18th May 2018
Every time I go to Tennants in Leyburn I never cease to be amazed that the place exists at all.
If you were setting up an international auction house with a multi-million pound turnover, you wouldn’t choose to locate it in a small market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales would you?
But there it is, a vast stone-built structure on the edge of Leyburn, a massive statement about what can be achieved in rural North Yorkshire with the right level of ambition, a following wind and a lot of hard work.
Sunday lunch in The Garden Rooms is certainly a more sedate affair than a Monday night in the Majestic. The light and airy restaurant room has the feel and ambience of a contemporary hotel dining room and one that’s been finished to a high standard.
The main talking point with our main course roasts were the Yorkshire puddings which were of historic proportions. Sylvia thought she had not experienced anything quite so big, crisp and light. I thought the crispness was a bit overdone in that I prefer the contrast of a little bit of doughyness to soak up more gravy but that’s bit nit-picky even for a adopted Yorkshireman talking about the county’s signature dish.
My sirloin of beef – Waterford Farm (near Kirkby Malzead) 45-day aged (£14.50) – was butter-soft medium rare and completely on the money. Great gravy, duck-fat roasties, carrot and truffle puree, half a roasted red onion, chantenay carrots and beautifully glazed roast parsnips completed a pretty peerless plateful.
Sylvia’s leg of lamb (£14) was almost as good and shared the plate with the top-notch roasties and the veg I enjoyed plus some spring cabbage. Super-tender and lean, she thought it ranked only a seven (out of ten) on her patented Lambyness Flavour Scale. Not bad but not up there with the very best.
I liked the lavender shortbread biscuit which came with my dark chocolate and orange crème brulee (£5.50). The brulee itself was a little disappointing. Rich certainly but I prefer a crunchier topping and a smoother custard.
Single glasses of house fizz and red and white wine, plus a latte, added £17.50 to the £62.95 bill. Service was smoothly discreet and very good.
Ratings (out of ten): Food quality 9, Service 9, Surroundings 8, Value 8
This article originally appeared in The Darlington and Stockton Times on 18th May.
Find out more about The Restaurant here.