Set in Thornton in Lonsdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, The Marton Arms is an independently owned country inn and restaurant with rooms which makes the ideal destination for a relaxing break. We went along recently to spend a weekend in the secluded surroundings of this pretty spot, where true Yorkshire hospitality is second nature. The inn looked inviting when we arrived on a chilly evening, with lights blazing within the stout building which dates to 1679.
A warm welcome set the tone and we were shown to our room by manager Liam. The spacious en-suite room was equipped with every amenity necessary for a pleasant stay and the comfortable four poster bed looked out over the rear garden and rolling fields, while a vase of fresh flowers added a thoughtful touch.
We unpacked and headed to the inviting bar, where there are 60 gins to choose from and an impressive selection of cask ales. The restaurant has heaps of rustic charm thanks to beamed ceilings and a large fireplace with a wood burning stove, and we took our seats for dinner feeling suitably relaxed.
The menu combines hearty classics and sophisticated dishes made with locally sourced produce – think pan-fried hake, duo of pork and chicken schnitzel alongside burgers and steaks.
Tomato and basil soup of the day had a thick texture and a tangy, sweet flavour which paired well with huge wedges of homemade focaccia and local butter. Bread, olives and oils made another impressive starter and the large board of farmhouse, wholemeal and focaccia bread accompanied by oils, whipped butter and plump olives was more than enough to share.
On to mains and The Marton Arms delivered a winner with their take on traditional fish and chips, with a generous portion of haddock in golden batter, chunky chips, mushy peas and a delicately seasoned tartare sauce.
The Wexford steak from the specials board was another admirable creation – the 8oz sirloin was perfectly cooked medium rare, heaped with melted blue cheese and mushrooms and rounded off by hand cut chips and salad.
On to desserts and there was plenty to tempt us including the delightfully retro Jaffa arctic roll and a cheeseboard served with homemade chutney. Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream proved to be a delight and the springy sponge had a subtle hint of ginger which offset the silky butterscotch sauce. Bailey’s chocolate mousse was rich and smooth, while berry compote balanced the rich flavour and shards of chocolate tuile added welcome texture.
We retired to the bar where we were treated to a candyfloss topped Gordon’s pink gin and tonic, which was just the ticket to complete such a relaxing evening.
The next day started with a satisfying breakfast before we explored the surrounding area and the breakfast menu had a good range of options including French toast and omelette and you can help yourself to cereal and juice.
We decided on the full English and vegetarian full English; it was great to see both choices on the menu and they were generously proportioned and tasty. Upon departure our only regret was that we were not staying for longer; The Marton Arms has it all for a peaceful break providing comfortable accommodation, excellent food and outstanding hospitality.
Words by Camille Allcroft for Client Voyage
The Marton Arms Inn and Hotel, Thornton in Lonsdale, Carnforth, LA6 3PB