The Hotel Review: The Devonshire Fell, Skipton, UK
Review: Jennifer Bonfield – Editor
The Devonshire Fell is nestled in the idyllic North Yorkshire hills, sitting pretty on an elevated slope with stretching views over Wharfdale Valley and the River Wharf. A beauty spot popular with walkers, and just a 10-minute drive from the Duke of Devonshire’s Bolton Abbey 12th century Estate. A short walk down the hill sits The Red Lion pub boasting a prime spot beer garden which is perfect to sit and while away an afternoon sipping on real ale, in this little slice of proper Yorkshire countryside.
The Devonshire Fell hotel used to be a Gentleman’s club in the Victorian era but following its revamp by the Duchess of Devonshire, is now a quaint country bolt-hole. The interior is a quirky mix of old and new with the contemporary bar area and restaurant decked out in bold jewel tones and the bedrooms having a somewhat paired back feel, coated in shades of milky nudes, coffee coloured soft furnishings and some with a splash of scarlet. An impressive art collection (curated by the Chatsworth Estate) hangs from the walls throughout the corridors.
There are 16 bedrooms ranging from the classic double, luxury king and the Fell suites – the best of the bunch having excellent valley views. All rooms are individually decorated with their own style. Guests at The Devonshire Fell are provided with free access to the spa at luxury sister hotel, The Devonshire Arms (10-minutes’ drive away), and free parking is also offered over the entire Devonshire estate.
The restaurant here at The Devonshire Fell has to be the highlight of our stay, and the single AA Rosette it currently holds is by far underrated. At £35 for 3 courses, this is honestly an absolute steal. Crisp white linen, gleaming glassware, plush comfy chairs and friendly but slick waiting staff make for a semi-formal, yet completely inviting atmosphere.
The wine list is strong with a good champagne selection and Laurent Perrier Rose is served by the glass. Following a delicious selection of Amuse Bouche, we ordered our food in the bar area and were taken through to the restaurant and seated at a pretty window table.
The menus go by the classic ‘6×6’ formula; a choice of six well curated started and six mains – all of which are equal contenders to a foodie’s palette. To start, I had the Rabbit & sage ballotine, prosciutto ham, carrot and caraway slaw. Mr G&G opted for the home smoked duck breast served with a fennel, port and redcurrant reduction. Both of which were nothing less than divine, bursting with flavour, and every component of the dishes owning its place on the plate.
For main we both had the 28-day aged Ribeye; a tasty, succulent cut, well-seasoned and teamed with the traditional accompaniments of chunky chips, grilled tomatoes and a choice of peppercorn sauce or red wine jus. We paired the steak with sides dishes of honey & thyme carrots, buttered spinach and a bottle of Rioja Crianza followed by a rich Argentinian Malbec. Mr G&G’s steak was a tad overcooked but considering he is a ‘caveman’ type of guy when it comes to his steak serving preference (super-rare blue) serving it a tad overdone pretty much applies to anyone who cooked his steak bar himself!
With a tempting selection of desserts, we had to save room for the cheeseboard. A selection of five locally produced cheeses; which we paired with the great selection of dessert wine recommended by Paul, a member of the management team, (we tried all the options but the classic Muscat was great) , it was an epic finish to the meal.
Paul, really helped to make our restaurant experience stellar, his knowledge of the food, wine list, wine pairing and his personable approach, is something that can make or break a dining experience and he is without a doubt an asset to the hotel. This boutique residence is a super spot for a tranquil countryside break and definitely a destination for foodies to flock to.
From £82.50 DBB per person
From £115 BB per room
Spa treatments available and complimentary use of facilities at the hotel’s sister property,
The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, 10 minutes drive away. Two nights ‘Dales Delight’ package
(from £168 p.p.) includes a 20% spa discount.