A relaxing Yorkshire Dales staycation with Devonshire Hotels and champagne and seafood on the terrace
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With the sun beating down on the Devonshire Fell and its garden in full bloom, our pretty hillside home for the night seemed all the more stunning as my wife and I wound down for a weekend of relaxation, pampering and al fresco dining.
Before our arrival in Bursall, we had already familiarised ourselves with the Devonshire's luxury facilities with a stop at the spa, based at the Fell's sister accommodation, The Devonshire Arms, just a few minutes down the road at Bolton Abbey.
A couple of blissful hours in the pool, jacuzzi and a spot of sunbathing in the peace and tranquility of the Yorkshire countryside was the perfect way to start the weekend after a two-hour drive from our home in the Midlands.
Feeling revitalised we headed back to the Fell, which, standing proud on the edge of a hillside, has all the romance and drama of a classic Bronte sisters novel.
With just 16 rooms each with their own individual style, the hotel oozes an effortless charm. We were booked into Skyreholme, one of the spacious 'Luxury Fell View King' rooms, which would provide more than enough comfort for an over-indulged food-loving couple like us.
With a comfortable king-size bed, modern bathroom, coffee machine and traditional touches such as Yorkshire Tea, guests are well-equipped for respite whether they've been hiking in the hills, visiting the historic delights of the Bolton Abbey Estate or wining and dining in the Fell's smart-looking AA Rosette restaurant.
As the weather was so good, our choice of dinner venue was over at the pre-mentioned Devonshire Arms for an al fresco experience at the summer pop-up Champagne & Seafood Terrace.
Familiar with the concept after dining there at The Cavendish Hotel in Derbyshire, another from the Devonshire brand, it was a repeat opportunity not to be missed.
Taking our seats on the edge of the terrace so we could enjoy picturesque views of the River Wharfe and Beamsley Beacon, we were immediately drawn to the mouthwatering menu option of a sharing seafood platter.
Arriving to our table on a three-tier stand, its beautiful presentation made our feast look like the 'afternoon tea of seafood', with the tea replaced by a bottle of Laurent Perrier La Cuvée Brut champagne. As the name off the restaurant suggests, the two certainly go hand in hand.
Tasty platter delights included crab, brioche, guacamole and grapefruit; cod croquettes with saffron aioli; potted shrimp with sourdough croutes, smoked salmon, capers, lemon crème fraiche and walnut bread, and a heritage potato salad.
It was all delicious, but favourites had to be the crab on brioche, which although savoury left a sweet taste on the tongue, and the potted shrimp, which again was light in taste but came alive when spread onto a slice of the lovely walnut bread.
Now in its third year, the popular terrace provides a dining experience like no other and it doesn't matter if the weather is bad as the whole event is under canvas, with plenty of heaters and blankets provided to keep diners warm.
As the night was still young, back at the dog-friendly Fell we joined a scattering of fellow guests and their pooches in the bar for a sampling of the hotel's drinks menu, sipping on the exquisite tastes of espresso martini and passion fruit margarita cocktails before finishing the evening in style with a whisky on the rocks nightcap.
Next morning it was the regional flavours of a full Yorkshire breakfast that helped fuel up me for the day, with my wife opting for the lighter, but equally delicious, eggs royale, which passed the obligatory ‘yolk test’.
And just like that our weekend in Yorkshire was over, but as always with their exceptional food, comfort, friendly staff and beautiful countryside right on the doorstep, Devonshire Hotels never fail to impress.
A seafood platter at the Champagne & Seafood Terrace ‘Pop Up’, The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey, is priced £80. The restaurant is open Fridays and Saturdays from 12noon– 8pm. Bookings can be made until the end of August and dogs are welcome. Guests can book online or call the hotel reception 01756 718100.