The Castle Arms Inn, Snape near Bedale, North Yorkshire DL8 2TB
RATING: Food 4; Ambience 4; Service 4.5; Drinks 4; Toilets 3.5; Website 3
Ian and Lisa, who have run Grade II-listed, 14th century, Castle Arms Inn for 18 months, plus their Italian head chef Roberto, went out of their way to ensure we had a pleasant stay.
Roberto even emerged from the kitchen to make sure that special diets were catered for – you can’t ask for more. These qualities, plus the, relaxing, intimate atmosphere of the Castle Arms, made this an ideal stop-over point en route from Edinburgh to London.
The 32-capacity, candlelit restaurant, seating 32 people, retained the character of the pub. The flagstone floor and beamed ceiling were features. The adjacent bar and tap room – with award-winning locally, brewed ales – areas can accommodate another 24 diners in a more relaxed atmosphere with, in winter, roaring open fires.
The menu is supplemented by an ever-changing specials board reflecting seasonal ingredients, including whatever is the catch of the day. Roberto’s Mediterranean background is reflected in the menu and his passion for food, and buying local when possible, is evident. My steak could be traced to a farm five miles away.
Accommodation is comfortable and the village atmosphere meant a peaceful night’s sleep. Worth noting, behind the hotel there is certificated Camping and Caravanning Club certificated site which accept five caravans or motorhomes and usually tents, space permitting.
Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby, Catterick and York races are within easy reach as are six golf courses and nearby attractions include the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorks Moors, Thorp Perrow Arboretum and Ripon Cathedral.