Paradise with FRJ

Well, a quick update from deepest, dry Yorkshire. These wild and wooly areas are looking particularly arid and savanna like. We’re sure we saw lions prowling round the garden the other day, slinking from scorched bush to scorched tree. Or it could have been our resident cat. In search of water and sustenance we headed off to the new ‘shed’ that replaces the beautiful airstream caravan we all enjoyed in those far off winter pandemic days.

It is a big investment but Francis is keen to build a new sustainable business for her loyal team, but perhaps without the pressure of the relentless Michelin Star cooking that made the Yorke Arms such a treasured memory. 

The airstream was heaven, a frivolous escape sitting outside with paper plates, wooden cutlery and delicious food conjured up by very skilled hands. They battled the weather (we wrapped up well) and the ups and downs of Covid – closed for long periods with no end in sight. 

Now we have a proper restaurant and we offer two thoughts. 

Firstly the building. We’ve seen a rash of new ‘visitors centres’ crop up recently. Carefully crafted and beautifully detailed ‘sheds’. Mount Grace Priory. Rievaulx Abbey. Fodder at the Harrogate Showground. And now The Alice Hawthorn – and these are all within a short cork-pop of Paradise. The new building is serviceable – but not memorable. We four sat outside, watching the swifts skim the (shrinking) pond in this glorious heatwave. In the same way we’ve always wanted to dress up to eat in really nice restaurants since the chef and team have made the effort, the setting (I.e. the building) is all part of that. But perhaps not here.

Secondly the food. Brilliant, tasty, imaginative. And, in line with recent trends everywhere else, not cheap.

This is a restaurant with a clear direction, definitely going places. Two course lunch for four, with two glasses of wine and a beer £150 with service. An airstream caravan it ain’t. Now this isn’t a complaint – we really enjoyed it and will, of course, keep going. They are doing dinner on Friday nights. £100 per person. Join the queue.

Restaurant/café Paradise with FRJ, Killinghall

Paradise interior – a missed opportunity

Alternative Inspiration 1 – Mount Grace Priory

Mount Grace – whimsey detailing

Alternative Inspiration 2 – Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre

Rievaulx – carefully though out rhythms

Alternative Inspiration 3 – Fodder, Harrogate

Alternative Inspiration 4 – The Alice Hawthorn


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