As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Nidderdale, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of restaurants, pubs, cafés and other local food outlets in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Yorkshire Dales.
The rich farmland in the Nidderdale AONB means there’s no shortage of quality natural ingredients for local restaurants to plunder. You’ll find top-notch eateries and tiny delis and farm shops bursting with culinary delights from the local area.
Sample the wares of one of the best chefs in the country at the Michelin-starred The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, which uses produce from its own kitchen garden. Several pubs, such as the Wellington Inn in Darley, are known for great food too, again drawing on local sources.
Taking time for tea is a must, and there are plenty of places offering a fine brew to go with tasty cakes for refuelling. But what you really mustn’t miss is a pint of local ale. There are two breweries in Masham where you can learn about traditional production methods – and sample the result, naturally.
Situated in the lovely town of Masham, this recently refurbished restaurant offers carefully crafted cuisine that suits the elegant surrounds. The philosophy is to use fresh local produce – and it’s one which has helped reap the awards including 2 AA rosettes and a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide. The menu changes with the season, but for starters expect the likes of venison carpaccio with pickled vegetables and parmesan or a salad of crispy pork belly, sautéed apples and stuffing. Mains might include braised ox cheeks with creamed potatoes, lamb 3 ways or roast partridge with poached pair – and it would be rude to miss desert when delights like chocolate terrine is on the menu. Great value adds to the tastiness too (a three course Sunday lunch is just £21.50). With only 30 seats it does book up, so plan ahead and don’t miss out. vennellsrestaurant.co.uk
For location and views across the Yorkshire Dales, the Wellington Inn is hard to beat. A pub with restaurant and 12 rooms, it’s a great base for exploring this beautiful region. The restaurant – think polished wooden floors, faded rugs and warm colours – is renowned for its use of local produce and delicious homemade fare, while locals and visitors enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the pub with its inglenook fireplace. Stay in one of the super-clean, simple rooms and you can enjoy a hearty full-English breakfast – sure to set you up for a day in the great outdoors. wellington-inn.co.uk
Black Sheep Brewery
Established in October 1992, this new but traditional brewery in Masham was set up by Paul Theakston, of the brewing family fame. Making real beer in the time-honoured fashion, original equipment was sourced from across the country – and visitors can join a tour to find out how an award-winning ale is made. Afterwards you can pop into the Black Sheep Baa..r & Bistro for a snack, lunch or dinner, which uses produce from the local area to create British favourites with a twist. blacksheepbrewery.com
The cutely named Rosebud Farm specialises in creating preserves that are jam packed (excuse the pun) with fruits and herbs and made from the finest ingredients. The team makes over 50 sweet and savoury preserves, mainly by hand using small batches of mostly local fruits and flowers picked from surrounding hedgerows and gardens. Choose from delights such as rhubarb and ginger jam, lemon curd, beetroot and horseradish relish and apple and hot chilli herb jelly. There’s not a retail shop, but the farm is happy to recive visitors by appointment – call in advance. Alternatively order online.
Birchfield Family Dairies
One of Yorkshire’s premier ice cream producers, Birchfield Farm in Summerbridge uses the creamiest milk from its Jersey cows and only natural ingredients for the tastiest results. Check out the farm shop – where you’ll find all sorts of delights besides 30 flavours of delicious ice cream, from butter to yogurts, rice pudding to sorbets. There’s also an Ice Cream Parlour and Tea Rooms where you can enjoy a treat (go for a knickerbocker glory if you can’t decide on the flavour – it’s a tough decision). birchfieldicecream.co.uk
Mackenzies Yorkshire Smokehouse
An award-winning smokehouse with a shop choc-full of goodies you won’t want to leave without, from kippers to dry cured bacon. Traditional methods of curing and smoking are used, burning only pure oak to ensure natural flavours – and all foods are free from artificial colours. There’s an on-site restaurant too where head chef Andy Wilkinson offers breakfast and lunch (smoked fish bruschetta for starters, followed by chicken breast stuffed with Mackenzie’s parma ham)– and a range of cakes is served all day too. Most produce is from the smokehouse or local suppliers, so food miles are minimal. yorkshiresmokehouse.co.uk
H Weatherhead & Sons
The renowned butchers in Pateley Bridge is a family run business with its own slaughterhouse and quality homemade products. weatherheadbutchers.co.uk
Kendall & Sons
Kendall & Sons is another family butchers in Pateley Bridge with top-quality produce and prize-winning speciality pork pies. kendallsfarmbutchers.co.uk
The place to come for local goodies from the immediate area, Dales Stores stocks a great range of produce, from quality meats supplied by Wetherheads butchers in Pateley Bridge to traditional cheeses like the tasty Wensleydale from The Cheese Board. They also sell their own label AJs product – homemade jams, pickles, biscuits and cakes. Stock up if you’re self-catering or planning a picnic – or grab a sandwich or salad from the ‘to go’ counter. What’s more there’s a post office on site – so you can write home about how great it is! dalestores.co.uk
For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our