On our visit to Yorkshire we had a lovely chat with a guy in the Green Dragon Inn, the place we parked up Olive during our VW adventure. He recommended we tried The Wensleydale Heifer if we were partial to seafood. I’m not, but Mr. Canny is, so we made reservations for the following night.
The day had been rainy and awful, but the weather broke when on arrival so we went for a walk to pass some time before our booking. There is a great public footpath which takes you through some fields, and as the sun was shining we felt happy with our lot in life.
The sign outside boasting the Heifer was voted Best Seafood Pub of the Year 2013 confused me. The Yorkshire Dales are a long way from the sea, and my expectation would be that somewhere on the coast would have been awarded that accolade on account of the freshness of the produce.
The restaurant was not what I was expecting and I felt underdressed wearing my jeans and jumper. Having been in the rain most of the day I must have looked like a real sight compared to the diners who had dressed up for the occasion. We opted for the 3 courses for £21.75 offer, which we thought seemed like a bargain.
We were presented with a Goats Cheese, Potato and Beetroot appetiser, which almost felt too pretty to eat. Mr. Canny chose their Seafood Soup to start, while I opted for Goats Cheese on a Rocket and Pepper Salad. I could’ve eaten a plateful of the amuse bouche, so tasty they were. The homemade bread basket was also fantastic, served with a variety of butters.
While my starter was good, the yummy noises Mr. Canny made suggested I was missing a trick not liking fish. He said it was the best fish soup he’d had since coming to the UK, so hats off to the Chef! The spicy Roquito Pepper that my starter was served with was overpowering for my delicate palate, but I persevered.
Choosing a main course was very difficult for the other half with an abundance of fish on the menu. He was almost tempted by the Maple Roast Salad – King Scallops, Tiger Prawns and Crispy Bacon, served on a salad. There was the option to add Lobster to this mix for an extra £8. Because he was so full from the soup he decided to go for the Herb Crusted Hake Fillet, which topped a Chorizo and Parmesan Risotto. He was happy with this decision, and afterwards said he was so satisfied he didn’t want to overdo it with a pudding. It was £19.75 for the two courses.
I found my choices rather limited because of the fish aversion, so opted for their Roast Chicken. This was served with some delicious sauteed cabbage and a sweet onion jus. The chicken skin was crispy while the meat remained tender.
Having walked so much that day I was adamant I was going to have a dessert, and based on a recommendation from the waitress went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Banana Ice Cream. This was incredible but very filling, and I had to force myself to eat every mouthful so as not to waste it. Mr. Canny did help out, though!
One of the things we liked about the Wensleydale Heifer was the saucy cartoons in the toilets, featuring what I would call British seaside humour. Some were very risqué, but the style made it inoffensive. Its knowingly naff, and in any other eatery would be crass. But the fact this high-end fish restaurant certainly delivers on the food front and is incredibly attentive to the smaller details completely wins me over. After settling the bill we had a look round the bar area, which had photos of the themed bedrooms that the Heifer has on offer. There’s a chocolate bedroom, a James Herriot bedroom, and a 007 room; perfect for the man who harbours a desire to be Mr. Bond. The prices are more than reasonable for what would be classed as luxury accommodation by other establishments. Like the meal we ate in their restaurant it seems that the Heifer offers great value for money across-the-board. We’d highly recommend a visit, and hope to return ourselves to sample an overnight stay. If their evening meal was that good, can you imagine the breakfast?!
Thanks for reading,
NB- We visited in the summer, so the menu will have changed since as we believe The Heifer serves seasonal produce.