As a late Valentine’s day treat I took my husband to the Coniston Hotel and Country Estate nr Skipton, North Yorkshire which is on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Being from a city and living in a town I always jump at the chance to get out into the countryside and take in some fresh air. I had read reviews of this hotel on tripadvisor before setting off therefore was expecting something amazing.
It took us just over 2 hours to get there. The hotel is super easy to find just off the main road (A65) in a village called Coniston Cold and even though there was a wedding on the day we arrived there was plenty of parking spaces. Check in was very easy (thank you Hannah) and I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t asked for security deposit. Our key was handed over and we were pointed in the direction of the lift (elevator) and the stairs. There is also a small gift shop in the reception area which stocked lovely little decorative ornaments and local produce.
We stayed in room 36 ‘Cygnet’. The room itself is large and spacious with a lovely comfortable king sized bed. the furniture and decor isn’t über contemporary but then again you are staying in a country hotel so no ikea items to be seen. The room had the all the essentials I would expect from a 4 star hotel – including a tea tray (love a tea try) and this beauty!!!
Now if you are under 30 you may have absolutely no idea what this is – well kids this is a trouser press! As this hotel is a popular wedding venue in the area I imagine this may be used by a number of the more mature male guests. We surprisingly did not have much use for it. The only downside of this room was the view over the car park and the fact that everyone else has to go past this room on the way to theirs, it is the closest to the stairs. Therefore we were woken up earlier than we would have liked by other guests walking and talking as they walked by.
The Bar – Huntsman Lodge
This is not technically the bar, it is more and informal restaurant where you can have a bar meal (which all looked home cooked and fresh by the way) however as we walked past the massive floor to ceiling windows overlooking Coniston Lake and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside we decided to be cheeky and ask if we could have a couple of pre-dinner drinks. We were of course welcomed warmly. As we visited in early April the nights got dark and chilly early therefore the beautiful fire which is the centre piece to this room was lit and crackling well. It may just be me but I love the smell of burning wood. Prices were reasonable and service great in here and if we had not been booked into the al la carte restaurant I’m sure we would have eaten our evening meal in here (the fish and chips looked divine!).
The Restaurant – Macleod’s
Eating in this restaurant was the pinocle of my stay at this hotel. It was excellent from the second we sat down until the second we had finished. As soon as we were seated we were offered a glass of fizz ‘to start the weekend in style’ – nice touch! The atmosphere was also perfectly set by a pianist playing lovely background music for us to enjoy our evening by. The menu boasted seven starters and seven main courses which in my opinion around the right number. I would rather have a fantastic dish from a limited menu then a bog standard one from an extensive menu. Now don’t get me wrong I’m no Jamie Oliver but I do know what tastes nice and what doesn’t and all I can say is wow! This food, especially for hotel food was out of this world. Here’s what we had:-
Starter: Seared Scallops with colcannon, black pudding and bacon snippets
Main Course: Fillet Steak with seasonal vegetables (which was a special of the day)
Desert: A good old trusty cheeseboard (he specifically asked for it without blue cheese)
Starter: Chicken and spring vegetable tarrine, herb mayonnaise and garlic croutes
Main Course: Pan seared cod fillet, rosti potato, buttered spinach and red pepper salsa (well it was Good Friday)
Desert: The most yummy and chocolatey chocolate torte and ice-cream I have ever had (delicious).
All polished off with two lovely bottles of rose wine. And as for the service – this was second to none! As was the breakfast we enjoyed the next morning.
Lovely hotel in lovely surroundings. I would highly recommend a stay at this hotel or failing that an evening meal in their restaurant. We stayed on a dinner, bed and (full Yorkshire) breakfast rate of £149 (correct at time of publishing) however why not check their website out for other rates and offers? There are also a number of activities you can partake in whilst there such as falconry, clay pigeon shooting, off road experience etc unfortunately, we did not have the time to try any but I’m sure they would have been up to the same standard as everything else in the hotel. Also, the hotel is soon to boast a spa and swimming pool again check out their website for more details including opening dates etc! A truly perfect country retreat!