How it all started...
Holbeck Ghyll was approached by researchers working with the director Michael Winterbottom, who was planning an improvised comedy for the BBC starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
They explained that they were looking for a handful of the best restaurants in the North to feature in a six part series and wanted Holbeck Ghyll to be involved.
We had no idea at the time that The Trip would air in the autumn to such critical acclaim. The show pulled in millions of viewers, it won a BAFTA award and took film festivals by storm the world over. But we thought it would be fun to be involved and agreed.
When filming took place in the spring, friends and family of Holbeck Ghyll took on the roles of extras for the production. Those who watched closely will have seen a number of familiar faces dining in the background as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon took to the window of our oak-panelled dining room to bicker over our award winning food and wine while doing impersonations of famous actors and name-checking Holbeck Ghyll several times. In one of the most memorable scenes of the series Coogan headed outside on to our lawn, to soak up the tremendous view of the Lake District and let out a belting ‘A-ha!’, in homage to his most famous alter-ego, Alan Partridge.
When our half hour episode aired on November 15, 1.35 million tuned in and, as a result, bookings from all sorts of far flung places came in – increasing our reservations by almost 13 per cent on the previous year.
A 90-minute film version of the series was also created and continues to premiere to critical acclaim at film festivals across the world - from London to Sydney, Toronto to New York, the film has received rave reviews.
The Trip is a six-part comedy series directed by Michael Winterbottom which builds on the success of previous collaborations between Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan - A Cock And Bull Story and 24 Hour Party People.
When Steve Cogan is commissioned by the food supplement of a Sunday newspaper to review half a dozen restaurants, he decides to mix work with pleasure and plans a trip around the north of England with his food-loving, American girlfriend. But when she decides to leave him and return to the States, Coogan is faced with a week of meals for one, not quite the trip he had in mind. Reluctantly, he calls Rob Brydon, the only person he can think of who will be available. Brydon, never one to turn down a free lunch (let alone six) agrees, and together they set off for a culinary adventure.
Over the course of six meals at six different restaurants in and around the Lake District, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, this ultimate odd couple find themselves debating the big questions of life over a series of culinary delights.
Coogan and Brydon stay at Coleridge's old home, Greta Hall, in Keswick. They visit Dove Cottage and lunch at Holbeck Ghyll.