8:52 AM 25th September 2020
Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley
These days when you check into a hotel one of the things they ask you (besides checking to see if you are COVID free) is have you had a good journey to the hotel?
I was all fired up waiting for the question to be asked with my response at the ready - “no, it’s been a bit frantic the last 45 minutes getting here, Sutton Bank is temporarily closed whilst they do the annual maintenance work so I’ve had to go on a diversion on country roads that were not meant for 44 ton lorries hurtling towards you never mind the caravaners in front of me going at 25 mph” but you know what - I was never asked the question!
I had heard a lot about the Feversham Arms Hotel and Spa in Helmsley, all of them good. As it is tucked away from the main square you could easily miss it.
It is a lot bigger inside than it appears from the outside, much like Dr Who’s Tardis, but fortunately there was a sofa to hide behind in my Junior Suite if I was to be terrified by any baddies, not that there any here, everyone I met was polite, helpful and friendly.
The Junior Suites have a nod towards Yorkshire with Harrogate spring water, Bronte biscuits and Yorkshire tea bags along with Taylors of Harrogate tea in your room. Surprisingly there is no fridge, nor air conditioning either. The windows do open and there is a fan in one of the two wardrobes - which by the way have plenty of hanging space.
As I entered the room, Classic FM was playing on the television, I thought it was a really nice touch to be serenaded into your room.
I liked the small sitting room which had a TV and the comfy sofa, great for relaxing after a day out walking. The super king bed in the bedroom gave me a great night's sleep.
The bathroom has a shower over the bath and the Temple Bar toiletries added another luxury touch.
Pool area Poolside room
The central courtyard is part of the hotels spa - the Verbena Spa. Couples lounge around sunbathing in the recliners whilst others sit in their dressing gowns reading a book - it is a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the market square that is only a few minutes walk away.
The Weathervane Restaurant
The main restaurant is The Weathervane - a huge one actually sits over the partly glass roof. As I sat down to dine ( facing due south) the music had an 80’s touch to it, as Tina Turner was to be heard with Simply The Best - was this a statement I wondered about the food?
The restaurant is a light and airy dining room with excellent service. I skipped a starter and chose the Chicken, sweetcorn, bacon and smoked garlic. There was also lamb, beef and halibut on the menu.
The combination of the bacon and chicken was inspiring, whilst the dessert of Blackberry, Apple and Tonka Bean was pure paradise. I could have eaten more of the creamy buttermilk panna cotta as it was so 'moreish'.
Chicken, sweetcorn, bacon etc Blackberry, Apple and Tonka Bean Cheese board
The cheese and biscuits were a bit of a let down though, some crackers and biscuits would have made a huge difference along with a stronger blue cheese, such as a ripe Harrogate Blue.
Breakfast is taken in the Weathervane restaurant. The full English was spot on but there does seem to be a tendency to put black pudding on the menu and it not to be available “we have run out“ always seems to follow a request. I never thought black pudding was that popular.
The Verbena Spa does 60 minute bespoke pampering at £90.00. I opted for a back massage - it was probably the best £50.00 I have spent as I felt heaps better afterwards.
It’s a relaxing place with attentive staff. Some of the corridors might look like they need a lick of paint, but then again, you do not sleep in the corridors! The Junior Suite I stayed in was very comfortable. If you want to experience a true Yorkshire hotel with fantastic hospitality you need look no further.
Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa, High Street, Helmsley YO62 5AG
Telephone 01439 770766
A one night stay costs from £140 per room per night (double; two sharing), including full English breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com
Southern Gateway, Helmsley Castle
A short walk away from the hotel is the ruins of Helmsley Castle. Over the centuries it has been a medieval fortress, luxurious Tudor mansion, Civil War stronghold and now a romantic Victorian ruin.
The East tower and West tower along with the southern gateway still stand. In the Mansion House there is a hands on experience too.
The wide and deep moat surrounds the castle ruins in this now peaceful place. There are plenty of open spaces which probably explains why it is popular with families.