Simon Robinson - My Yorkshire weekend

Simon Robinson of Dalesbred Furniture

Simon Robinson of Dalesbred Furniture - Credit: Archant

Simon Robinson, owner of Dalesbred bespoke furniture in Settle, on his made-to-measure weekends

Since Sally and I opened our new showroom at The Courtyard in Settle, the concept of the traditional weekend has completely changed for us.

Saturdays and Sundays are now our busiest days of the week, with clients calling in to discuss interior design projects, finalise upholstery requirements, see examples of our bespoke furniture range or choose wallpaper.

So even though these are our busiest days we genuinely enjoy our weekends, meeting new clients, chatting and finding out about their plans for their home.

But at the end of the day, we are only too happy to return home, put our feet up and watch a good film. Luckily all our home comforts are well catered for at The Courtyard with great wine from Buon Vino and award-winning cheese from the Courtyard Dairy.

We try to make Monday and Thursday our ‘weekend’. We are incredibly lucky to live where we do, in the village of Austwick on the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

We’re keen cyclists and there are numerous 40-60 mile routes on our doorstep taking in the Trough of Bowland, the coast at Arnside or wending further up the Dales, to Wharfedale, Wensleydale or Dentdale.

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It’s such a wonderful way of enjoying the really varied countryside through beautiful, quiet back lanes. And, of course, strenuous exercise allows for numerous guilt-free coffee stops and the odd cheese scone for Sally (and crumble and custard for me).

I would really like to watch Wharfedale RUFC on a Saturday afternoon but work obviously has to come first. However, I rarely miss the internationals on TV and for the past couple of years I have managed a trip to Twickenham with my son and nephew.

I usually catch the early train and we all meet up at the Barmy Arms by the river for a pint before walking with the crowds up to the stadium. The atmosphere throughout the day is always amazing with the sound of Sweet Chariot echoing around the stadium.

We are very much a family business and our children, Greig and Megan, are actively involved in the marketing and business planning, despite both having careers at design agencies in London.

The few occasions that they both manage to come home together are particularly special. They are both keen to visit the showroom to see our new ranges and perhaps sort some minor IT problems.

But the best moments for Sally and I are still the family times; all of us sitting around the table, exchanging news, eating and drinking into the early hours. And, of course laughter, always plenty of laughter.

For Sally and I the perfect weekend can be summed up in the same way I would sum up the success of Dalesbred; it’s family, quality and the Yorkshire Dales.

For further information about Dalesbred, visit

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