Maxine Gordon uncovers the secrets of a North Yorkshire foodie gem

SLEEPY Dunsforth is not the place you’d expect to find the Hideaway Kitchen.

With its white and wood interior and a menu boasting the likes of seabass ceviche, lumpfish caviar and freekeh, the Hideaway Kitchen is the sort of eaterie you’re more likely to come across in York or Harrogate than in rural North Yorkshire.

But that was part of the appeal – and challenge – when Amelia Gordon and Georgina Welburn, decided to take on the business (formerly called The Dunsforth, a fine-dining country pub), about half an hour's drive from York, just south of Boroughbridge.

“The décor was very hunting, shooting, fishing – a very male domain,” says Amelia, who has two young daughters, Lyla, eight, and Iris, five. “We wanted to make it more family friendly. We are surrounded by lots of gastro pubs, we wanted to do something different."

The Hideaway Kitchen, she says, is more like an urban restaurant. "The things on our menu are not the sort of things you normally find in a rural pub. If people want bangers and mash, we are serving curried spelt!”

Despite the adventurous dishes, there are plenty of family favourites too – especially on the popular brunch menu which has something for all tastes and appetites from waffles and pancakes to smashed avocado on toast, Full English, and yoghurt with fruit and honey and toasted oats.

The kitchen at the Hideaway is currently open from Wednesday to Saturday, serving brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as on Sunday, where the lunch menu offers two courses for £22 or three for £27 and features a traditional roast as well as fish and vegetarian options.

Many dishes are served all day, with an option to have a small plate or a larger one. Take your pick from a

mezze board (featuring pickled chillies, houmous and dukkha, baba ganoush, soft flour tortilla, crumbled feta, pickled vegetables, and Moroccan carrot salad) at £8/15; gin and dill cured salmon served with lumpfish caviar, sourdough and pink pepper crème fraiche, with beetroot relish, at £8/16; and seabass ceviche with mango, lime, red onion, coriander and chilli, at £8/16.

For something more hearty, main dishes include the likes of lentil, spinach and cauliflower curry with caramelised cod, £15; pork schnitzel with macerated kale, poached egg and chimichurri dressing, £14; and spring lamb loin, with spelt, wild garlic, broad beans, and jus, £17.

Both women have earned their culinary stripes: Georgina was the acclaimed chef at The Timble Inn and also worked with Tommy Banks at The Black Swan at Oldstead. Amelia ran the kitchen at the boutique hotel, Casa La Siesta, near Cadiz in southern Spain, which she still owns.

Healthy, quality, tasty and family – these are the words that Amelia offers to describe the ethos of the Hideaway.

“The food is healthy, but not where taste is compromised by not using butter and cream,” she begins. “We like make tartiflette in the winter with lots of reblochon cheese. Without sounding too pretentious, we are bringing the education from our travels to a rural location.

“And we are really pleased that people who come seem to understand that – and are coming back every couple of weeks!”

The menu changes every three weeks, and there have been special events too, such as a gin-tasting evening and a paella night on Wednesdays (pre-booking essential).

Amelia and Georgina also run a wide programme of cookery courses, from bread and pasta making to tackling a whole dinner party. There are classes for kids and students too, the latter designed to prepare them for leaving home, and teaching them how to shop on a budget, have a go at one-pot cooking, and how to master stir fries and make a healthy pasta sauce, among other things.

Looking ahead, Amelia would like to bring her two businesses together, perhaps offering cookery courses at Casa La Siesta.

She said: "We want to be more than a restaurant. We are not like Bettys cookery school, where everything is really formal. We just use the tables in our restaurant, where everyone learns some tricks of the trade."

They sound like tricks worth knowing.


Hideaway Kitchen

Lower Dunsforth,

York, YO26 9SA

T: 01423 320700