The Black Bull, Sedbergh
Graham Clark, Features Writer
The Yorkshire Dales National Park now has another good reason to visit the area - The Black Bull in Sedbergh. The 17th century coaching Inn has been reborn as a stylish, comfortable and appealing boutique hotel.
Reopened this summer after a big investment the hotel is within easy reach of the M6 and ideal for visiting the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales.
On a cold autumn evening it was welcoming to enter the hotel and walk through the bar where locals were sitting alongside the hotel guests in the warm atmosphere. The rooms are influenced by Japanese design with clean lines and natural tones to create a peaceful ambience they say.
Interestingly all the rooms are as individual as The fell tops they are named after. There are 3 rooms that are dog-friendly too which will appeal if you are walking the fells with your dog. A few of the rooms have balconies too.
The rooms are luxuriously appointed - all have a plush super king mattress. I did notice though that it was a microfibre duvet which can be quite warm as opposed to a feather duvet, mind you, if you are allergic to feathers then you are in luck.
They have tried to source as many local products as possible so the bespoke Petrichor toiletries are designed exclusively by The Sedbergh Soap Company, expect to find Hardwick and Rough Fell Carpets, mugs hand made by a local artist and framed photos in the rooms by a local photographer. Even the tea and coffee making facilities are from a local independent. Good to see Harrogate spring water too.
The Calf Suite is named after the highest point in the Howgill Fells - the suite did feel in a class of its own. Like a lot of Boutique hotels these days it had a free standing bath (though I doubt that many are not in a bathroom as big as this one).
A very treponsive rain shower would sooth those aching limbs after walking the fells. Someone has had the good idea to install a good sized wardrobe that has good hanging space for ladies dresses and long coats.
The free Wi Fi was fast and there was a good table and chair if you needed to catch up on any business with USB sockets on hand too.
The cosy seating area gave the suite a homely feel with a settee that faced the flat screen TV. There are no fridges in the rooms though there are fridges containing fresh milk situated on each balcony.
The restaurant has been converted from its previous use into a stylish dining area. The menu changes daily but uses as much local produce as possible.
Starters of Game Terrine served with Savora Mustard and Sourdough were tasty as was my partner's Grilled Cornish Sardines with Salsa Verde and bread.
My partner's steak was luke warm when it arrived, presumably because they were waiting to serve my piping hot Braised Beef Pie, Mashed Potato and Red Cabbage, all at the same time. The Steak and the hand cut chips were replaced without hesitation with a hotter replacement.
The dessert menu is not too extensive but ideal when there are delights such as Sticky Toffee Pudding served with ice cream (a perfect combination of stodge and sweetness) and Baked Custard, Pear, Apple, Sloe and Rosehip (described as the best part of the meal)
The cheeseboard ranged from a rather bland Brie to a strong robust Harrogate Blue with a hard and tangy Swaledale, not letting the Yorkshire side down.
There seemed to be a lot of staff serving the food. We had at least 4 different people serve our table - allow plenty of time as it took nearly 2 and a half hours to eat our 4 course meal due to the long gaps between courses.
Breakfast is a hot English breakfast freshly cooked or continental from a buffet table which also had freshly made scones. Quality and top produce throughout.
The staff in the restaurant were friendly but for some reason do not write down your order which meant that twice they missed part of our requests so they had to go back to the kitchen again (once at the evening meal and again at breakfast). It is early days yet but with a little more staff training things will improve.
The rooms though are in a league of their own - if you are looking for some luxury whilst visiting the Yorkshire Dales then the Black Bull is an excellent choice.
The Black Bull, 44 Main Street, Sedbergh LA10 5BL
Telephone 015396 20264
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The Black Bull, Sedbergh, 29th November 2018, 14:31 PM