I (Niki) celebrated my birthday on the 24th of October and Daniel and I were lucky enough to be invited for an overnight stay at Rudding Park hotel and spa in Harrogate.
When we arrived we were stunned by the sheer size of the grounds and the huge wall that surrounds it.
It’s nestled into the beautiful Yorkshire countryside perfectly, hidden just enough so you feel as though you’ve uncovered a secret hideaway to relax, refresh and unwind in.
Upon entry to the beautiful hotel, which is set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands and perched next to the prettiest church, you are greeted by the friendliest staff.
We were instantly made to feel at home and although we arrived before our scheduled check in it wasn’t long before the room was ready for us.
Our home for the evening was vast and pretty, simply decorated in neutral colours with huge double patio doors leading out to a garden area. The bathroom was a triumph; free standing bath with a TV built in to the wall, rainfall shower which can be turned into a sauna at the flick of a switch and complimentary Moulton Brown products.
The hotel and spa has won no end of awards and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s the perfect balance of elegance and modernity, which is demonstrated perfectly by one of the hotels restaurants, Horto.
Horto Restaurant is inspired by the venues on-site garden, with each dish showcasing the very best seasonal delights.
The chef is Murray Wilson who takes pride in every course and may even come and personally serve a dish or two at your table!
When you get to the restaurant you are faced with a big decision, to opt for the a’la carte menu or the eight-course tasting menu which you can pair with wine… ok, so not really that difficult of a decision, we love our food and drink so it was a no-brainer for us!
The attentive and extremely knowledgable staff then recommend you try the tasting menu blind (not physically, you just don’t see the menu beforehand and they serve each dish with a thorough explanation of what tasty morsel you’re about to demolish!).
We thought this was a great idea and we’re more than happy to participate!
The food was outstanding, every dish carefully curated and immaculately presented.
We started with a selection of ‘snacks’ and then moved on to the main meat dishes; succulent pork cheek, followed by delicate stone bass with miso and then a perfectly cooked breast of duck.
At this point we were taken to a cheese board where we got to choose four cheeses of our fancy, all delicious alongside the crackers and chutneys provided.
Finally the desserts followed; a Yuzu tart, a zingy sorbet and a rich and heavenly chocolate ganache.
Each dish was paired with a complimentary wine, all perfect partners for their edible counterparts. The waiter was also outstanding, so passionate about each wine, where it had come from and how it was best enjoyed.
After the meal we sat at the bar and let the magical menu digest.
It honestly was one of the best meals we’ve ever had, not just due to the food and wine but also because of the passionate and attentive staff on hand.
With our bellies filled, we took a slow stroll back to our room and explored more of the hotel on route.
The following day we were able to experience the rooftop spa. Only recently renovated earlier this year its undergone a complete makeover which was 12 years in the making.
If candle lit corridors and dark mosaic rooms are what you look for in a spa then this isn’t for you.
It’s very modern with floor to ceiling windows boasting views across the rolling landscapes, bright and airy open spaces with foot baths and loungers and outdoor pools and saunas that allow you to feel at one with nature.
It’s not our usual cup of tea but we thoroughly enjoyed it and we’d definitely return for a spot of R & R again.
That morning we also grabbed a quick breakfast, again hosted at Horto restaurant, and then went for a final wander around the hotel before heading home.
If you are looking for a UK spa break which offers a relaxing experience alongside beautiful decor, delicious food and attentive staff then look no further. We’re not surprise Rudding Park has recently be touted as ‘possibly the UK’s best new spa’!
A one-night stay at Rudding Park starts from £189 per room per night or a one-night spa break starts from £177 per person including half board, a 50-minute treatment and access to the spa (01423 844 840, ruddingpark.co.uk. Access to the Roof Top Spa and Garden is £35 for two hours.