More about Wensleydale Heifer Hotel
Fab food - great room
We stayed at the Wensleydale Heifer for a night at the beginning of May 2007 and stayed in the Junior Suite. The room was very comfortable with a seperate area for seating and TV with DVD and complimentary DVDs at one end - bathroom in the middle and bedroom at the other end. There was sherry in the room and good range of teas, coffees and other hot drinks + mineral water. All in all, a good experience (only slight concern was the faint noise from the kitchen extractor - but this could not be heard in the bedroom end)
The restuarant was just fab - there are sample menus on line. Comfortable surroundings - attentive staff - good wine list. It specialises in fish and has quite rightly built up a solid reputation. We had starters and main course + a bottle of wine which came to around £75.00. Top quality food - sourced from very good suppliers- it quite rightly has earned plaudits from the Times and AA.
Breakfast was also top notch.
We were staying for our wedding annirversary - which the hotel found out about. We went back into our room after our meal to be greated by a card and some chocolates - a nice touch to an excellent evening.
Give it a try!
We stayed in this great little pub / restaurant / inn, in September 06 but I have only just thought to write a review.
We arrived late on a Friday night to a warm welcome by the friendly / professional staff. There is a comfortable lounge area with an open fire to the front of the building and we sat here unwinding with a few drinks until the early hours with absolutely no rush from the staff.
On Saturday we were served one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten regardless of cost. The quality of the ingredients shone through and the chefs here could teach any hotel in the country a thing or two about a full English breakfast. They even found some marmite for my toast. The service was upbeat and charming.
After a long days walking on Saturday we returned to car park where a member of staff spotted our friends dog and came out with a water bowl. A thoughtful touch.
After a few drinks in the bar, (with some very tasty canapés) we ate in the restaurant and again the quality of the food really impressed. Without doubt some of the best seafood I've eaten and a really memorable occasion. The service was spot on, professional and slick whilst maintaining a good degree of friendliness and humour. The wine list is also very enjoyable. The whole place had a good buzz about it on Saturday night.
The only thing that didn't quite live up to expectation was the bedroom. We stayed in Middleham Racing, it is quite small and the bed wasn't the most comfortable. Saying that, it was reasonably priced had a good shower and you could tell that an effort had been made. The rooms just aren't quite as smart as the pictures on the website suggest, but by no means bad and don't let it put you off, the rest of the experience more than makes up for it!
Overall I would definitely recommend the Wensleydale Heifer and will be returning this year. I'll just book earlier to make sure that I get a bigger room.
A real gem which is full of charm
We stayed here for a quick weekend break. We only live 40 mins away but we could not resist the fantastic Sumptuous Sunday offer.
We arrived to a very welcoming greeting from Chris the Manger, who showed us to our room. Rather than hanging around in the reception area filling out forms and giving credit card details, as is the norm at most hotels, you are just asked to complete a very simple registration card from the comfort of your room and hand it in " at some point during your stay". Now, that is what relaxing in the countryside is all about!
We had pre-dinner drinks in the very nice bar area. My husband was very impressed with the frosted/chilled peroni glasses. I was equally impressed with the wine choices. Once the summer is here, the hotel also has an al-fresco dining area, which looked great.
We had dinner from the Sumptuous Sunday Menu but you are welcome to order from the main menu at a supplement. My husband described his 'posh fish and chips' cooked in black sheep ale batter, as the best he has ever had. The food was delicious and served beautifully. With decorative fish plates and special 'Wensleydale Heifer' newspaper plates, they really do try to add those extra special touches which make the stay more memorable.
After dinner, we relaxed in the snug. It is scattered with ornaments and items relating to the theme of the hotel and you can read the sunday papers and magazines without a care in the world.
Our room, the chocolate room, was great. My only comment would be that it did not have a shower, only a bath.
As some of the previous reviewers have said, yes the floorboards may creak a little and you can hear the sound of the taps running in the adjacent room but it all adds to the charm. In fact, we were grateful for the wake up call from the room next door as it meant we made it to the amazing breakfast!
Again, my husband thought his cooked breakfast was the best (and probably the healthiest bacon/sausage) he had eaten in any hotel. It was beautifully presented and well worth getting up for!
Overall, I would recommend anyone to stay here. It describes itself as a boutique hotel, which it is in relation to its counterparts in the surrounding villages and towns, believe me! It is also the AA's English Seafood Pub of the Year 2007. If you want a relaxing break where nothing is a problem and the staff will do anything to make your stay perfect, then head for the Heifer.
Great Rooms, Fab food
Saturday night stay-over with friends, we had booked two rooms and a table for dinner in advance. Rooms were great (Wensleydale Suite and Black Sheep) - especially the slot machine in the Black Sheep room!
Dinner was SO good - try the Fish Soup - it's great!
The only downside was that it was REALLY busy and there was no room in the reasoanbly small open-fired lounge before or after dinner - had to stand around for 15 minutes with a dirnk in hand!
Delighful destination in the Dales
This hotel was the ideal venue to celebrate my father in law's 70th birthday. He and my mother in law love the Dales and my husband and I love seafood so everyone won!
Charming rooms, friendly and honest staff, a welcoming lounge complete with log fire and great food made this trip memorable. While the weather wasn't that kind to us, we didn't really mind as the Heifer was so cosy and welcoming.
We stayed in three rooms while we here and my favourites were the Wensleydale Suite and the James Herriot Room - the website imagery doesn't do the place justice, you'll be pleased upon arrival. The food is the key ingredient to a good stay here and every night we were surprised by the quality of the dishes on offer. From crab crusted halibut to the maple roasted lobster and king scallop salad, we were truly spoilt.
I would recommend an overnight stay here to anyone who likes walking (the hike up Penhill Crag is worth it for the views), good food and quirky rooms.
Great place for the Dales
This is an incredibly charming place with quirky and fun rooms, really good food and is excellently located for exploring the Dales. We were blessed with lots of sunshine during our weekend stay and enjoyed spending some R & R time in the outdoor courtyard.
Stayed in the James Herriott room which was cosy with calming pale green decor. Good thing we were only there for the weekend as there were lots of ornaments, memorabilia etc which added to the room and no doubt would be of interest to fans but it did leave little surface space for our own belongings. Bathroom is a little small but the deep claw footed bath is wonderful. I certainly made the most of it.
Ate in restaurant both nights and certainly enough choices to do so. Quality of food, speed of service and attentiveness of staff all very good. It's quite an intimate restaurant but has buzzy atmoshere so it makes for an interesting evening.
Food at breakfast was good too. The full English was all grilled so easy on the grease and lots of other options too.
Only thing stopping this from being a truly great place was the fact that on the first morning we waited 10 minutes before someone appeared to show us to a table and because the tables are all scattered and not in one room, staff have a hard job being available.
The next morning we waited for 30 minutes for our breakfast with no real explanation or apology. The waitress merely appeared confused when she discovered everyone had been served but us and they'd ordered after us so she disappeared and then re-appeared to say it was on its way but from then we still had a good 20 minute wait. So I can only conclude they mislaid our order but didn't actually apologise or give the reason for this. When the food came it was very good.
So had it not been for that, this would be one of my favourite places but right now it's not in the top 3.
Nice enough but not outstanding
We stayed at the Heifer last weekend and although the stay was good I don't think we would stay again. We have eaten here once before and were swept away with the huge menu choice and fantastic food. Once again the food was excellent but we were a little disappointed with our room (Whiskey).
We found the room a little small and the bathroom was also on the small side, with no real features as such, a roll top bath or jacuzzi would have been nice. The room looks a lot nicer/bigger on the website. The view from the bedroom window was lovely though.
The staff are very efficient and friendly.
I think the Heifer is definitely 'restaurant with rooms' rather than 'boutique hotel' (as it describes itself). Go for the food and you will be chuffed to bits, go for the rooms and I think you will be a little disappointed. Unless we just had the short straw on rooms maybe....
The carpets in the restaurant could also do with a clean!!
Happiness at the Heifer
We stayed for the sumptous sunday and found it to be a bargain, got there after lunch on sunday so ordered from the afternoon menu, had their famous chips, onion rings and cheeseboard between two of us and we weren't dissapointed light crispy batter, HUGE chips and yummy cheese, wondered how we would ever eat again, browsed the basket of DVD's and picked a couple out to watch ( complementary) went to the room and flaked out on the bed - SOOOO Comfortable, chocolate room, we loved it but you must take into consideration that the inn is hundreds of years old, so ceilings are low , windows are old etc, we had just one or two suggestions, tv needed to be on a higher unit to watch from the bed and we missed a shower but the bath was huge and lovely.
We had dinner in the restaurant instead of the fish bar and found it to be just on the right side of classy without slipping into pretentiousness or making anyone feel uncomfortable, loved the artwork, the food, and the staff, I had fried goats cheese, light and delicious, famous fish and chips ( easy to see why) and rasperry and champage jelly with sherbet sorbet washed down with a lovely white wine, the meal was LOVELY, stumbled to bed and watched a film, breakfast was another gourmet feast and we went off to aysgarth waterfall to walk off the previous nights calories, our only regret was not staying longer, we will return without a doubt.
Still good, but...
Our second visit to the Heifer which we looked forward to immensely, however, we won't be looking forward to the next with as much enthusiasm - if we go back.
The food of course is superb, although we are not over-enamoured with
the fussy dessert menu but that is being picky. It just feels as though standards have slipped but it is hard to put your finger on it. The welcome from Chris was warm enough but the staff in the restaurant just didn't seem as helpful, friendly or efficient as before.
We stayed in the four-poster room which is delightful although can a bit noisy when the restaurant is in full swing below - watch you don't trip over the rug which has a life of its own and curls up at the edges! As for the fruit in the room - well guys I think you can do better than an apple and a soft orange if you're making that a selling point!
This was our favourite place but not anymore - please don't rest on your laurels guys it would be a shame to spoil what you've built up.
In summary: overhyped - possibly, overpriced - definitely.
Different and interesting in a nice way!
My first visit.
The location is excellent , very pretty and "Yorkshire"....other than the adjacent main road does get busy early in the morning.
There is adequate safe car parking,and given the limited amount of garden space they have done well to fit out with quality furniture and effective “mood” lighting…the only downer aesthetically is the huge silver ducting required by the kitchen, it snakes down the side of the building and does bring a factory feeling to the place…but I suppose there is little that can be done to camouflage it and its not a major issue unless out sit outside staring at it!!!!
It’s a tiny labyrinth of an inn with low ceilings…but that certainly adds to its charm…and I would expect nothing less given its age and authenticity
The public areas only seat appx 10 people and its first come first served.
The current ownership have certainly made a stand against “olde worlde” décor…no copper kettles and horse brasses here thank the Lord, much thought and ingenuity has been given and it’s a fun place.
The rooms are very clean, very cosy, of adequate size including my bathroom...all was well maintained .
The management have made each room unique and interesting….I managed to take a peep at them all whilst the cleaners were cleaning and the James Herriott was my personal preference.
The staff are nice people,no pomposity and no "fawning".
They seem well used to the standards required by the owners and the regular clientele.
Food was very good- certainly above the usual gastro pub standards but definitely not near a Michelin …. but there were ample quantities that were well cooked and used quality produce.
The beer was Black Sheep and was well kept - the wines were well selected and at sensible cost.
Special credit to the breakfast, that really was good…but freshly squeezed juices rather than carton product would make them all the better.
It’s a great place to go for a good meal and a unique fun room experience- all very casual and relaxed.
They are doing well and deserve to continue to do so, their prices are at the top of their value and providing they don’t push their luck they will stay busy.
If they do have aspirations of "greatness" I really hope they change their web site, they would certainly benefit from a reduction in the comedy and copy somewhere like the Drunken Duck in the Lake Distructs site...the two places are very similar.
I’ll return for sure!