Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley,
The awe-inspiring Yorkshire Dales provide the backdrop to Burley in Wharfedale; its pretty streets and terraced stone cottages are as symbolic of Yorkshire as a warm welcome and hearty food - exactly what you can expect from The Red Lion.
Another Yorkshire tradition is the art of ale. The Red Lion had several guest ales available on the night of our visit, and the bar team are happy to offer samples to customers. The most eye-catching of those available was definitely the Idle Sod, brewed in Barnsley. The pub was busy for a weekday, and there was a noticeable familiarity between staff and customers - always a positive sign when dining somewhere for the first time. I overheard a barman telling a customer that all food was fresh and sourced locally - something which is evident in every mouthful.
To start I chose the Yorkshire antipasti - a trio of cold meats served with soda bread and a sun-blushed tomato chutney. My partner chose calamari, a plentiful portion, lightly battered and served with a garlic mayonnaise. It was expertly cooked and surprisingly tender. For my main course I enjoyed rib-eye steak with a Diane sauce. This arrived with a tower of onion rings, grilled mushrooms, a well-seasoned side salad and thick, chunky chips. The steak was beautifully cooked and the sauce rich and flavoursome, with the brandy flavour providing a pleasant undertone. My partner went for the 'Lion chicken'. A house speciality, the tender chicken was stuffed with goat's cheese and cooked in a hazelnut butter sauce. This was also accompanied by hand-cut chips and a side salad. Unfortunately neither my partner nor I had any space left for a dessert. However, we left The Red Lion feeling content after a thoroughly good feed; and at less than £30 for two starters and two main courses, we will definitely be returning in the not-too-distant future.
Open: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm; Food Served: Mon noon-2pm; Tues-Sat noon-2pm, 6pm-9pm; Sun noon-4pm (barbecue 5.30pm-late, weather permitting)