Rudding Park Spa

Last week Rudding Park Hotel (Harrogate) opened a brand new spa.  On time and on budget (rare!) the design team responsible have created an oasis of serenity in the heart of Yorkshire.  Invited to the stunning opening night party, here’s what I found.

From the moment the glass doors part, it’s sheer indulgence.   The pool can be glimpsed from ground level by visitors to Horto café and we’re told the water is from Rudding Parks own bore hole… I am immediately taken by the size of the whole facility – it’s impressively spacious.

Reception and shop

Lifestyle shop; some genuinely great pieces in here – was sorely tempted!

Horto Restaurant

Horto Café offers contemporary fine dining and is open to the public.  Guests to the spa can use Horto during the day whilst robed till 5.30pm.  There is a seamless transition from spa to café and terrace (shown below) which wraps round the indoor pool – (there’s plenty of loungers for sunbathing!)

Inside the spa there is everything one could wish for; the attention to detail and thought shown in each zone is exceptional.  As well as the expected treatment rooms, mani/pedicure bar and hair salon, there are four mind and sense zones (available to all guests booking treatments).

Upstairs is the Roof Top Spa with hydrotherapy pool, steam rooms, sauna, foot spas (and more); the pièce de résistance – The Spa Garden.

Luxury Steam Room

Hydrotherapy infinity pool

Owing to being blessed with such amazing weather, the party was held on the Roof Top Spa Garden, not too many pictures from here as it was full of guests so it’d be nice to return and see it in its natural state.

The Spa Garden is a thing of beauty.  Created by Matthew Wilson, colours used extend the seasons, there’s nothing ‘standard’ or ‘token gesture’ here… to relax among the carefully-planned use of plants, trees and foliage will, I’m sure, delight garden lovers.

The spa bath, sun deck, sauna cabin, shower and all you’d really need for a complete day basking in the Yorkshire sun.   The hotel can be seen in distance, the unwavering commitment to quarrying the same stone for the spa-build as the hotel was every bit worth it!  Quality exudes.  During his speech, owner Simon Mackaness shared some of the stories from conception to completion saying there had been 400 plans and 2000 revisions… In my humble opinion, they have not been in vain.


It was not till writing this post that I went to the spa website to get an idea on prices, I was pleasantly surprised.  Visit the Rudding Park Spa website here to find out more.





A Country Pub Lunch

There’s something quite comforting about going to a country pub for Sunday lunch.  The tradition of a roast, the smell of a roaring fire, no plans to hurry anywhere afterwards, it’s all rather a splendid affair and more so when it’s cold out!

Recently we visited The Dunsforth, a truly superb gastro-pub in North Yorkshire.    penultimatefullsizerender-4fullsizerender-214

The only pub in Yorkshire to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, owners Paul and Janine Cunliffe have a simple ethic of serving quality food using the best ingredients.  The proof is in the pudding (oh Dad joke, I’m sorry … do I leave it in?).


For me it all starts with the wine, a place has got to get their chardonnay right – it was perfect!  Four of us had three courses and other than the edge of the beef being a little tough, were completely satisfied.  The starters were incredible; my tomatoes with sorbet and goats cheese was delightfully unusual!




As you’ve probably gathered, I’m no food blogger, but us Braithwaite’s do enjoy our food and would absolutely return here owing to our excellent first visit.

You can visit The Dunsforth Website here (I think they’re developing a new one at present but the basic info’s there).







A Visit to Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn

The Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn is repeatedly a popular post on this blog.  Perhaps it’s stuck in Google or something (no disrespect!) but it’s up there every month as a top post and yet the pictures have just not been doing it justice… Soo, last month, I revisited.
The Barn has evolved so much since the original post last March.  The signature style that makes this place truly unique is even stronger.  It is simply quite wonderful to walk round and renders one wishing for a large empty house to furnish.  The original post is below this (so just keep scrolling).

Last week I made the time to go to a place I’ve been meaning to visit for at least a year/eighteen months, the Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn, Harrogate.  After seeing so many amazing posts in my Facebook feed from their page I was compelled to pinpoint their location and pay a visit.  It’s such a gem of a place I had to share with you.
The barn is a place you’d go when you want to find something unique for the home without it needing to be too specific.  Antique furniture a plenty; there are chests of drawers, stone sinks, chandeliers, pictures, skulls and ancient pictures – artefacts of all kind can be found within the draughty doors.  It has bags of charm and personality and so goes without saying that whatever you pick up there will also have oodles of character.  These images were just taken on my phone as I wasn’t planning on doing a feature but couldn’t not once I’d been.  Well worth a visit I say!

