NESTLED between Ingleborough and Whernside, The Old Hill Inn at Chapel-le-Dale is the perfect spot to start or end a serious hike through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Or, if you’re like me, just a great place to drive to on a Sunday evening to relax and enjoy hearty home-cooked food. And you cannot fail to relax in this inn, part of which dates back to 1615.

A wood burner warmed my brother, sister-in-law and I as we took in the surroundings – a grand dresser covered one wall while caving paintings and photographs adorned the others.

There was a gentle hum to the place as other groups enjoyed food and we went straight in for mains, picking lamb shank, beef casserole and a beef burger.

There was a fairly long wait for the food, and then for the desserts. But it was no problem because we knew it was being prepared from scratch – and it was certainly worth the wait when it did arrive.

My burger was covered in fried onions and came in a home-made bread roll, with a fresh salad and chunky chips.

Paul said his lamb shank, which was accompanied by potato dauphinoise, was a delight. There were also side dishes of vegetables for that and the beef casserole dish.

Viki found the tender meat with a crispy pastry ‘moreish’, and all of the portions were ample sized.

But we were determined to squeeze in desserts, and I wanted to sample some of the sugar craft for which chef Colin Martin is renowned.

I plumped for the Chocolate Indulgence, which is exactly what came out of the kitchen. A rich chocolate mousse, raspberries and coulis, ice cream and shards of dark chocolate were special enough without adding a big lavish nest of silver spun sugar. The other delicious desserts were an orange flavoured creme brulee and a warm chocolate pudding.

We will no doubt return to sample some more delights.

* Total cost of meal for two -– £37.90 for two main courses and desserts, drinks excluded.