There’s a large Manor House which has a lounge and bar area complete with old books, board games, huge comfy chairs, and a fireplace. There are also number of rooms in the main house which share a hot tub. The grounds are small but beautiful, with pebbled paths, pretty flowers and well looked after gardens and the rest of the rooms are dotted around as individual chalets.
Although the grounds are small the individual chalets feel so private and secluded and each has its own hot tub and some also have a sauna or steam room. We were taken down a few steps to our chalet – Bardola Lodge, with a Norwegian theme. There was a little bear to hold an umbrella (it was pouring on the day we arrived!) and some skiis separating our chalet from the next. It was a little wooden lodge with sleds, pictures, antlers and other themed artefacts with a huge, comfy bed and cute bottles of Molton Brown toiletries.
There was even a tea tray and a Nespresso machine with a little jar of sweets, biscuits and a tin of crisps!
They had the usual plastic pots of milk but you can call reception for fresh milk which was such a nice touch. The hot tub was outside on the wooden balcony area and it was so perfect for relaxing. The view was beautiful and even though it was raining it was covered and the rain genuinely didn’t affect us at all while we were there.
At night you can get a turn down service where they freshen up your room and bring a little tray with creams and mouthwash too. There’s a lovely restaurant for both guests of the hotel and the public that does absolutely incredible food! Before dinner, canapés are served in the lounge area of the Manor House (where there’s also a hidden beer tap..). We got coronation chicken tarts and goats cheese with basil on garlic bruschetta. Marcus doesn’t like goats cheese either, so I got extra 😛
The restaurant itself was just a few steps from our chalet and it too was decorated with an incredible variety of antiques and artefacts. I’m terrible at making decisions at the best of times but everything on the menu looked amazing. After much deliberation I went for the crispy fish cakes (local codling, haddock, salmon, summer greens, minted pea and asparagus cream, poached egg). Marcus went for the spare ribs (sweet and sticky orange, five spice, bourbon, treacle and a hint of chilli).
I’m not a huge fan of ribs but I tried them and they were really tasty plus they were piled up generously! My fish cakes were a little salty but deliciously crispy with an amazingly creamy pea purée and a perfectly poached egg on top! Whilst we were waiting for starters we were brought a basket of warm bread with soft, salted butter – my favourite! There were three types – granary, date and walnut and tomato and mozzarella. Date and walnut is usually my favourite but this was a bit like like a dense, dark cake. I much prefer normal bread with date and walnut chunks but we polished it all off and asked for extras anyway 😉
For mains we shared the steamed hodgsons natural cured haddock (cheesy bacon and onion mash, poached egg, wholegrain mustard sauce, crispy onion rings) and the baked north east cod chunk (baby gems, fricasse of peas, broad beans, asparagus and pancetta, parsley potatoes). The fish platter had caught my eye but there were so elements to it that I thought each would be too tiny to really be appreciated but based on the surprisingly large portion sizes I reckon it would actually have been lovely. We also got triple cooked hand cut chips of course 🙂
Both were lovely – the cod was meaty, firm and flakey but the haddock was definitely the better choice! It was perfectly salted with a creamy mash and lightly fried onion rings served in a luxurious sauce.
The food was so flavoursome and there were so many elements to the dish that we felt completely stuffed beyond belief. We couldn’t actually believe how full we were – everyone knows how much I eat and Marcus eats even more! We regularly have pub meals and never struggle to polish off three courses but we really, really struggled here.
Despite being refined, the portions were huge and of the highest quality. I feel like this is rare as often posh restaurants serve up pathetic portions with a few slithers of food and a “stack” of about 5 chips arranged nearly. There was none of that here – the size of the desserts was absolutely mind boggling. Neither of us like eclairs but a guy next to us ordered one and it was nothing short of ridiculous. It was literally the size of my forearm and I honestly feel like it would have served four – and everyone knows I don’t scrimp on portion sizes! We finished our meal with tea, coffee, cherry and pistachio biscotti and the most rich and indulgent chocolate truffles before rolling back to bed to nurse our food babies!
The breakfast is served in the same restaurant and it’s slightly alternative in the best way. There’s a cold buffet with cereals, breads, pastries, muesli, juices, tea/coffee, yogurt etc and then you can order whatever cooked stuff you want from the menu! As usual after a big meal I woke up starving.. and it was a good job! I started and ended with cereals and pastries and in between I went for for smoked salmon and eggs followed by minute steak and hashbrowns because I couldn’t decide. I’d never had minute steak before and it was obviously a lot less tender than fillet (which is what I usually opt for at a steakhouse) but it was really well seasoned. We got a few bread baskets which had granary and brioche style toast inside, served with soft butter (I can’t stand it when they bring butter and it’s rock hard and you have to tustle with it, pulling up chunks of toast and ending up with clumps of butter everywhere!), jams and marmalade!
After breakfast we had a relaxed hot tub before heading to Harrogate for lunch and a long awaited visit to Betty’s tea room!
I can’t recommend this place enough. Its completely unique and I love that every room is different. It’s the perfect place to get away – peaceful, beautiful and so relaxing with incredibly good food! Even the worst Yorkshire weather couldn’t ruin your stay. There are also a ton of lovely little Yorkshire villages around where you can wander round market squares and spend hours in tea rooms and coffee shops. We went to Thirsk and Harrogate which were amazing but there are plenty of other places to go nearby too 🙂