering 5 star accommodation.

We opted for b+b and the breakfast was incredible, I sampled both the full English and the scrambled egg and smoked haddock. They served me the first black pudding that I can honestly say I enjoyed. I always look forward to staying in hotels and here both the quality of the decor and the food were marvellous.

There is also a restaurant for evening meals. A large group of us ate here on the Sunday evening where they offer a 2 for 1 4 course meal for £39.50 per couple.

Choices are slightly limited with only 2 options per course. To begin there was an amuse of goatscheese and beetroot. A nice earthy mouthful and pretty presentation.

I opted for the seafood platter to start. The highlight of this dish for me was the tempura tiger prawn which was faultless, light crisp batter encased the firm meaty crustaceans. Attention again paid to presentation with starters coming on black slates. I was a little disappointed by the portions size, the lobster piece for example was less than a mouthful, more canape size really.

Then we were served a hot carrot and coriander veloute in cappucino glasses, I thought this would have benefited from being cooler, it was difficult to drink right away, not to mention awkward to hold, but the flavour was fine.

My main course was grilled dorade fillets served with new potatoes, spinach and olive tapenade. I'd never heard of this fish before, having googled it I see it's the Spanish term for a gilt headed sea bream. It was a solid dish, though I think the tapenade was a little over powering for the delicate fish. I chose this as the lighter option following a particularly indulgent Saturday but subsequently wished I had gone for the pan fried chicken breast with truffle risotto, no brainer really.

For dessert, again wanting something light, I had the strawberry and champagne jelly. The other option was a chocolate orange mousse and I have an aversion to chocolate orange so this was an easy choice. The jelly was nice, I detected only the merest hint of booze though, the accompanying strawberry espuma (fancy word for foam) had deteriorated to nothing after only a minute at the table.

Chef John Rudden, previously holder of a Michelin Bib Gourmand at The White Hart in Lydgate, has some nice ideas, executing them deftly and serving up fine food for a fraction of the price you pay here in London. Per head with a couple of local ales each, coffee, for those who wanted one, and service the total came to £25 per person. A bargain. This menu is available on Sunday and Monday nights only, the a la carte menu is offered every night. The place is very popular though I noted that most of our fellow diners were elder couples but this may have something to do with our early bird time slot of 6pm, this was a request of the restaurant due to the large booking (10 people).

I really enjoyed this meal, Rudden champions fresh, seasonal and local produce which if cooked well never fails to satisfy. I would definitely return here to stay, the rooms are immaculate with exceptional attention to detail and it is excellent value for money.

Grassington House Hotel
5 The Square
Grassington, North Yorkshire
BD23 5AQ

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