North Yorkshire restaurant in Sunday Times Top Restaurants in UK

Owners Bill and Frances Atkins owners of The Yorke Arms at Ramsgilll.
Owners Bill and Frances Atkins owners of The Yorke Arms at Ramsgilll.

A North Yorkshire restaurant has once again found itself sitting high in the top 100 restaurants in the UK in the Sunday Times.

The Yorke Arms at Ramsgill near Pateley Bridge outgunned many London-based establishments to be rated number 21 in the whole country.

And it’s not the first time the historic 18th century coaching house and shooting lodge, a Michelin starred restaurant with rooms, has achieved this accolade.

It also featured prominently in the Sunday Times’ 2014 top 100 list.

Under the guidance of co-owners Bill Atkins and chef, Frances, the restaurant first won its Michelin Star in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since.

Since Frances and Bill took over the Yorke Arms, they have completely transformed this old ivy-clad shooting lodge set around the village green.

Frances said: “We had been running a place up in Scotland but I decided that I wanted to live in Yorkshire. A friend of mine said there was this place that was looking for a management team.

“It was a good pub but it wasn’t the way we wanted it to be.”

Frances is currently one of only six female Michelin-starred chefs in the whole of the UK.

Earlier this year she starred in an hour-long Channel 4 documentary earlier in the year called A Taste of the Yorkshire Dales which saw the cameras follow her at work creating new menus in the Nidderdale restaurant.

Frances, a fellow of the Masterchefs of Great Britain who has started and run six successful restaurants in her career, harboured her culinary ambitions from an incredibly young age long before cutting her teeth at The Box Tree in Ilkley.

She said: “I started cooking properly when I was at school. Once I started cooking I never wanted to do anything else.

“I always thought it would be wonderful to have my own fine dining restaurant.”

With a long-time preference for using fresh, seasonal, organic, local produce, Frances has a knack of attracting a very high-profile clientele.

Formal but still friendly, the menus at the Yorke Arms focuses on British classics embellished with continental twists.

As well as appearing on BBC TV in the Great British Menu challenge, the Yorke Arms’ fame nationwide was sealed by its starring role in an episode of The Trip on BBC 2.

The hit comedy series starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon saw the two comedians visiting a series of top restaurants across the north of England in a mixture of real-life and improvised humour

Frances said “It was more than five years ago and yet we still get people following the tour of The Trip and visiting us.

“It’s been one of the most successful things we have been involved in.”