Betsy Loves, Food, Travel

Ripley Castle

Sometimes I love my job. Yesterday was one of those days because I had to go and do a food review at Ripley Castle. I wasn’t really sure what to expect as Ripley doesn’t have a restaurant per se, instead, they offer catering for events from as small as an intimate birthday dinner, to a 200 guest wedding. We’d been told we were going to try a 3-course bespoke menu so I, for one, was excited.

Even though I’m from the area (and went to school with one of the kids who lives in the Castle) I’ve never visited before so I was bowled away by the beautiful village of Ripley. It is gorgeously quaint, and if you take away the cars, you could be in the 1800s. Then we reached the Castle, and it’s a proper castle, even if it’s not as big as Windsor. It’s got whacking great crenellations and a prison block, and there are even musket holes in the walls from where they lined prisoners up during the Civil War and shot them… It’s also got a priest hole, as the Ingilbys (the owners) have always been committed Catholics. The same family has been there for more than 700 years, which is pretty impressive too. It really is a wonderful place, and I got my history geek on. I’m definitely coming back for the official guided tour and I’m bringing Danners or Mr T.

Anyway, to the food. O. M. G. The chef, Ollie, is clearly a culinary genius. To start, we tucked into salmon and langoustine ravioli with crushed peas and han-shineji mushrooms. It looked beautiful, and it tasted even better. Apparently it was served at a private celebration dinner a few weeks ago. Lucky things!

For the main, we were treated to fillet of beef with braised ox cheek, sweet potato puree, shallots and girolles. Apparently, one of the Ingilby sons is getting married in a few months, and this is his main course…for 200 people! It was my idea of heaven, and so far removed from the dry chicken breast you often get served at weddings.

Finally, we had a honey and garden borage pannacotta with blood orange sorbet and a fennel crumb. As pretty as picture, it tasted pretty darn good too, and this is coming from the girl with a serious chocolate problem.

All in all, I had a wonderful few hours at Ripley Castle. I thoroughly recommend you pop over for a visit of the house and the gardens if you get a chance. Although you might not be treated to a meal as excellent as ours, the village of Ripley has a pub, The Boar’s Head, also owned by the Ingilbys, is meant to be brilliant.

 

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11 thoughts on “Ripley Castle

  1. Glad you so enjoyed your visit, Betsy. Loved walking round the extensive grounds in the past. As someone who shares your passion for writing, if mainly about motorsport and cars, keep up the good work.

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  2. Such beautiful photos you feel you could be there! Although my parents live nearby in Harrogate and I also grew up in Yorkshire I’d never been to Ripley Castle until 3 years ago when my aunt took me to the Boar’s Head for my birthday. It was so pretty (an old coaching inn I think) and the food was outstanding – I’ve just looked back at my old photos and I had a delicious creme brulee for dessert. I’ve enjoyed stopping by and visiting your blog very much kind regards Rosemary (aka Le Chic En Rose) 🙂

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    • Hi Rosemary. Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? – That we have all these amazing places on our doorsteps and we often never visit them! Must try harder! Now you’ve got me craving creme brûlée…

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  3. Hi Betsy you’re very welcome – I know it’s so easy to take things for granted too when you live in a place! Since I now return to Yorkshire as a visitor (I live in Perth Western Australia these days) I see everything with a different perspective – I especially adore all the lovely little pubs and restaurants back in the UK. Very impressed you’ve spelt “creme brûlée” correctly with the accents – I’ve had to copy and paste to do it here as I can’t work out if there are accents on my computer keyboard or not! Anyway if they still have the same chef at the Boar’s Head he or she makes a wonderful creme brûlée!

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