Posted on January 7, 2016
The North Star Club is THE name in ‘Boutique Woodland Breaks’. If you’re not familiar with the term, don’t worry – neither was I till North Star popped up in my Instagram feed (yet another triumph for social media as if we needed proof it works!) and I was instantly curious.
The accommodation is luxury woodland cabins in an area of forest just outside York and is quite unlike anything else. As fate would have it, North Star Club and I contacted each other on the same day and it wasn’t long before we were booking a pre-Christmas stay.
North Star has created a new genre of accommodation for those wanting a cosy get-away. It invites you to be amongst the outdoors, whilst being several echelons up the glamping ladder (which they also invented – a la ‘Jolly Days Glamping‘). We invited the whole family (as you do), who don’t live to far away and thus began Christmas week early.
The careful thought to detail, the decorative flourishes and the feeling of ‘fit’ are what makes this place. Beautiful wreaths adorn the doors, there are furs everywhere and more fairy lights than leaves! I’d done my homework before we left and knew the designers Mr & Mrs Van Outersterp were award multi-award winning designers ~ it shows.
Our cabin had a large covered porch with table and chairs and a large gas BBQ. The first day there was so mild (for December) we were able to sit out and appreciate this space. The second day was much colder which forced us all indoors hence, Spring thru Autumn months you’d really be able to enjoy this ‘room’ outdoors.
Breakfast; ham and brie croissants with red-currant and ruby port sauce. Easiest to make and so tasty! The BBQ had a lid so they cooked in minutes and I’d taken disposable trays too so zero cleaning!
In through the front door was a small room with table, two chairs and a good-sized little fridge ↓, we hadn’t expected any crockery (as the website clearly states not self-catering) so had taken our own but on arrival found out there was no need. They provide it all. This room also had a sofa bed that slept two people.
The accommodation slept 6 in total. The sofa bed, a twin room, and the heart of the cabin – the Master Bedroom. This was GORGEOUS, had a wood-burning stove we kept lit all day and really was the room we all hung out in. The cabin managed to swallow varying combinations of 11 of us (some family came to hang out during the days). My point… quarters are not cramped!
Off the master bedroom was a bathroom almost as big. One of the facilities North Star offers is pre-bookable Spa treatments within the comfort of your bathroom… bliss!
Away from the cabins are some great communal spaces. The fire pit was lovely to take the kids to and simply sitting watching the flames whilst toasting marshmallows was magic. The Woodshed is a stones-throw and has seating and tables outside around a pizza stove. Our first night we ate pizzas here it was so mild and the additional space was perfect for the younger children.
Inside the Woodshed … well the pictures can do the talking!
The North Star Club is a definite recommend! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would love to return.
Visit the North Star Club website here, they have some fantastic images and more information about the various lodges guests can stay in.
What about the Food? When you click on the ‘FOOD’ tab of the North Star Club website, you are directed towards local restaurants. North Star state they are ‘not self-catering’ yet you are provided you with all the means to do so. No pun intended but there is everything apart from the kitchen sink (you wash your pots in the bathroom). As mentioned earlier, there was crockery and cutlery for six people, there was a washing up bowl with liquid, the BBQ was gas so cooking was good-to-go and trays and pans were available in the Woodshed… the ‘small fridge’ was a very decent size and we ate completely self-catered.
To us it was a ‘plus’ but couldn’t help thinking if it was better explained on the website, people might be encouraged to stay who otherwise wouldn’t if they felt they were going to have to eat out every meal.
UPDATE: 7th Jan 2.45pm Since posting this morning, I have heard from North Star who are firstly thrilled with the post and second, have said “the camp staff are meant to take away dirty pots as they have a washing area so that guests aren’t washing in their bathrooms – of which we are going to make this clearer going forward.”. This is good news and now makes complete sense, self-cater and prosper folks!
Posted on May 1, 2014
Easter Bank Holiday we went and stayed in London, the last place you should go on Bank Holiday some may have said; ‘won’t it be heaving with people…?!’
The answer was no.
It was blissfully perfect for adults and kids allowing us to enjoy the city we saw rather than get lost in the sheer volume of normal city-goers and commuters. We could wander – let the kids go on ahead and was altogether the most peasant experience!
Though we never set out looking for a break on a budget, a family stay in London can certainly be done very reasonably. Travelling by train we got a family rail-card meaning transport for five, return, was £120.
Then it’s ‘where to stay’. If you go the hotel option you have to pay a good buck to get anything of any decent size and standard; so then it’s a question do you go two rooms or one family…but then if you’re in with the kids that kills your evening whilst you maintain total quiet (anyone else know what I’m talking about?!). Solution: I found us an apartment which was absolutely perfect! That came in at about £290 but it was a great size with tonnes of living room, kitchen, ensuites etc; it was a 2 minute walk from the tube and it was a great home from home. Check out Marlin Apartments if you’re looking for somewhere to stay – highly recommend them and they have various apartments right across the city.
Lastly, we used our trusty Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for a meal or two… I know… it’s hilarious – but at many restaurant they quadruple in value meaning when we went to Pizza Express we only paid for drinks!
So, that’s London Baby… We know where we’ll be next Easter!