It's a few years since Marie Cooper and Paul Radcliffe bought this charming country inn - well, it's charming now, it wasn't then. It had been closed for some months and the rot had set in, but undaunted, they set about giving it new life - not a task for the faint-hearted - let alone a couple with zero experience of running pubs. But Marie's background in interior design served her well and between them they've created an absolute gem of a place to stay on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
Timble's a really pretty, tiny village on the edge of Nidderdale, between Harrogate and Otley and close to Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs - so an ideal place to rock up after a bracing walk round one or the other. The stone-built pub is long and low, and for all the world looks like a village boozer. But step inside and another world reveals itself - one where huge rococco mirrors reflect the flickering light of wall sconces, old oak settles are upholstered in hunting tweed and Ella Fitzgerald warbles sweetly. Don't get me wrong, they've kept the stone flags, beams and open fires, but the vibe is country house rather than tap room.
Nine super-luxurious bedrooms bristle with top quality linen and textiles; glamourous, state of the art bathrooms lure you in and one of the suites has a cosy sitting room - it's a great place to spend a weekend away from it all (but just a flight of stairs to a fab dinner), and with Harrogate, Ilkley and Otley on the doorstep, any amount of classy retail therapy is yours for the asking.
The menu at lunchtime includes the likes of Blue Swimmer crab cakes with a chilli dip - and at nine quid represents good value given it's somewhere between a starter and mains size, just the ticket if you haven't done that walk but just stepped out of your car. Home roasted gammon on bubble & squeak is a cracking plate (I watched it come through and wished I'd done the walk to justify it) and the venison pie looked bloody good too.
The Timble is one of those places that makes you think you're going to get one thing and end up having something entirely different - it's a hot roast beef sandwich and pint place if that's what you're after, but it's so much more besides; a sophisticated, stylish country inn with fabulously luxurious rooms - and one of the warmest welcomes you'll have had for a while.
How Much: £150 B & B; dinner, bed & breakfast from £195
Kid's Stuff: It's a bolthole for grownups, really.
Well Placed: Harrogate, Ilkley and Otley are a 20 minute drive, and you're deep in the heart of glorious Nidderdale, so brilliant walks for all ages and abilities on the doorstep. If it's been a while since you visited Brimham Rocks it's worth reminding yourself how spectacular they are. Likewise How Stean Gorge, a jaw-dropping limestone chasm, magical to clamber through, is a 40 minute drive away.
Good Grub: Downstairs, obviously, but if you're there for a few nights and want to strike out for a Michelin star dinner, The Yorke Arms at Ramsgill. There's Betty's, the Box Tree in Ilkley and one of our all time favourites, the Ilkley Vaults. The Cavendish Pavilion at Bolton Abbey is worth a trip for any number of reasons, one of which is their chocolate scones.
Timble, Otley, North Yorkshire, LS212NNTel 01943 880530
Part of Stay North Yorkshire
Review by Mandy, 9 February 2015blog comments powered by Disqus