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“Golden Wedding Celebration”
Review of The Priest's House

The Priest's House
Ranked #36 of 153 Restaurants in Skipton
Certificate of Excellence
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Priests House is a function venue specialising in weddings, medieval banquets and other family celebrations, together with being an occasional fine dining establishment especially catering for Sunday lunches. The Priests House is set on a grade 1 site in he shadow of the ruin of Barden Tower in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. The house itself was originally built to be the chapel and accommodation supporting the 100 or so residents of the Tower. It is truly medieval building and retains many of the original features. The House itself can only dine up to 34, but for larger events we have two marquees which can be set up alongside. The views and scenery on all sides of the house are fabulous.
Reviewed 22 July 2014

My husband and I celebrated our Golden Wedding lunch with 17 members of our family. It was the perfect venue. As it was a beautiful day we were able to have drinks outside and children could play outside. The food was excellent. Plenty of it yet served beautifully.
Debbie was a perfect hostess and we couldn't think of any other restaurant in the are which would have done it so well.

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Thank christine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (97)
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68 - 72 of 97 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

We had the wedding of our dreams which could have cost us a arm and a leg at a fantastic price without compromise.

The food, venue and team are fantastic and Debbie will look after you all the way

Anyone thinking of getting married here you are in the right hands, book this venue and you won't regret it. We had a fantastic day in a fantastic setting.

Best wishes
Mr & Mrs V-B

1  Thank Jamie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Our visit was a birthday celebration, lovely three course Sunday lunch and one of the best and generous lunches, we have had in a long time The area is so romantic,in our glorious Yorkshire Daes,a great wedding venue and very historical, next to the ruins of Barden Tower. We thought it was excellent value for money and a very enjoyable memory of a fab afternoon,even though it was raining cats and dogs, it did not spoil the ambience. Cannot wait to return on a lovely summer's day!! Very friendly owner and staff.

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1  Thank 75ValerieG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

I recently attended the priests house as best man at my brothers wedding and can honestly say that this is one of the best places I have visited due to the stunning location in the Yorkshire dales.The food was one of the best three course meals I have ever had with proper Yorkshire portions that filled me up for the rest of the night and would not hesitate to anyone who wants a nice meal in great surroundings.I can not praise Debbie and her staff highly enough who made the day there really special.We also stayed overnight in the barden bunk barn which was a great way to end the day.The bunk beds were not that comfy according to other guests but I wouldn't know as I only had two hours sleep! Overall it is was a great day and night and we are looking at booking a reunion party in the not too distant future

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1  Thank Neilh1878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

My partner and I had been wanting to visit the Priest's House for years, but we would either forget, or when we got in touch they would be closed for a wedding. So, when we finally got a reservation, we were looking forward with some anticipation. Beware ever doing anything with high expectation based on little evidence to support that hope. Our overall impression was one of pub quality food in a beautiful setting, and a building that was interesting, but which could be even more impressive. Although I'm no fan of Gordon Ramsey, it would be interesting to see this place on one of the restaurant 'makeover' programmes like 'Kitchen Nightmares'. I have to say, I am staggered by the reviewer who reckons the food here is better than at the Devonshire Arms: it's cheaper - I grant, but so is a bottle of cheap sweet german plonk less expensive than a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem.

The building is beautiful, very gothic, set on an attractive bluff above the RIver Wharfe, alongside the ruins of Barden Tower. As we walked along the path from the car park I can honesty say our expectations, like the swifts, were swopping higher - though this, alas, was to be the zenith. They dropped a bit as we walked up the stone steps to the door; there is what looks like the remains of chapel attached to the rear, with cheaply boarded up windows, but this has no bearing on the restaurant (though perhaps just reinforces my final assessment). Inside there are two rooms: a small reception / bar, with bench seating around a single table for half a dozen or so, and then a dining room, with around half a dozen tables. It's cosy, and the small size could be a real boon. There was no room for us to sit in the bar so we were taken straight through to our table.

