The sumptuous Devonshire Arms, housed in the stunning 30,000-acre Bolton Abbey estate, cossets its guests from the moment tyres crunch on gravel. Once a seventeenth century inn, this classic English country house hotel exudes comfort, from the impeccably well-dressed and polite staff to the lavish décor and roaring fires within.
Fine dining takes place in the plush Burlington Restaurant which, like the rest of the hotel, is warm and inviting. Dusky pink and rich purple hues, polished wooden tables and soft lighting all contribute to the tranquil ambience that is quite at odds with the complex and highly technical endeavours of the kitchen. Whether you choose the set-price carte or the “excellent” tasting menu, you can expect bright modern ideas and intense flavours from the award-winning chef at the helm, Paul Leonard. His commitment to using fresh, natural and seasonal ingredients means he rarely looks beyond the kitchen garden for fruit, vegetables and herbs, and receives daily deliveries of top-quality meat, cheese and poultry from local suppliers.
Menus here are designed as an experience, with the tasting menu taking around three hours to enjoy. Dishes you might encounter on the seven-course ‘Burlington Experience’ menu include the likes of cured duck liver with rhubarb and ginger, and aged Yorkshire hogget with purple sprouting broccoli and young cheese, while the a la carte proffers creations such as creel-caught langoustine with pig cheek, fennel and granola, and Yorkshire shorthorn beef with asparagus, morels and wild garlic. Desserts come as simple trios, such as Gariguette strawberries with sweet cicely and custard, and figs with yogurt and pistachio. All of the above is underpinned by a world-class wine cellar with some 30,000 bottles. “Superb staff and service” seal the deal.