Despite having attended Leeds University, and called Yorkshire home for three years, I never did manage to make it up to the Yorkshire Dales to see what all the fuss is about. Fast forward a few years and, with a wife and puppy in tow, we decided to use North Yorkshire as a stop-off on our journey from London to the Highlands. As the glass and steel of Leeds and Bradford faded in the rear-view mirror, the drive became a lot more rural. Concrete was replaced by green rolling hills, the only pedestrians were cows, and the air suddenly became a lot fresher. Within half an hour we had gently meandered into the small market town of Settle and parked up at Falcon Manor, our home for the night.
Built in 1841 for a local reverend, Falcon Manor certainly has that wow factor when you first arrive into the reception area. A roaring open fire evaporated the water from our rain soaked clothes (the weather up here is extremely changeable), and the very friendly reception staff guided us to our room for the evening; The Rafters Suite. As their flagship Honeymoon Suite, it has all the comforts you would ever want or need from a home. The palatial, and extremely comfortable, bed is the centerpiece of the room, flanked by a living area complete with leather sofa and a huge fireplace that sits under a flat screen TV. Elsewhere, the en-suite bathroom has a more modern feel; his-and-hers sinks, a decent sized bathtub and a rain shower providing all the home comforts you could ever need.
We spent a few hours in the room to recover from the four-hour drive up and Pepi certainly made herself at home too. I should note at this point that the majority of the Falcon Manor is completely dog friendly; there is just one small snug that is designated as canine-free. She was even allowed to accompany us for dinner in the on-site restaurant that evening. On the menu there was plenty of local produce to choose from, and the meals did not disappoint. For starters, I opted for the Roast Wood Pigeon with Black Pudding Croquets and Chargrilled Sweetcorn. It was absolutely divine, and every mouthful of the perfectly roasted pigeon was to be savoured. While I couldn’t try Katie’s Potted Mackerel, she did say that the terrine-style dish was full of flavour. For mains, my Loin of Venison was a hearty choice that certainly filled me up; Katie’s Honey Glazed Duck Breast being a more delicate choice. All-in-all, it was a fantastic dinner in very cosy surroundings. A great way to welcome in the night.
Thankfully, the next morning was a crisp, blue one. The light was absolutely perfect for a morning shoot, and so we grabbed the camera to explore the grounds. Pepi thoroughly enjoyed treating the manor like her own back garden and, after a good hour just strolling in the sun, we made our way back in for breakfast. There was a continental spread on offer, but I thoroughly recommend ordering the Eggs Benedict if you have the time. The thick cut bacon and perfectly poached eggs were very tasty, and set me up for the day ahead. As we packed up the car and said our goodbyes, it was time to venture back out onto the Dales. Next stop, Kettlewell…
If you are looking for a place to call home in the Yorkshire Dales, then you can find out more about the Falcon Manor by following the link here.