The Burlington Restaurant // Bolton Abbey // England

The Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms is everything you’d want a country lodge restaurant to be. Set in the pretty North Yorkshire countryside, enormous fireplaces illuminate rooms elegantly decorated with antique furniture and noble portraits. The welcome here is what you often don’t get in many restaurants; relaxing and welcoming. Once you arrive, you’ll be shown into the homely bar to have your aperitif and some tasty hors d’oeuvres to stimulate your appetite. The sommelier that will look after you is outstanding, offering sample of wines to help you chose for your meal ahead. Menus are fixed-price for five or seven courses.

Dishes are beautifully presented and take you on a complex journey of flavour combinations and textures with the greatest of finesse. Starting-off, the pink grapefruit granita and basil mojito sorbet is the perfect fresh first course to enliven your taste buds. This is followed by an earthy yet incredibly light Jerusalem artichoke and foie gras velouté, with sprinkles of fresh chive and buttery roasted hazelnut nuggets; a real taste of the forest.

The third courses shine too – particularly the inventive sous-vide fillet of lemon sole, presented alongside a rich confit chicken thigh, dressed-up with leeks, nutty potato purée and chestnut mushrooms to create a woody, unexpected surf-and-turf triumph.

Mains fit more into the predicable countryside theme, but don’t lack the sophistication of the earlier dishes. It’s hard to imagine how beef, marrow and oxtail could be so refined, but the Burlington manages to pull-it-off. Smoked beef, so soft and juicy, presented with two croquettes. One, the melting oxtail and the other, a surprisingly light and not overly rich bone marrow. Plated-up with a deep onion purée, a dash of deglazed beef jus with Madeira, topped-off with some crisp slithers of onion; a hearty yet delicate meal.

The Burlington is one of the restaurants where you’ll end-up chatting warming with other guests, because everyone is so at ease. The combination of the lovely environment, the superb service and the faultless food make it hard not to enjoy yourself.

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