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Review: The Kestrel


Harrogate, United Kingdom

Flying high

  • By SilverTraveller pb52

    208 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Nov 2013
  • Harrogate
  • Casual
  • British

113 people found this review helpful

Vintage Inns are part of a national chain of restaurant/hotels throughout the country, and you would be spoiled for choice if you didn't have a particular one in mind.

The theme of the chain is to take a significant building, many of them old to start with and to create an interior that looks aged, with brickwork and wooden beams. Not exactly realistic but they make a fist of it and, having been in several of them, they are clean, comfortable and welcoming.

There are almost 200 of them, and whilst the style of them may be similar and perhaps not to everyone's taste, it is with the restaurant food that each one makes a claim for individuality.

With a common menu, it is the chefs at each inn which makes the difference. Whilst not haute cuisine, it is good pub grub.

I have to say that I had a very poor experience at one in Leeds and we will not be returning there. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Others have been fine and very good value for money. Often coupons for money off the bill may be found on-line or with club membership such as with The Times newspaper.

The Kestrel has been consistently good, as has it's sibling The Cow and Calf at Ilkley.

Good chef crews make all the difference to standard ingredients.

Situated just down the road from the Great Yorkshire Showground and facing the lush valley of Rudding Park, it is well placed for all the sophisticated charms of Harrogate.

In Summer the rear courtyard tables make for a pleasant afternoon taking in the greenery of the valley.

The pretty market town of Knaresborough with it's ancient castle, magnificent viaduct and stunning River Nidd gorge is also nearby.

The weirdly shaped rock formations of Plompton are just down the road and this attraction has safe walkways from which to admire the amazing weathered stone formations.

Choosing from the main menu or from the Christmas Menu at this time of year proved difficult and our party of nine made decisions which may have proved a handful for any waiter or waitress. Our young lady made it seem effortless, her friendly banter coupled with efficiency.

The meals came in good time, each course well presented and tasty. Drinks were replenished at suitable intervals and everyone was very satisfied with the entire experience.

Good quality meals then, at very reasonable prices, hand pulled real ales and a decent selection of alternative drinks left everyone happy to return.

The Kestrel has ten very comfortable rooms, all en-suite and benefit from flat screen TV's, Freeview channels and free Wi-Fi. A complimentary buffet breakfast is included and for an extra charge, the Full English is available.

Have a look at for your local.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • ESW
    over 7 years ago
    I've regularly seen offers of bagain breaks but never tried them. The Kestrel sounds a good place to begin.