Words, images and food by Sarah Cox @coxys_kitchen; some images courtesy of Maison Parfaite
With Covid-19 lurking for longer than any of us would like, of course we jumped at the chance to enjoy a mini staycation at one of Maison Parfaite’s luxury cottages. Travel abroad – whilst still doable – seems like hard work, so it’s time to embrace what this beautiful country has to offer.
We were invited to spend a few days in one of Maison Parfaite’s luxury cottages located in Aysgarth; a small North Yorkshire town close to Wensley, home of the famous Wensleydale cheese. The cottage itself, aptly named Aysgarth Nook, is a 300-year-old traditional Yorkshire Cottage that has been beautifully renovated. The property is super energy efficient, including cleverly hidden wall heaters, under-floor heating and all the mod-cons you could ask for.
From the outside the property seems small, but on entering you soon find yourself in a Tardis, including a large living room with original wooden beams and a huge comfortable sofa. The size of the sofa is unsurprising when you consider that this property includes five double bedrooms, two with en suite, plus two further main bathrooms. The accommodation would be perfect for small groups – a special birthday or perhaps a New Years Eve get-away with friends.
After choosing our bedrooms (obviously I chose the room with the bath in it), the next room to explore was the dining kitchen. As major foodies we get excited by kitchens and this one did not disappoint!
Waiting for us was a welcome tray with complimentary tea and coffee, Yorkshire Parkin biscuits and a block of Wensleydale cheese, which we thought was a lovely touch. The kitchen boasts a huge dining table to seat 10 guests comfortably and includes all the appliances you would expect and even a wine chiller. There were plenty of pots, pans and crockery to rustle up our culinary delights, but not before checking out the hot tub and breathtaking views of Wensleydale, out on the decked garden.
Our first evening was spent chatting over a home-cooked dinner, washed down with a few [too many] glasses of wine, before collapsing on the huge sofa and settling in for the night.
A new day; a new adventure
After a comfortable nights sleep and a long lie-in, it was time for a Full English breakfast to set us up for the day. An hour later and we were ready for our first stop; Aysgarth Falls.
Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls, carved by the River Ure and surrounded by woodland and farmland. This beautiful landmark is just a stones throw from Aysgarth Nook; a 20 minute walk or a short three minute drive – we took the car as we had a few more stops to do after our visit. There was ample parking located at The Falls Coffee House & Gift Shop, so we parked up, took a stroll down the steep hill passed the teashop and after a short walk along a woodland path, we were greeted by the beautiful Aysgarth Falls. We were lucky with the weather and wished we had brought a picnic to enjoy at one of the surrounding picnic benches, looking out on to the falls.
Time was getting on, so we ascended the steep hill, stopping for a wander through St Andrew’s churchyard and back to the car.
Being the foodies that we are, it was time to collect our pre-ordered local lamb shanks for our evening meal, from the butcher’s in nearby West Burton and then on to the farm shop to stock up on cheese, for our after-dinner cheeseboard. Armed with cheese, crackers and other wares, we stopped for a quick chat with the Llamas and then on to the Aysgarth Falls Pub and Hotel for a few drinks, before heading back to our lodgings to spend some quality time relaxing in the hot tub.
A hot tub with a view
The hot tub is fantastic; a wonderful feature that added real value to our stay. The water temperature was perfect and the hot tub comes with different coloured lighting, which you can set to create the perfect atmosphere to relax in – of course it was only right that we cracked open a bottle of the good stuff! It was beginning to get dark so we didn’t catch much of the stunning scenery, but instead we found ourselves beneath a blanket of twinkling stars, which was just as stunning.
As dinnertime approached it was time to dry ourselves off. It was my friend’s turn to make dinner – and for me, an opportunity to enjoy a soak in ‘my’ bath, perfectly positioned in the corner of my rooftop bedroom.
Dinner was served (the Aysgarth lamb shanks were delicious), followed by a selection of tasty cheeses and we soon found ourselves ready to turn in.
A fond farewell
After another good nights sleep and a quick breakfast, we took in the scenery one last time, before heading on our way.
A fabulous staycation at a beautiful property, surrounded by equally beautiful countryside. We’ll definitely be back – and for longer next time!
Fancy another staycation?