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Christmas dinner with a turkey
Eat and Drink
November 2017
Reading time 5
Christmas dinner needn’t necessarily mean turkey: here we’ve got locally-reared beef in country pubs, seasonal produce served with city-centre refinement, and a tapas joint which does mulled wine risotto (and some turkey, obviously).


Arkengarthdale, Richmond DL11 6EN
 0333 700 0779

The AA don’t give out Rosettes for nothing, and the Charles Bathurst Inn have earned one for their finely-wrought British classics. Their Christmas parties include four courses (if the roast turkey and honey roast ham with chestnut stuffing and trimmings doesn’t grab you, there’s pork belly with tempura prawns, grilled turbot with bouillabaisse or chestnut and Harrogate blue macaroni cheese) plus bed and breakfast and, most excitingly, a disco.


36 Swadford Street, Skipton BD23 1QY 01756 701131
High Street Car Park, Skipton BD23 1ED 01756 794531

Fish and chips at Christmas is an alternative choice, but you might recall that Jesus was a dab hand with a turbot when feeding the masses. Much-beloved fish and chip specialists Bizzie Lizzie’s are masters of the art, with cod, haddock plaice and scampi available plus chicken other non-fish dishes, and some seriously good afternoon teas too. They’ve also achieved what seemed like a mad pipe-dream: a genuinely really good gluten-free version of fish and chips.


Cowan Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale LA6 2JJ 

01524 271187 

This one’s well worth hopping the border into the Lancashire badlands for. The reputation of the three-AA Rosette restaurant here is built on the meshing of Head Chef Oli Martin’s classical training and the techniques he picked up on a two-year sojourn to Australia and Asia. The menu’s minimalist, but that’s a result of a fine pruning of options rather than a lack of imagination.


Rudding Park Hotel, Follifoot HG3 1JH
01423 871350

Head Chef Murray Wilson minted his style of classically-informed but sharply contemporary cooking at The Yorke Arms and the intensely hip Norse in Harrogate, and has turned Horto, which was originally a four-month pop-up, into a permanent fixture here. The formula of an under-appreciated cut – mallard, say, or pig cheek – being backed up by the kitchen garden, which provides more than 100 salads, herbs, fruits and edible flowers, is a winning one.


13 Swinegate Court East, York YO1 8AJ 01904 731599
5 North Bar Within, Beverley HU17 8AP 01482 887878
3 Ripon Road, Harrogate HG1 2SX 01423 500071

Italian might not be the first cuisine to leap to mind at Christmas, but given the quality of the menu here – pancetta-wrapped turkey roulade with orange, chestnut and cranberry, roast salmon fillet with smoked haddock risotto, Parma ham-ensconced chicken breast with asparagus – you’d be daft not to explore it.


Kneeton Lane, Middleton Tyas, Richmond DL10 6NJ
01325 377977

This is always a sound choice for gatherings big and small. On Christmas Day itself, they’re doing the turkey thing properly, with honey roast parsnips, sprouts and pancetta, but there’s also Yorkshire beef or cod with clams, mussels and roast salsify among other rustically upscale British plates.


163 Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY
0113 246 7013

There are a few different spaces here with different feels and different menus, but head to the cellar restaurant for the eight-course Christmas tasting menu. It’s eclectic: the über-traditional (game terrine with pickled roots) rubs up against the international (hot Valrhona chocolate fondant) and the street food-inspired (spiced Crimbo doughnuts with rum custard centres). Please note that Living North does not generally endorse use of the word ‘Crimbo’, but we’ll make an exception here.


32–34 High Street, Yarm TS15 9AE
01642 355558

Under the hand of 24-year-old wunderkind Toby Marshall-Robertson, this pan-Asian fusion restaurant has come on leaps and bounds in the last six months. The Christmas menu is pleasingly inclusive, taking in Western ways via turkey and steak as well as giving some favourites an Eastern spin – try the salmon and king prawn laksa with egg noodles.


Low Row, Richmond DL11 6PF
0333 700 0779

House parties are, with the exclusion of Noel’s, absolutely brilliant, and when you’re in the wilds of North Yorkshire they’re even better. The Punch Bowl Inn’s house parties give you afternoon tea, a champagne reception, three-course dinner from their seasonal menus (the guinea fowl supreme is a big favourite), an overnight stay and a full Yorkshire breakfast. There’s also the guarantee of no Mr Blobby – he tends to stay at the Savoy these days.


F Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax HS3 5AX 01422 646422
15 Infirmary Street, Leeds LS1 2JS 0113 856 0011

Tapas is ideal for when you’re heading out for a Christmas meal with a big group of mates and/or relatives: it’s a rare occasion when one’s indecision is actually an asset. There is no either-or with tapas; it’s and-and-and. Stealing bits of everyone else’s stuff is encouraged, especially when it’s as carefully engineered and coolly presented as Ricci’s is – their mulled wine risotto is inspired.


111 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NT
0114 270 6160

Side-stepping the usual is rather Silversmiths’ thing; hence, they’re doing a slow-braised turkey terrine with duck fat roasties rather than your workaday roast, and the melding of invention and tradition continues across the menu: try lemon sole Arlington, King’s cake tart, and Lane End Farm pulled pork bon-bons. One for the curious.


19 West Park, Harrogate HG1 1BJ
01423 524471

Provenance and traceability are big words here, in both a literal and philosophical sense. They source local produce from across Yorkshire, and their festive party menu takes in some of the best of it – the beetroot-cured gravadlax is particularly exciting.


New Walk, Beverley HU17 7AE
01482 881999

The phrase ‘British classics’ is bandied about willy-nilly in the food world, but for the Christmas menu here, it’s entirely apt: their Pollards of Thirkleby’s grain-fed turkey with pork, cranberry, chestnut and pistachio stuffing followed by Christmas pud and mince pie ice cream is as British as Horatio Nelson, moaning about American remakes of sitcoms and going to the World Darts Championship dressed as a banana combined.


Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, Pateley Bridge HG3 5RL
 01423 755243

Frances Atkins is a bona fide culinary legend, and while her Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms is very much part of the Yorkshire foodie furniture – it’s held its star since 2003 – it’s never stood still. The seasonal menu changes daily, as you’d expect of a restaurant of this calibre, but if you want the full experience go for the eight-course tasting menu.

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