|Sometimes things are just black and white|
If you are down North Yorkshire way any time soon you could do a lot worse than to stay at the delightful Feversham Arms Hotel and Spa. The hotel is in the charming market town of Helmsley, not far from Thirsk and is an upmarket option for one or many nights! The building was originally an old coaching inn in a thriving industrial town on the former main road from the North to London in the South. At the height of Helmsley’s prosperity, it was a weaving town and the loom operators knew how to enjoy a jar or two, in what would have been their local hostelry.
The three cottages next to the inn were added to the original property over time as was a tennis court, the conservatory restaurant called the Weathervane, and some beautiful gardens. Later came the well appointed spa facilities and heated outdoor jacuzzi and swimming pool.
|Where’s the pool man?|
The bedrooms are very comfortable indeed, decorated in elegant muted colours of mauve and cream and duck egg blue. Ours was finished off with tartan cushions and a purple tartan coverlet – very desirable. The bathrooms have the best toiletries, Temple Spa and Missoni are pretty posh and the ‘do not disturb’ sheep on the bed, was a nice touch.
All rooms have tea and coffee making facilities and top notch cranberry shortbread biscuits to nibble on while you decide what to wear for dinner. There are luxurious white robes and slippers which always makes you feel instantly relaxed just by putting them on!. The rooms are set around a lovely courtyard with a French country house feel. There are different types of rooms to stay in, some with balconies, and the lavender, catmint and tulip beds around the pool look very pretty indeed.
Within the spa, treatments and lots of luscious products are available if you really want to pamper yourself. However, if you are staying at the hotel you will automatically have access to the spa itself with its two different types of steam rooms, foot spas, sauna, and outdoor hot tub and heated swimming pool.
We tried them all and they were very good – I especially like the heated outdoor pool which was just big enough for a proper swim. Lots of nice outdoor furniture including a rattan ‘pod’ were proving very popular with the visitors, who were all enthusiastically making use of the wonderful facilities.
|The Weathervane is always busy..|
The restaurant is full service and in a nouvelle cuisine style. Pub grub it is not, so don’t go expecting a large portion of fish and chips. I had a pressing of juniper smoked rabbit with a langoustine centre and scented mayweed dressing. And that was just the starter. The main was breast of duck with hazelnut and rhubarb jus and a dusting of Judas Ear. Apparently Judas Ear is a kind of fungus for those of you who have not come across this delicacy before. It just looked like a bit of pepper on the plate really. Our dessert was orchard fruits and ice cream. The food was very pleasing on the eye if not ideal for those with a substantial appetite.
|My just desserts|
Helmsley is a lovely little market town. Market day is Friday but even if it’s not Friday there are lots of lovely arty gift shops to browse in, and coffee shops and cute cafes abound. And the prettiest fish and chip shop I’ve ever seen.
|Great British fish and chips|
There’s an ancient castle and ruins to look around which is an English Heritage property, and next door to the castle there is a walled garden and plant centre too, both worth a look. I always associate Helmsley with holidays as we often went there during the summer. In particular I remember the delicious curd tart we had there which is a local sweet pastry speciality using cheese curd and raisins.
|Curd Tart – a perfect English pastry|
I absolutely adore curd tart, and for some reason you can only get in in Yorkshire! So I bought a couple for the freezer to take home. If you want more to do then a few miles up the A170 is the stately home of Duncombe Park, which has expansive grounds and gardens lots of sheep. The countryside at this spring time of year is at its most beautiful, bursting with blossoming trees and wildflowers.
All in all a delightful place to visit which has a delightful place to stay.