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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hotelier serves up all features great and small at Herriot pub

A North Yorkshire hotelier has taken over the King’s Arms in Askrigg, the pub that found fame the world over in the 1970s as the Drovers Arms, the local watering hole of James Herriot in the BBC's All Creatures Great and Small.

The King's Arms at Askrigg.
Charles Cody, the owner of two Dales hotels, has taken over the lease at the 18th-century coaching inn that remains popular with Herriot fans visiting the Yorkshire Dales.

Charles, who owns and operates the 19-bedroom Charles Bathurst Inn in Arkengarthdale and the 11-bedroom Punch Bowl Inn in Swaledale, which he bought as a derelict property and renovated, will operate the iconic pub and restaurant on behalf of the owner of the venue, the Holiday Property Bond Management Ltd.

The hotelier employs 60 staff across the three sites. The additional revenues from the King's Arms will take turnover for his three businesses to over £1.7m per annum.

Charles said: “We have put a talented new chef, Tristan Prudden, into the King's Arms, and there is a completely new kitchen too, as our food offering is central to our success in all our venues.

"As well as great local ales and a good selection of quality wines, we try to ensure we use local suppliers and offer the freshest and best local meat, vegetables, cheeses and fish we can source. The addition of the third restaurant to our group will be a boost to many of our local suppliers too.”

Cheers ... Matthew Wilkin, Tristan Prudden
and Charles Cody celebrate 
the new running 
of the King's Arms.
Head chef Prudden joins the King’s Arms team after training for a cordon bleu diploma with Gordon Ramsay at the Tante Marie Catering School. The young chef has also gained experience at the Burlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey.

The pub has James Herriot memorabilia on display in the bar and restaurant, drawing visitors following the “Herriot trail” from as far afield as Australia and the US. The much loved TV drama, All Creatures Great and Small, which brought to life James Herriot’s tales of Yorkshire Dales vets in the 1940s, ran from 1977 until 1990 and is still aired in hundreds of countries around the world.

Charles added: “The King’s Arms is a great historic Yorkshire inn with a unique atmosphere. The added heritage of the television series is fantastic, and just adds to its character.”

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