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Restaurant Review: Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton

Updated: Apr 9

French cuisine is given a Yorkshire twist at Skipton’s Le Bistro des Amis… and it’s magnifique!

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton, food: poulette pate

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton

What to expect at Le Bistro des Amis

Just off the High Street in the vibrant market town of Skipton, step through the inviting, open door on Jerry Croft and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a Parisian brasserie. Inside, which comprises two large rooms – downstairs, with a long, family-sized dining table, and upstairs with a substantial bar and plentiful, smaller tables – is decorated in cosy bistro-style: red- and white-painted walls adorned with French countryside scenes, Le Chat Noir posters, and monochrome cityscapes of Paris. There’s a woodburning stove with exposed stone surround – particularly welcome on a cold winter’s day. And, if that isn’t enough to take the chill off, ‘Le Bistro des Amis’ translates as the ‘The Bistro of Friends’, so you can be certain to receive a warm, friendly welcome from the cheerful and attentive staff. Whether you’re after a casual café au lait or a delicious three-course dîner, Le Bistro des Amis will be très bon!

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton, food: steak and fries

What’s to eat at Le Bistro des Amis?

The menu at Le Bistro des Amis is, of course, predominantly French; expect classics such as traditional French onion soup, poulette liver pâté and homemade crème brûlée. The best quality local produce is used and, where necessary, ingredients are sourced from French markets for guaranteed authenticity. The restaurant prides itself on its fish cookery, especially the celebrated Seafood ‘Money Bag’: salmon, haddock, smoked haddock, scallops and prawns in a crispy pastry parcel, served with lobster sauce, pommes frites and homemade bread. Complementing the French fare, the unmistakable influence of Yorkshire permeates – dressed crab that hails from Filey, a digestif of homemade blackberry brandy and proper toad in the hole, which translates brilliantly as ‘un crapeau dans un trou’. The lunch menu offers light bites (baguettes, salads, soups, etc.), and traditional roasts, alongside French main options, are available on Sundays. You can view the menus here.

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton

What’s to drink at Le Bistro des Amis?

In true French style, an aperitif of Ricard Pastis – an anise- and liquorice-flavoured liqueur – is recommended. There’s a wide selection of wines, many of French origin. Le Bistro des Amis is the headquarters of the Skipton chapter of the Compagnons du Beaujolais, a group that promotes the wine and culture of the Beaujolais region of France, which provides for the restaurant a list of suggested Beaujolais wines as an addition to the conventional menu. Beer-lovers won’t be disappointed, either; the restaurant collaborates with Keighley’s Craven Brew Co, offering a variety of its local ales. Hot drinks, soft drinks and a good choice of gins are also available.

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton, food: French onion soup

What did we have at Le Bistro des Amis?

The quality of the French onion soup is a reliable litmus test when reviewing any French restaurant in the UK, and it’s evident that chefs at Le Bistro certainly know their onions. Here, the mighty allium is done proud, lovingly softened and caramelised to extract maximum sweetness, in a bronze broth of beefy, savoury, 8-hour reduced liquid gold. A crouton of crusty bread soaks up the delicious flavours, topped with generous grating of Emmental – a deviation from the traditional Gruyère, but it works. Our next starter of homemade pâté of poulette (chicken) liver (picture above) was equally satisfying – beautifully-flavoured, smooth pâté, sweet onion chutney, fruity Cumberland sauce and gherkin, served with a copious helping of granary toast.

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton, food: beef bourguignon

For mains, we opted for more French classics: steak frites (picture above) – perfectly rare, 28-day Himalayan salt-aged fillet steak, with crispy French fries, roasted tomato, mushroom, mixed salad and a wonderful, tongue-tingling peppercorn sauce. Next, traditional Burgundy bœuf bourguignon, described on the menu as ‘superb’, and they’re not wrong! Rich red wine and port sauce, smoky bacon, button mushrooms and melt-in-the-mouth, slow-cooked beef made this the best bourguignon we’ve ever had! C’était merveilleux!


Where can I find Le Bistro des Amis?

Le Bistro des Amis is in the centre of the North Yorkshire market town of Skipton, just off the High Street, opposite the popular Craven Museum & Gallery. A lovely stop along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Skipton is a 50-minute drive from Leeds and 70 minutes from York. There are a few carparks around the town; we used Cavendish Street Car Park. Le Bistro des Amis is a just over a ten-minute walk from Skipton Railway Station; services run directly from Leeds. Buses to nearby towns run regularly.


Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton

Le Bistro des Amis, Skipton: Summary

-          Authentic French food

-          Local produce

-          Seasonal changes

-          Independent restaurant

-          Local beers

-          Good wine selection

-          Dogs welcome downstairs

-          Woodburning stove

-          Skipton town centre

-          Good transport links

-          Parking nearby

-          Relaxed atmosphere


Where can I find out more information or make a reservation?

For opening times, menus and updates, follow Le Bistro des Amis on Facebook and their website. Reservations can be made through the website or via telephone.


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