It was years ago that I last visited this great pub, set in the foothills of the Yorkshire Dales, and, as with so many things, had also been on my ‘to do list’ for some time. I was able to satiate my curiosity for both a lunch and dinner within 3 months of each other – funny isn’t it, that you wait for ages and then it all comes at once! The pictures and observations below are a combination of both those visits.
Firstly, it was a ‘ladies who lunch’ experience which was delightful. We were blessed with a stunning winters’ day – clear blue skies, no wind, and plenty of frost to chill the air. There was some uncertainty as to whether the recent snow and ice might put paid to this excursion but fortunately that never occurred although my fellow lunch companion did arrive slightly frazzled having been lead up and down dale along non gritted back roads by that infamous gadget, the sat nav. All was well though in the end.
The pub is situated in the tiny farming village of Hetton, about 15 mins north from Skipton. The pub has its origins in the 15th century but, according the information provided on their website, most of what can be seen today dates to the 18th century and is thought to have originally been a drovers’ inn. In today’s modern world it has been renowned for its good food since the late 1980s.
The pub is low-ceilinged with an open wood fire which was most welcome on this cold day. We are greeted in the most friendly and jovial manner where we ‘sign in’ at the bar for our table.
Our attention is brought to the two specials boards pinned to the wall behind the bar – a set menu from which to choose 2 or 3 courses and an à la carte specials board. We examine both of these before being taken to our table where we peruse even more choices from the bar & brasserie menu.
The Inn also has a separate restaurant. This I’ve never eaten in and am lead to believe it is slightly more formal than the bar & brasserie area and with a slightly different menu. On both my lunch and dinner visits, it’s been tables in the bar area which has suited our purposes being relaxed, cosy and atmospheric.
Then it was down to the difficulty of making choices of what to have. It all looked decidedly delicious. As the Angel’s seafood ‘moneybag’ came highlighted as one of “The Angel’s classics” (these have apparently helped to make the Inn famous and therefore remain on the menu), I simply had to validate this accolade for my starter. For my lunchtime main, I had spied a roasted cod on a bed of risotto. Fish and risotto are a marriage made in heaven in my view so that was settled then. Fellow companion ordered the same as me for both courses.
The moneybag parcels were simply gorgeous. The crispy pastry filled with a mixture of seafood and veg were a delight to the senses. The lobster sauce was rich and busting with flavour. Yes, definitely ticked all the right boxes for me and can understand why it has remained on their menu.
Main was roasted cod on a bed of chorizo risotto. As I said above, fish and risotto are such a great combination, and this dish didn’t disappoint. As well as being beautifully presented, the chorizo complemented the delicate flavour of the cod and a few scallops on the plate finished everything off very nicely. With a side of veg I was a very happy camper.
We did consider taking dessert but took the hard decision to resist. I was able to rectify my curiosity on that front below – and it was a real cracker!
My dinner experience at the inn was equally enjoyable. It was interesting to see technology being embraced when I returned as both the specials boards had been scanned onto an iPad which you were able to scroll through at your table. Most ingenious and forward thinking I thought.
Unfortunately, I was struck this evening with my occasional disease of inability to decide and it took a few goes before I settled on what to order. This was partly due to the fact that my first, and easily decided choices at that point, were not available on the menu when I came to order it. But all was well in the end.
We were three tonight and having finally placed our orders, we were able to focus on enjoying the rest of the evening in earnest. The fire was just being stoked and the murmur of other diners nearby made for a pleasant atmosphere.
As I had enjoyed the seafood parcels or moneybags so much the first time, I wanted to repeat that experience and it was as good the second time round as the first.
My earlier indecision had been on the main course and I had eventually chosen salmon with salsify, beetroot and thyme mash. It was beautifully presented and the salmon cooked to perfection. The flavours all worked well together. The thyme mash was a first for me and I really liked it as the thyme came through very distinctively.
And so to dessert. As I said above, this was a cracker: banana caramel delice with toffee banana jelly. What’s a delice some of you may ask? It’s basically a mousse made with milk, cream & eggs and some flavour, e.g. chocolate or, as in this case, banana.
I’ve decided I just have to try and recreate this at home. The flavours and textures on this plate were nothing short of sensational. The base of the desert was like a thin, crisp pastry and the topping flaked almonds in caramel brittle. Both of these contrasted with the soft and creamy smoothness of the banana delice. I can still taste it now and it was so good!
It was a hard act to follow but then came coffee and petit fours of biscuits and orange chocolate truffles followed.
There’s only one word for all the above and that is yummy!The Angel Inn, Hetton, Near Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT Telephone: 01756 730263 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.angelhetton.co.uk/