Country Living Hotel, Harrogate
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Have you ever walked past a building many times but not realised what you were missing? I must have been past the St George Hotel in Harrogate many times. The hotel has undergone a massive restoration and is now one of the new Country Living Hotels (the other new one is in Bath) and I have to say it is excellent.
They have tastefully given the hotel a thoughtful makeover in collaboration with Country Living Magazine. There are plenty of rooms downstairs to escape the hustle and bustle outside and the whole hotel feels warm and homely.
For instance there is the cosy lounge with settees that look so soft and welcoming that they beg you to sit on them, a grand piano sits in the corner, the daily newspapers are laid out and there is not a television in sight to spoil your enjoyment in this tranquil paradise.
The Club Room with its old sideboard that could tell many tales whilst the Dog and Duck bar is a friendly place for residents and non residents to have a drink. A huge billiard table sits in the library with the bookshelves full of books ranging from statue law to memories of Harrogate!
Bespoke paintings hang upon the walls throughout the hotel including one of the Bronte sisters.
The friendly welcome on arrival continued throughout our stay, the cosmopolitan team came from places as diverse as Spain, Italy and Sheffield. The offer to carry the suitcases to our room was something you would not expect in a provincial hotel.
Our room was a Country Premier room, the grey walls might not be to everyone's taste but it seems to be in fashion at the moment. The rooms are large and airy with a good sized wardrobe, Internet TV, Fridge, a Bosh coffee maker, ducks appear on the cushions (it is their emblem) and the huge bed provided a restful night's sleep.Good bathroom with a shower too which came with bespoke toiletries. It felt like you could easily stay there and call the room your own.
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Mains of slow braised shin of beef served with herb mash and red wine sauce was superb, the beef was so tender it dropped off the fork. My Black Sheep Ale Battered Haddock served with chunky chips, homemade mushy peas and tartare sauce was fresh with light batter and good chips that tasted like they had come from your favourite chip shop.
To finish off Puddings (no desserts here, this is Yorkshire) were a delicious cinnamon based Apple and Pear Crumble served with Creme Anglaise whilst my partner's Meringue with summer fruits tasted a little too sweet. A nicely presented cheeseboard with Yorkshire favourites like Wensleydale and Harrogate Blue ended a very satisfying meal where service and friendliness was paramount.
Breakfast is also served in the Swaledale restaurant with a buffet continental selection (the jams are locally made at Masham) or cooked to order Farmhouse Kitchen Breakfast - piping hot with even Yorkshire sausage all meaty and no fat.
The whole hotel felt so homely that my partner wanted to move in, praise indeed. It was like a country hotel with the 5 star service you would expect at a top London hotel, but car parking is £10 per night.
It was a memorable stay for all the right reasons and the hotel I felt was a real asset to Harrogate.
St George Country Living Hotel, 1 Ripon Road, Harrogate HG1 2SY
Telephone 01423 561431
Country Living Hotel, Harrogate, 30th November 2018, 16:34 PM