I’ve been doing a lot of travelling recently – reviewing venues for other sites, working for Gin Explorer – it’s seen me spend nights away in Liverpool, London, Leeds. And whilst I don’t think Mr GFB is minding having the whole bed to himself (and having sole custody of the TV remote, it’s giving me a whole new appreciation for hotels.
And my travels have allowed me to stay in some stunning locations.
We arrived on a bright sunny afternoon, when the venue was hosting a wedding – with their own chapel on site it really is a perfect venue, doubly so with a spa on site to pamper you the night before. As someone whose own wedding involved a 4am migraine and enough painkillers to raise eyebrows (it also involved Elvis walking me down the aisle and no, I wasn’t hallucinating), I can’t recommend being as relaxed as possible before your big day enough.
The hotel grounds are extensive. Enough for the Kitchen Garden, a beautiful outside in space (perfect for al fresco dining), a pop up restaurant, and gardens to walk in. The gardens too are filled with sculptures to draw your eye, and tempt you outside. Perfect for an after breakfast walk.
I’ll return to breakfast later, onto the inside space.
Alongside classic elements of wood panelling and large prints, sit splashes of bright colours that I absolutely love.
It’s easy for a hotel guest to feel like spaces are off limits – communal lounge spaces can feel a little too contemporary or cold. Too pretty to be enjoyed. Rudding Park has managed to combine aesthetics with comfort and the bookshelves are lined with books waiting to be read and enjoyed on comfortable sofas and chairs.
The rooms themselves are huge – we were in one of the Ribston Suites, and along with our bedroom we had a small lounge and huge bathroom! Comfortable tub, one of the biggest sinks I’ve ever seen and a shower – so whether you fancied a long soak in the tub, or you’d had enough relaxing in the Spa to only need a quick shower, you’ve got the choice.
Whilst I’d like to say we had time to indulge in a spa treatment or two. In truth we didn’t – nor did we dine, which is more the pity, because I suspect a long romantic weekend here would be blissful. Though of course how much you got out of the room itself would be debatable. After all, there are plenty of goodies in the rooms to keep you going.
Hmm. Perhaps a long spa weekend with the girls instead.
Onto breakfast and this is downstairs in the bar, restaurant and conservatory space. Living in a second floor flat, the opportunity to dine in the conservatory, surrounded by the green of the gardens was too much to pass up – particularly as given the chill in the air on day two, dining outside wasn’t really an option.
Breakfast is a classic buffet style, with plenty of fresh fruits, cereals, pastries and toast available for you to start on, coffee and tea brought to your table and then the best bit. The cooked breakfast.
I couldn’t resist the full English – particularly as it came with fresh local produce, and a good helping of baked beans. My only grumble would be the lack of smoked bacon, often offered as an option in other venues (I didn’t spot it on the menu, though first thing in the morning I often need things pointing out to me like a child).
My date on the other hand had opted for the eggs Benedict and with the addition of spinach and the dish having spent a little time under the grill, I almost instantly regretted my decision. The eggs too were beautifully poached, oozing over the plate and begging for more toast.
And in truth, I really hope there is a next time. The staff are fabulous, the space beautiful – especially so when it’s set in such quiet countryside. Plus there’s that pop up restaurant that needs investigating and the spa. I might wait until their new extension which will include an extension to the spa and the inclusion of a pool.
Because who can resist a bit of a pamper, right?
This stay was paid for by Slingsby Gin, as accommodation for our visit to their venue. We had such a great time investigating the space and genuinely wished our stay had been longer.