IMG_0557 IMG_0553 IMG_0556


Post notes:
If looking for the barn, do not look for a sign saying “Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn” from the main road, I’ve passed it SO many times without knowing simply because the signposts only indicate the Farm Shop and John Cain furniture polishing.  It’s literally a stones throw off the main Skipton to Harrogate Road (A59) and is ridiculously easy to swing into.

Green and Blacks does Yorkshire

Parkin.  Apparently, not so many people outside of Yorkshire know what it is – making it quite a ‘Northern thing’ here in the UK.  Parkin is a gingery, wholemeal oaty cake-like dessert, can be eaten hot or cold, on it’s own or with custard, ice-cream, cream or butter.  Though as a rule I don’t do’ desserts , for me it’s one of the ultimate Autumn comfort foods (I do eat half a bar of 85% chocolate daily though – fact).

Green & Blacks 8

Green and Blacks also have discovered this rather tasty pudding and yesterday were in Harrogate delighting the people of Yorkshire with a special ‘Yorkshire pear and ginger parkin’ recipe as part of their UK taste tour.
Invited along to try it out, I met with Green and Blacks taste specialist (Brandt Maybury) and reigning Yorkshire Pudding Champion (Christopher Blackburn), whose combined expertise has created a chocolate twist on traditional parkin.

Green & Blacks 4Green & Blacks 7Green & Blacks 1Green & Blacks 3Green & Blacks 9

The parkin (adapted from Chris’s mothers recipe) tasted SO GOOD!  The chocolate was a subtle undertone so it really worked and was served with poached pear and caramel sauce.

Green & Blacks 11

Photo courtesy of Edelman

Green & Blacks 6Green & Blacks 10

Sadly the resulting parking won’t be available for general consumption anywhere – (it’s a crime!) however, I am told the recipe will be made available and when  it does I shall post here.

Finally, as we stood and ate I asked the gents FIVE QUICK QUESTIONS:

1.  If they weren’t chef’s they would be:
Chris: ‘I’m not a chef!’ (oh we’re off to a great start #fail). He is a foody, and Yorkshire pud world champion in his spare time though so you can see why I asked!
Brandt: Rockstar.  Writes his own songs and plays the guitar.  (Move over Ed!)
2.  What do they eat for breakfast?
Chris: Sainsburys mini wheats with cranberry.
Brandt: Doesn’t eat till noon (a la 16:8 diet) so breakfast doesn’t really happen.
3.  Meal they most readily default to? 
Chris:  Chilli.  On a weekend sometimes made with slow cooked brisket.
Brandt:  Brandtos chicken! (chicken, garlic, coriander, lime with roast veg and rice – bit like a Nando’s, I’m hungry!).
4.   Most under-used ingredient people should be using more of?
Chris:  Beef dripping.  Drizzled on salad, used to make croutons – so many uses!
Brandt:  Anchovies, cooked they dissolve and don’t taste of fish (I did not know that).  Also star anise – amazing in chilli (Oh and caraway seeds!)
5.  Which chef(s) do they keep an eye on/follow?
Chris:  Tom Kerridge.  Inspiration itself of real, home comfort food and Gordon Ramsey for his passion.
Brandt:  Mikael Jonsson.  Though less well-known, his restaurant Hedone, was awarded a Michelin Star in his first year and is recognised as being the 60th best restaurant in the world.  Jamie Oliver for what he’s done in getting more people cooking in their homes than anyone else.
Almost an hour later I left with quite a few little pearls of wisdom up my sleeve (did you know you can add chocolate to chilli?!) and hopefully, other bypassers were also inspired to try a new trick or two in the kitchen!
In need of more yumminess?  You can visit Green and Blacks website here.


Christians, Harrogate, is a place on my radar PURELY because of social media… Instagram to be precise.

Christians 17

A couple of months ago I was followed by Christians and after numerous ‘likes’ on various posts of mine,  cottoned on to the fact it was a restaurant in Harrogate.  The photos in their feed of folks outside on sunlit evenings made me wonder how the heck I’d not heard of this place… curiosity took me further to their website where I made an instant connection with their WHY…

The STORY of how a young guy (Christian), followed his dream and has come to be where he is today, 1 year down the line… I’m such a sucker for that stuff.  Essentially, Christian has connected to the world with his STYLE OF LOVE – which, by the way is what this blog used to be called before LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE… I had to go check it out.

