Lynne Coates enjoys a weekend away in Yorebridge House, a luxurious boutique hotel in the North Yorkshire Dales
A wall entirely covered in awards, does rather set the bar, so expectations were high when we checked into Yorebridge House for a weekend away. We weren’t disappointed. In my job I get to travel to many different countries but I always appreciate how lucky I am that my home is in Yorkshire, not called ‘God’s own country’ for nothing. Motoring along country roads in the North Yorkshire Dales, is an eye-watering joy. No matter what the weather, the dramatic landscape, with its rugged moors and peaks, interspersed with picturesque villages and towns, never ceases to inspire me.
Yorebridge House is located in the heart of the North Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by beautiful countryside and flanked by two rivers, the Ure and the Bain. This former Victorian school and headmasters house has now been tastefully converted into an award-winning 5 star luxury boutique hotel and restaurant. It was the dream project of the owners, David & Charlotte Reilly, who harnessed their artistic talents and love of Japanese culture to infuse an oriental feel into the design and décor. From its exterior and grounds Yorebridge looks like a traditional country house, but once through the door you enter a luxurious oasis, with a defined ‘adults only’ ambiance. There are bedrooms and suites in both buildings. We were in the appropriately named ‘Nishiki’, an oriental-style room in the main building. Furnished with stunning black, silver and cream wallpaper, a large mango-wood four poster bed, and a spacious contemporary bathroom with free standing bath and double shower wet room, Nishiki also boasts a private terrace and outdoor hot tub. Bubbles alfresco then! We quickly settled in for an indulgent night.
We were really looking forward to dinner in the hotel’s 3AA rosettes restaurant, and it exceeded expectations. The staff at Yorebridge have that rare combination, both highly professional and delightfully friendly. As we enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail and some melt in the mouth canapés, we had an entertaining chat with the barman. The head chef, Dan Shotton, and his team are passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients, and there is an abundance of great produce in the area. Our meal was fine dining at its best, beautifully presented, creative and delicious. We started with Yellison farm goats cheese, with beetroot and plum, followed by an exquisite amuse bouche. Our main course was Cornish halibut with Jerusalem artichoke and morels.
The dessert was just too good! Almond cake with apricot and meringue, and a grand finale of homemade petit fours with coffee. Just writing this is making me hungry! After such a great dinner we could do nothing else but head off to our sumptuously comfortable bed.
Next morning, fortified by an excellent breakfast, we set off to explore the local attractions, and there are plenty in the area. Nearby are the pretty little villages of Askrigg and Bainbridge, and the local town, Hawes, has lots of cafes and individual shops. The Dales are a paradise for walking and trekking. You can follow in the footsteps of James Herriot along the Herriot Way, or walk along the banks of the River Ure. Of course Wensleydale is renowned for its cheese, and the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes is a great place to visit. There is a good restaurant, a shop selling all kinds of Yorkshire produce and gifts, and a cheese shop. It is, as you would expect, heaven for cheese lovers and foodies. You can also visit the cheesemaking part of the centre, and learn about the process.
A visit to the North Yorkshire Dales is a treat, and a stay at Yorebridge House offers the perfect setting for a romantic, luxuriously indulgent, getaway – go on – you know you deserve it!
Lynne Coates was hosted by Yorebridge House, a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels collection (never more than 50 hotels, to guarantee quality and exclusivity). The Victorian Grade-II listed property has 12 individually-designed bedrooms and is based in the heart of Wensleydale in the scenic North Yorkshire Dales. An overnight stay at Yorebridge House costs
from £220 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast. Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Yorebridge House won Gold in the Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year category at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2018.