A frosty December afternoon and I’m winding through the Yorkshire Dales with a girlfriend heading for a luxury overnight getaway at the utterly glorious Yorebridge House, a 5 Star, 3 AA Rosette, boutique hotel .

Arriving late afternoon, just after sunset, Yorebridge,  a former Headmaster’s House and School, is a twinkling retreat surrounded by rolling hills and gorgeous countryside, a proper escape!

The House sits in its own five acres of land, flanked by two rivers; only a short walk away are the beautiful little villages of Askrigg and Bainbridge.

After a warm welcome and seamless check in, we headed for our suite – Nishiki, the oriental room, which is conveniently located on the ground floor of the hotel.

YOREBRIDGE HOUSEI am lucky enough to visit plenty of beautiful hotels and have enjoyed some fabulous rooms, but this really does take the biscuit and certainly has the wow factor in bucket loads. Furnished with stunning oriental wallpaper in black, silver and cream, and with a large mango-wood four poster bed. The bathroom is contemporary, with a large free standing bath and a marble mosaic wet room with double shower, and of course, awash with Molton Brown goodies, the ultimate in bathing luxury!

The room also enjoys all the mod techy cons with sky tv, a cracking sound system and a coffee machine with all the bells and whistles. There was also some handmade chocolates and a bottle of Champagne on our arrival, a real luxury detail.

The star in the crown of the Nishiki though, the  private terrace with outdoor hot tub, complete with more twinkling fairy lights and a star gazing view to die for.  We cranked up the tunes , grabbed our fluffy robes and slippers and headed for a dip ahead of dinner. I can’t tell you how decadent I felt submerged in bubbles, sipping a gin and tonic and enjoying the crisp Yorkshire air. This, friends, is the life!

After a refreshing shower in the opulent wet room, we headed for the bar and ordered a couple of large G&T’s whilst we YOREBRIDGE HOUSEperused the menu. The restaurant won 3AA rosettes a while back and I was keen to get stuck in. The menu is fine dining for sure, and concise. Both of which is fine by me! If the beautiful canapes we enjoyed in the bar were anything to go by, we were in for a real treat!

I chose Poached fig with Yellison goats cheese and hazelnut to start, and across the table, Susan was delighted with her choice of Cured stonebass with crab and mooli. The goats chesses and fig were absolutely blinding, the tang of the cheese cutting right through the fruity stodge of the fig, like a mouthful of Christmas – I loved it!

Susan chose the East Coast Halibut served with onion and langoustine for her main course, which I can vouch for as  delicious, light and perfectly cooked. My main course was certainly off the beaten track for me as I was getting stuck into French Squab (pigeon to you and me), with carrot and dashi which is a Japanese stock.

YOREBRIDGE HOUSEWhilst I’m not really a huge fan of darker meat like this,  I was being a little daring with my choice! It’s actually very nice, a creamier texture than chicken which kind of tasted like a cross between dark meat chicken and liver. It’s certainly not an everyday food, and I’m not sure I would particularly go out of my way to order it again, however, on this occasion, cooked by this kitchen team, it was delicious.

We both opted for the English Cheeseboard for dessert. You must know by now, I really do YOREBRIDGE HOUSElove a cheeseboard! However, I now know I’m not a huge fan of Stinking Bishop. Maybe my cheese palate is not as sophisticated as I thought. However we both devoured the rest of the selection which was served with pickled grapes which I loved and a classic quince jelly, all delightful.

I love the attention to detail in the restaurant, from the home baked rolls with Marmite butter, to the delicious amuse bouche, and intricate canapes. Everything was flawless and enjoyable, a real pleasurable dining experience, helped along by a great service from the front of house team.

After a restful nights sleep and a lovely breakfast in the restaurant which now enjoyed a sun bathed panoramic view of the Yorkshire Dales with a peppering of frost, we reluctantly left Yorebridge House behind and headed for home.

This was a letter-perfect stay, and I would highly recommend this hotel for that special birthday or anniversary you have been thinking about. Its truly enchanting, I can’t say fairer than that. Tell them I sent you.

Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire Dales DL8 3EE. Call

01969 652060 or visit

www.yorebridgehouse.co.uk for more information and reservations.


Joanne Brook-Smith 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).