Christians 15 Christians 19 Christians 4Christians 13 Christians 3 IMG_1954We went one very dreary Sunday morning just before 12 and were among the first to arrive, within half an hour the place was pretty much packed out… though we didn’t order one, people clearly love the Sunday Roasts here!

Christians 7Christians 8
Christians 9 Christians 6Christians 10

Asking to move tables (as we’d been seated in the furthest back corner of the restaurant), was no problem for the staff, nor was upsizing my starter to a main.  Small things, but how many places do you go where it completely messes with the system to request little things like this.  Our food was fantastic, great value and knowing it came from Yorkshire farmers, again, (as with Keelham Farm), is supporting local businesses, which I also like to do.
Christians 12Christians 2Christians 11Christians 16Christians 14

Christians has an organic feel of being a ‘third place’.

There’s a sense of community on its Instagram feed, they have live music, charity events, outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens … it’s a place to hang out…

Though we went in July it was raining (surprise!) so though no-one was sat outside we could imagine it being absolutely delightful sat in the cleverly designed gardens, kids running around on the grass.

We could also instantly picture it at Christmas; real trees, festoon lighting, carols, hot toddies and amazing food… you get the idea and will just have to go yourself if you can!

Visit CHRISTIANS CAFE BISTRO WEBSITE here for more info.


Post notes:

Christians is part of a collective group of other businesses called Crimple Hall.  There’s a Food Hall, Art Gallery, Garden Centre, Huge Antiques Barn and more besides to wander between.  We spent more time there than we expected, which was welcomed on a grey day.  That said, (and it could be down to being unobservant on my part) but the signage wasn’t amazing.  Once we left the sat nav in the car, we were in the proximity of all the other places I mention here but couldn’t see obvious signage for Christians.  In a nutshell, wander through the antiques place and you’ll find it out back!

The Northern Lights

We nearly came home straight from school, we nearly didn’t take the drive and we nearly didn’t stay for supper.  Are you ever just so glad you do all the things you nearly didn’t?

Looking through the photos I’d taken once we returned from being out last night, I realised they were all about the beautiful lights we had been surrounded by.  Fading sunlight, strategic restaurant lighting and then the magical sparkle of many fairy lights in the shops.

It was only last week I said how the lights that come out for Christmas should be up all year round… this confirms it – lighting is EVERYTHING!  My camera (affectionately known as Cameron in the Beau household) comes with us most places and these were simply taken at the time and with no specific outcome in mind… perhaps it’s the best way?

IMG_1548 IMG_1535 IMG_1536 IMG_1537 IMG_1539 IMG_1541 IMG_1542 IMG_1540 IMG_1545IMG_1549IMG_1547Chandelier at LuciasIMG_1544 IMG_1546

This time of year is SO beautiful and I am of the firm belief we should have more lighting in our towns and streets if we can figure out a way not to drain the world of it’s fuel supplies – what do you think?


Christmas with James… (Brindley not Bond!)

Last week James Brindley Harrogate opened their doors for a festive evening.  As it started at 5.30pm I thought this a perfect ‘grown-up’ event to take my little lady too.  ‘Twas dark outside and a winter wonderland inside with a band crooning away the night we had a really lovely evening!

James Brindley HarrogateJames Brindley Christmas WindowJames Brindley WonderlandJames Brindley: WishJames Brindley baublesJames Brindley FurnishingsJames Brindley SofaJames Brindley Lanterns

Knowing that Momma is always taking photo’s for the blog, Miss P asked if she could take a few… I love seeing what she captures!

We were then asked to be photographed for Yorkshire Life Magazine so here’s our best ‘we are pretending not to be aware of the cameraman’ pose!

Yorkshire Life's capture of us on the night James Brindley candles James Brindley Christmas archwayJames Brindley hedgehog James Brindley stairsJames Brindley: PeacockJames Brindley displayThis is one of my favourite images from the night… one little girl mesmerised by the band, unaware I’m taking the picture of her.

Watching the bandJames Brindley window


If you are looking for some fabulous Christmas inspiration, Brindleys is definitely on my recommended list.  Although we do not need ANY more decorations come Christmas, we come away with some gorgeous copper baubles and vase that will be out in the home all year round!

You can visit James Brindleys website here.


%d bloggers like this: