It’s hard to match Wharfedale for sublime beauty and Bolton Abbey is the jewel with its church, Abbey ruins, a wide sweep of the river Wharfe and the 57 stepping stones that cross it. It’s all part of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s mighty Yorkshire estate and, as you might expect, it’s kept in immaculate order.
It costs a stiff £6 to drive down into Sandholme and the Cavendish Pavilion and park your car by the Wharfe - stiff but worth it if you make a day of it with a picnic by the river or use it as the starting point for any number of walks among the 80 miles of footpaths that extend to Barden Moor and Simon’s Seat.
The Cavendish Pavilion is worth stopping off for lunch, afternoon tea or the obligatory ice cream, especially since its recent make-over. This week (April 2012) the Duke and Duchess were there in person to cut the ribbon on an expensive upgrade: new lights, flooring, state of the art loos. With pleasant outdoor furniture on the terrace and lots of blonde wood inside, it feels spacious and cool in every sense.
It remains a self-service café, selling sandwiches, snacks, salads and hot dishes. Children get a mini carrier bag to fill with a sandwhich, crisps, fruit and a drink £4.25. A central island has a fine display of cakes: carrot cake, coffee cake and Eccles cakes while a low level table has cornflake crispies, caramel rice crispy cakes, iced fairy cakes and lovely Lottie Shaw ginger bread biscuits. Now who could these be for?
At the opening ceremony speeches were made and thanks duly given to all involved and we were treated to freshly made lemonade – delicious – cups of tea and scones with cream and jam.
‘We’re going big on scones,’ said the Duke ‘They’re made fresh every day, do try the chocolate ones and if you like them, tell your friends.’
We did like them, we're telling our friends and we even got the recipe from the charming chef Jareg Markowski.
Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6ANTel 01756 710245
Review by Jill, 30 April 2012blog comments powered by Disqus