The food was okay. If I was being harsh, this being 'Masterchef' season, the dishes were all first round fare. The hors d'oeuvres, unexpected, were slightly 'party food': two of the three were on thinly sliced bruschetta (I think); one with foie gras (suspect bought not made); one with some balsamic; the other was celeriac with cream cheese. My impression was that they'd been sitting around for a small while. Anyone doubting my previous comment about the comparison with 'the Dev' should go try theirs; they are not poles apart, nor galaxies - you could happily plant several universes between them, and still have space to spare. My tomato soup starter was slightly lacking in depth; my partner's fish seafood starter was better. For mains we both had Sea Bass; nicely cooked, and filleted, sitting on leeks - the veg though came 'pub style' on a small bowl; swede (!), carrots, broccoli - all slightly over-cooked, and roast that looked suspiciously mass produced - certainly not 'fluffed-up'. For puddings I had a chocolate orange torte (more a cold mousse) with raspberry coulis and a (rather warm) physalis on top; my partner had sticky toffee pudding. We both thought the pudding course was the highlight, but then the previous courses hadn't scaled the greatest of heights. I certainly understand why another reviewer ponders on how much of the food was prepared in house.

The menu had about six choices, including a vegetarian, and there were a few specials on the day. The wine list comprised about ten reds, ten whites, and four fizzys; I'm no huge connoisseur, but a bit more choice of grapes wouldn't go amiss. Other diners alongside were tucking into big pieces of red meat: a steak with giant onion rings (not seen those at 'the Dev' either, but maybe I go on the wrong days); a big leg of lamb; confit of duck. Quantity was great, but there was certainly no danger of poisoning from rare meat, nor much apparent finesse. The wording on the menu, whilst not highfalutin, did generally suggest a wee bit more.

The main room was interesting; lovely architecture, but then with a smorgasbord of different decorative and furnishing styles. My partner commented at one point that a picture from waist level down, if you knew nothing else, would suggest a chinese or indian restaurant. Several of the tables looked like metal legged folding tables - maybe they were on 'holiday' from the wedding marquee outside. Along the back wall a couple of large old dressers, and a piano! Lots of nicknacks around, the sort you find in a small gift shop specialising in hearts and ornaments declaring love etc. And lots of big candles - though, alas, not a single one lit other than the tea lights (!) in the glass candle holders on each table. These were rather lost in the bright halogen downlighting, which was great for my long-sightedness, but rather sterilised any romantic ambiance; what a difference it would have made to have all the standing candles lit instead. Food being served on an array of dishes, with each course seemingly being presented on a different service, just added to the lack of apparently 'joined-up' design thinking. And drapes that were slightly out of place here. There was nothing 'wrong' with any of the elements; just that brought together as whole the effect was less symphonic, more slightly chaotic orchestra warm-up... in which regard, at one point we were treated to a bit of 'Queen' on the sound system; thanks heavens this interlude was very short lived. I like Queen, but I don't need it in a restaurant when I want to talk and listen.

There was only one waiter on the night we were there, but then only four tables comprising eleven of us in all. He was attentive, chatty, and pleasant - and wouldn't have been out of place serving in any of the local hostelries. There was a bit of a gap between starter and main, though when i described it as verging on an 'epoch' my partner said I was being a tad harsh, and we had rushed straight to order when we arrived. We also had a long wait for the bill while the waiter chatted (at length) to another customer paying at the bar.

The bill, with wine, was about £70 for three courses, a bottle of okay wine, starting drinks, and a pot of tea.

Would we rush back? Alas no. Had we gone with lower expectations, basically a low-end gastro-pub implanted in a historic building, then we might be more inclined. I suspect the overall business here thrives on the wedding trade, and occasional themed banquets (see the website) - it is often closed and the marquee alongside the Tower outside looks semi-permanent; it's a lovely location, and the set-up of the site is clearly designed for a memorable photo-album of the day. The restaurant seems to be a side-line, fitted in when there are no events. If so it's a shame, this place really could be a spectacular venue, with a waiting list months long, and potential for spectacular afternoon teas. That said, the impression I got from other diners the night we were there - discussing previous visits - is that there's steady local trade, looking for a reasonable value, 'middle-of-the -road',meal. Why try harder if you don't have to?

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8  Thank Uponamoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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