Saturday, 27 August 2011


On Wednesday, I had the most expensive lunch of my life.
I took my lodger (John) to the Yorke Arms in Nidderdale for lunch. £35 for three courses, plus £4 for coffee and £3 for apple juice. Grand total including tip, £88.
I’d seen the place reviewed in The Telegraph last year and thought how brilliant it sounded.
Friday was two years to the day since I moved from Paignton to Leeds. It was the excuse I needed to try it out.
Before the meal we were served with canapés in the lounge. They were wheat based so I let John eat those.
We then went through to the dining room. It reminded me of a restaurant in Josselin with its wooden panels and slightly old fashioned but comfortable feel.
My starter comprised cured salmon, sardine, red mullet, with chick peas and other bits and pieces. Before that we were served the most amazing selection of freshly cooked rolls, with herbs and cheese and all manner of flavours. Usually, I avoid anything with wheat in but those rolls were so inviting….. I had to have a couple of bites.
My main course was a mouth-watering chunk of herb crusted halibut which came with girolle, squid, pommes dauphine, with a red wine reduction. Like the starter, it was arranged like a work of art on the plate.
The best though, was yet to come. The dessert! Tarragon parfait, lemon sorbet, roast fig and pistachio brulee. Four completely different components which, somehow, worked. The sorbet was so strong, when it first hit the back of my throat it made me cough. The tarragon parfait comprised a three coloured slab of contrasting flavours and textures.
The figs were sublime and the pistachio was too good for words.
I would have licked the plate if I could have been sure nobody would see me.
So that’s my treat for the year. The most expensive lunch I’ve ever had and a worthy celebration of my first two years in Yorkshire.
I wonder what the next two years will bring?

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