Seasonal food with a great view
The Clevedon is secreted away up a leafy lane, approached through stone gateposts. The private road signs had us dithering a bit, but we plodded on to the top of the hill where a majestic cedar appears, with the restaurant peeping out behind it. The grounds fall away and open to the stunning Yorkshire Dales.
This restaurant is so much about the magnificent views that we almost forget we’re here to eat. Our window table looks onto a balustraded terrace, where alfresco dining is offered beneath fluttering parasols. Today’s brisk breeze keeps us inside, but we are ideally seated to enjoy the fabulous Wharfedale outlook. "Look at all that world!" a small child once said to me and that’s just how I feel…
A swift nudge from my husband reminds me that we must look at the menu.
"It’s not going to be easy," he says.
He’s right, chef Stuart Dixon who has worked with both Paul Heathcote and Gary Rhodes, has expertly put together a tempting array of seasonal, locally sourced dishes. The accent, we’re told, is on freshness and simplicity, allowing individual ingredients to shine through. I’m undecided. Should it be the sea bream with Jersey Royals, morel mushrooms and cauliflower puree? Mmm… I settle for the rack of lamb with spring vegetables, banana shallot, hot-pot potatoes and rosemary jus. It’s a wise choice. The lamb is cooked to a succulent, juicy medium rare and the flavoursome vegetables retain their bright colour and perfect bite. My husband chooses the fresh tuna Caesar salad. Two of his favourites on one plate. The generous tuna steak is deliciously pink in the middle, moist and flaky, and the salad delicately dressed.
Enjoying a pause between courses we take in our surroundings. The lime green and mink upholstery sets just the right contemporary tone, teamed with striking wall sculptures and enormous drum lightshades hang from the ceiling. The restaurant is bustling. Our fellow diners include a jolly group of ladies celebrating a birthday, a mother and daughter breaking their dales tour with a leisurely lunch and a couple who have driven up from Ilkley for a healthy snack after a hard morning playing tennis. This is certainly a popular spot for discerning diners, both local and on the tourist trail.
We choose puddings from a tempting selection. My mille feuille couldn’t be crisper and is served sandwiched with juicy sharp raspberries and whipped cream. My husband’s creamy and light vanilla seed panna cotta sits perfectly with a poached peach and raspberry sorbet. There’s a down-to-earth rhubarb and ginger pudding offered too and mango parfait with bitter chocolate sauce. The cheese board sounds like a meal in itself with no less than five cheeses served with fruit loaf, chutney, crackers and biscuits.
But, you don’t have to go for the full monty. We agree over coffee that next time, we shall sample the light bites menu or maybe a classic afternoon tea and make sure it’s a day when we can sit on the terrace. After all, the wild beauty of that view is to die for!
Value: 2 courses with coffee and drinks £25.25 per head.
Monday to Thursday 12.00 noon to 6.30pm
Friday to Saturday 12.00 noon to 8.30pm
Sunday 12.00 noon to 3.00pm