'HIPPING Hall Gets 10 out of 10 from The Times newspaper.' That was the headline on the press releases sent out by a public relations company a couple of weeks ago.
The same week the 'restaurant with rooms' near Kirkby Lonsdale received a rave review in the Independent too.
The PR company was in overdrive.
"You will do something in the Guardian, won't you," was the message from the PR firm.
And as Hipping Hall is a place I've been meaning to visit ever since it opened a year ago, the time was finally right.
Sometimes such restraint is best. Just look at Hipping Hall.
It's a very understated place with all the details just right.
From an aperitif on the patio to the food, glasses, cutlery, baroque music, tableware and service. All just perfect.
I was taken there by another PR person who proved to be good company.
An ideal lunch companion at an ideal place.
Nothing feels too rushed or too much trouble at Hipping Hall.
We started with a glass of sauvignon blanc for me and pinot grigio for PR chappie with a couple of tasty nibbles.
Then inside for starters of mushroom risotto and for me, red
mullet. An interesting starter, just the right size to whet the appetite for more. Both accompanied by a range of home-cooked breads.
For mains, it was Kidridding lamb for us both. Beautiful, tender, perfectly cooked with a small selection of vegetables.
(The range of vegetarian dishes the restaurant offers also look mouthwatering. Scrambled egg scented with summer truffle is one dish which sounds particularly good.)
The piece de resistance, however, was the white chocolate parfait. Dense, flavoursome, memorable. Certainly the best dessert I've eaten since the damson creme brulee I raved about at the Lunesdale Arms, Tunstall, last September.
My companion had a slice of banana and walnut bread. "It's very good," he said, looking enviously at my pudding.
Then on to coffee in the lounge accompanied by some home made petit fours.
Owner Andrew Wildsmith has done a great job of creating a top-class venue with a relaxed atmosphere.
With former young chef of the year Jason 'Bruno' Birkbeck and Emma Walton (maker of the dreamy pudding!) it looks like a winning team.
The affable Wildsmith is enthusiastic about using locally sourced produce and has even created a small vegetable garden in the grounds.
Before visiting all I'd really heard about the place was 'very good but it's not cheap'.
And if you're going there in the evening you'll be looking at spending more than 40 a head plus wine
But lunch prices drop to 25 for two courses and Sunday lunch is even more reasonable at 18.50.
Incredibly good prices for the level of service and food you are guaranteed to receive. Definitely worth a try.
To book a reservation or enquire
about holding a function or wedding
reception there, ring 01524 71187 or view