Provenance meets decadence…
From its origin in the gardens of The Devonshire Arms, Head Chef Paul Leonard’s creations are transformed daily into an indulgent feast for Burlington Restaurant diners. And his six-course tasting menu explores just that – perfect plant to plate dining.
Surrounded by rolling countryside at ‘the gateway to the Dales’, The Devonshire Arms and its three AA rosette rated Burlington Restaurant is the perfect place to embrace all things seasonal. We’re cosying up by open fires, warming up with hot toddy and celebrating the autumn harvest.
Paul is the culinary star at the helm of the hotel’s restaurant and he’s so very passionate about the immediate area and its local produce – finding his feet in the kitchen gardens, a space allowing the team to be creative and spontaneous with the foodie offering. Garden to plate dining is a huge part of the process, particularly with Paul’s new six-course tasting menu, ‘The Taste of the Dales’ – a fine dining experience and a real feast for the senses.
With home-grown produce at the heart of everything he does, Paul is incredibly excited about the developments of the kitchen gardens. Whether it be from the hotel’s own walled gardens, or reared on the Bolton Abbey estate, the team here are getting fresh, seasonal produce at its very best. It is then given creative flair in the talented hands of Paul.
The Devonshire Arms is situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales at Bolton Abbey near Skipton. With smiling faces, roaring fires and a real country charm about the place, it’s cosy, it’s homely and it’s a real treat to warm the body and the soul as summer turns to autumn and autumn turns to winter. The hotel boasts forty bedrooms and suites – all with far-reaching views across the gardens.
The place is also famed for it’s three AA rosette rated Burlington Restaurant. It’s an occasion to savour and it really is something special. Paul’s flair, creativity and love of all things local really shines through in his menu. He has the flexibility to add something he’s picked from the garden just hours before dinner service.
The stunning seventeenth century inn is home for the evening. Checked in to a suite with beautiful views across the changing autumn landscape, it’s time to delve in and discover the kitchen gardens.
Paul shares with us his passions for the kitchen gardens and it’s evident he’s confident about bringing in the plant to plate approach. Something authentic, something personable – the chefs are planning in advance, planting the produce they want to see on their menus in months to come. It’s a creative way to dine, and we’re blown away by the love that goes into the whole process.
We take a tour of the gardens with a hot toddy tipple to help warm us through. The place is bursting with seasonal produce and good-for-the-soul ingredients. After picking some fresh produce, it’s time to dress for dinner to see how it’s all pulled together from garden to kitchen.
The Burlington Restaurant offers laid back, luxury dining. It’s cosy, it screams country charm, but it’s also a formal affair.
The six-course tasting menu incorporates much of what is picked in the kitchen gardens earlier in the day. With a mix of local meats, home-grown veg and herbs, it’s amazing to see how Paul and his team transform ingredients into such a beautiful display on the plate.
First up it’s creel caught langoustine: pork cheek, celeriac and truffle. The appreciation of fresh flavours here is second to none, and the dish is accompanied by a Mountadam Chardonnay from Barossa, Australia. Delicious.
Next is a real show-stopper. Simple, yet oh-so effective – and something we spotted in the kitchen garden earlier. It’s a heritage carrot with smoked eel and spiced seeds; served with a Lonely Vineyard Riesling from the Eden Valley in Australia.
Rose veal comes next, served with caviar, home-grown garden radish and nasturtium. Dreamy! This course is served with a South Afrian Nelsons Estate Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot. A lovely, brooding red wine with notes of plumb with hints of spice. Its taste of powerful dark fruits zips through the flavours wonderfully.
The fish course is a favourite too. East coast landed john dory with artichoke and clams. Light, fluffy fish and fresh flavours combine to create an effortless dish served with a light, fruity Chenin Blanc from Walker Bay, South Africa.
On to the meat course. The loin of Yorkshire venison is served perfectly pink with onions and kale. A fine, Yorkshire dish, embracing everything from local meat to home-grown veg. The wine to accompany is a Chateau Beauchene, Chateauneuf De Pap from Rhone, France. With an appealing nose of ripe black fruits and a touch of toast, smoke and spice, it’s perfect for cold, winter nights and the perfect addition to the dish.
A palate cleanser of greengage – cucumber and crème fraiche is followed by a kitchen garden dessert with apples, Yorkshire skyr yoghurt and blueberries. Simple, but the most incredibly well thought out dessert I’ve had in a long time.
The dessert wine is a Moscato D’asti, Contero from Piedmonte, Italy. A range of citrus, floral and spice aromas, with a full, dry palate.
We’re very excited about Paul’s ideas at The Devonshire Arms. And it seems he is too – with a busy festive period ahead.
“We’re moving forward every day,” says Paul.
“We change the menu as often as we need to and we try not to over think some of the dishes, we just use what’s fresh and we know it will go together, as long as it cooks well.
“It’s important to us that we know where our produce is coming from. We’ve got to know its history – because ultimately that helps us understand the food a bit more.
“The seasons seem to be changing over night this year – and it totally changes the focus on the plate. So we’ve got to adapt to that.”
The Devonshire Arms and the Burlington Restaurant has Yorkshire written all over it. It’s authentic, it’s local and it’s charming – and that’s exactly what you want when you’re visiting a new place – you want to understand where you are – you want to get to know a new place. From the warm welcome and the home-grown produce, to the cosy communal spaces including the dog lounge, we feel right at home here and would recommend to anyone wanting to appreciate the finer things in life and get to know the Yorkshire Dales.
“The passion for the future here is exciting,” says Paul.
“And I guess with the garden kitchens we’re trying to bring a little bit of our own character to the place. We can be creative and we’re all really enjoying it.”