Saturday, 19 August 2017

Richard III Hotel - Middleham

Those who know me (or follow me on Instagram) will know that I love a good castle, thankfully I live in Yorkshire and there are a plethora of castles around to visit. I have a Pinterest board set up just for the castles that I want to visit. Middleham Castle had been on my list for some time, so when the chap needed to dust of his car and stretch it’s legs a little I suggested that we take a drive up to Middleham.

Middleham is a small market town in North Yorkshire and lies within Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales. The castle dominates over the small town and you’ll find many references to Richard III who lived in the castle for a period of his life. The castle fell in to disuse and disrepair during the 17th Century and I’ve heard that many of the cottages are built from the stone of the castle with some having some very grand fireplaces in their little cottages.

I'd love to take a sneaky peak in these cottages and see what castle ruins I can spot!

After a wander around both the town and the castle we decided to settle for lunch in one of the nearby pubs. With a choice of two we opted for the Richard III Hotel and dashed in just as the heavens started to open.

Richard III Hotel

The Richard III Hotel has a history of its own that spans back 300 years, with a pub that serves food downstairs and a 6 room hotel upstairs it’s fair to say that if it could it certainly would have a few tales to tell.

When we arrived there appeared to be a mix of locals, walkers and tourists (English tourists being the only people to go out in such weather it appeared). The locals were propping up the bar talking to one of the staff members and there was a dog who also appeared to be a local too. To our delight the fire was on and our slightly wet clothes were quickly dried.

We were greeted almost as soon as we walked through the door and looked on nervously as we asked if there was a table free for food. We were told it was no problem and were led to a table and mismatch of chairs and pew fitting with the medieval history of the town.

The menu consisted of traditional pub food, most of it was declared as homemade or to local recipe, just what we wanted on a rainy day. Food and drinks are ordered at the bar, drinks collected there and food is brought out to you, a traditional pub in this way.

I can’t remember the beer which was chosen for me by D but I asked for a local ale and I was pleased with the Yorkshire branded glass that it arrived in.

D and I decided to both go for the beef pie, served with chips and peas. 

Although debatable by some as to whether it is the true definition of a pie or whether it is a casserole with a lid, I loved it anyway. It was clear that the pastry was made by hand as it wasn't as uniform and straight (some sides were thicker than others) as what you would get from a pre-made pastry pack (which I am guilty of using for mid-week meals).

The pies were piping hot and filled with lots of filling and gravy to dip your chips in to. It was true comfort food and the best food for filling up on after a brisk cold walk outside (in the rain!).

There was a great atmosphere inside, with the locals making music requests and having a joke with the staff. Unfortunately their music requests were for Westlife which then ensued a sing a long but you can't win them all.

Middleham is a lovely place to visit, it's a fairly nice drive if you avoid the motorway and really has that true Yorkshire Dales feel.

The cost of a ticket for Middleham Castle is around £6 per adult and £3.60 per child. A full list of their price is here.

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