The Angel Inn Hetton Review – Yorkshire Dales Best Restuarants –
Set in the picture postcard village of Hetton, near to Skipton is the characterful Angel Inn. Not only does the building have its own story to tell, the history of the food served could have its own book entirely. The Angel’s late owner Denis Watkins was named ‘The Godfather of the Gastropub’ and received a ‘Catey’ award for the best Pub Operation in the country after they changed the face of pub food throughout Britain back in 1985. Moving away from the scampi and chips and surprising diners with their mangetout and new potatoes, as well as making their selected wine list an integral part of the pub dining experience.
Fast forward to today with Denis’s son Pascal at the forefront, the Angel continues its accolades with 5 star rated rooms and two AA Rosette restaurant. What’s more, the place has down to earth charm with great prices to match. Picture cosy open fires, exposed beams, locally sourced ales, some of the best wines sourced from self-confessed francophile Pascal and a warm welcome from their staff. Yep, we were in for a treat. It’s the kind of place you would quite happily get snowed in for a good few days, unfortunately, we were a week late or that could have been a strong possibility.
After a picturesque drive through the stunning snow-covered Yorkshire Dales, we arrived late Sunday afternoon and checked into our room for the night. Each of the Angel Inn’s 9 bedrooms has their own unique personality and ours had lots of that, complete with Victorian style half poster bed, roll top bath, our own comfortable sitting room with views over Rylstone Fell. The Angel Inn is popular with walkers and foodies alike, with a short drive to the stunning Malham Cove, Bolton Abbey Estate and Grassington. We’d only taken in a glimpse of the bar and our room but could see already why the Angel is the perfect spot to unwind.
How you choose to dine is very much up to you. Although we’d missed their renowned Sunday Roast that their chefs only serve within a short time-frame to maintain its tasty standard, we had the choice of the Bar Menu which very much holds its own, restaurant menu or 5-course taster menu. Not to mention, whichever you choose you can dine in the relaxing bar or more formal restaurant. The menus are interesting with French, British, Asian and Indian influences, from confit lamb lasagne to monkfish and cod cheek scampi on their bar menu to tandoori hake or carpaccio of sashimi tuna on the restaurant menu. Whilst deliberating what to indulge in, we were treated to canapes of delicious cured venison and tomato, and textures of carrot served with a glass of prosecco.
Our starters set the tone for the evening well. A trio of ham hock perfectly presented. Served potted, a generous fritter with melt in the mouth tender meat and cleverly done smoked cigar with crisp filo pastry. Accompanied by a sharp pineapple jelly and pea puree. A great start, comforting gastro style cooking in characterful surroundings.
On the other side of the table a lighter dish but just as tasty. Lavish slices of seared sashimi grade tuna complimented with a punchy wasabi salsa verde, citrus crème fraiche and pickled cucumber.
The Angel Inn has long held a tradition of culinary excellence together with one of the most extensive lists of wine by the glass in the country. With perfectly curated menus showcasing the best local and seasonal ingredients, choosing mains was a difficult task with so many mouthwatering dishes to choose from.
After much deliberation, I went for the duck breast. Served pink and cooked to perfection, the combination of sweet potato fondant, pak choi, and celeriac puree together with fragrant star anise jus was a marriage made in foodie heaven.
The other half happily tucked into thick, meaty tandoori hake wrapped in crisp Parma ham. The sides of delicious spicy aloo gobi (I could have devoured a whole bowl of this alone) together with almond and pearl barley really showcased the versatility of Head Chef Naz’s experience.
Onto dessert next, with two more showstopping plates arriving at the table. Again more tough decisions when each dish on the menu sounded so mouthwatering, not to mention seeing a few desserts at the next table looking so spectacular. Combining two of my favourite sweet treats chocolate and cheesecake had me sold. The dark chocolate cheesecake could have been a bit darker for my liking but just as tasty all the same. The coconut ganache, white chocolate curls and compressed pineapple rounded off another splendid plate of food that tasted every bit as good as it looked.
Some serious food envy was had when the white cholate fondant poured out from its light, sponge casing. Paired with a sharp blackberry sorbet to balance the richness of the chocolate, thankfully the other half was pretty stuffed by now so I managed a few mouthfuls to polish off both dreamy desserts.
Breakfast at the Angel Inn is award winning in its own right. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit too cold to enjoy ours outside like comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon when they paid a visit on their BBC gastro show, The Trip a few years ago. Stunning Yorkshire breakfast of the best local ingredients together with fresh fruit, preserves and pastries baked to order ended our visited perfectly.
Our foodie trip to the Yorkshire Dales is definitely one to remember. There’s no wonder its been a firm favourite for so many years after starting a culinary revolution. Guests old and new will continue to return to sample award-winning food with delightful service at this characterful inn.
Angel Inn, Back Lane, Hetton, Skipton BD23 6LT – 01756 730263
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The Angel Inn Hetton Review – Yorkshire Dales Restuarant –