Alexander’s Skipton

It’s been almost a month since Alexander’s Bar and Restaurant opened.  Last week I was invited along for ‘a taste of ‘.  It wasn’t what I expected.

The (impressive) website said ‘European inspired’… and my self-talk went something like “European…Skipton… ok then!”

I LOVE that “Wow” was the first thing we said once through the doors.

I LOVE it when a place does that to you!

The above view is the back of the property (from the road-bridge across the canal), the entrance is round the front directly opposite the castle.

A tiled parlour is a welcoming entrance to this Grade II listed building.  On arrival you’re greeted by a friendly face asking if you’re looking for drinks or have a reservation.   With booths and stools, this is a bar area by night and serves morning coffee and pastries from 8am.  A gelato bar is in the pipeline… (they’re big on gelato here).

Twelve meters of pewter bar runs along the walk-way from front of house to the back, attention to detail is what makes this environment so appealing – (or should I say a-peel-ing as the owners are PEEL Entertainment Group providing entertainment for many cruise ships round the world, hence the amazing screens!

The transition from the Edwardian front, to the modern feel at the back is effortless.  Colonial palm prints and gold pineapples (chosen long before they began trending) take you away some place, as does the food!

We have small plates (think tapas) and it’s seriously good food (halloumi fries?!  Genius!).  The chef wearing a flat cap (they all have flat caps on here!) sits at our table and chats with us.  We talk about the food but also about the challenges faced in opening and staffing a place like this given its location.  He isn’t about ‘the sell’ or trying to impress us and neither is our host, both are genuine, honest and open – I like that.

Outdoors is a ‘not so’ Secret Garden.  I’m a huge fan of al-fresco and this is a quality experience!  Landscaped terrace with patio heaters, huge umbrellas and glass awnings mean our unpredictable British weather isn’t a problem for diners.  The lower level overlooks the canal which is rather lovely and very Yorkshirey.

Whilst sat eating, my friend Sarah and I are talking about the people we’ll bring here and all the occasions this place will suit.  We had a great first experience, and I for one think it’s a beautiful addition to Yorkshire.

You can visit Alexanders website here – (it’s worth it just to see the fancy moving palm leaves part and the day/night pics!)




The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa

The Coniston Hotel Country Estate resides in 1400 acres of Yorkshire countryside just outside of Skipton.  Last November, the already impressive facilities saw the addition of a spa.

Potential game changer.

The setting is beautiful!  For those who enjoy pampering with great outdoor views, it’s about as good as it gets… at least for a few hundred miles!


Spa aside, the hotel also offers falconry, shooting, 4×4, and fishing, targeted at those looking for a stag-do or team building-day; others may visit to attend a wedding or corporate event.   For us, it has been a place to have an extended family meal perhaps every other year tops; there was simply never anything else to draw us back… till perhaps now.


The grounds are idyllic and views from the hotel stunning.  Bear in mind I visited pre-Spring/post-Winter, (probably the most barren the scenery gets round here!) yet still picturesque.


Back to The Spa… positioned further round from the hotel with its own access (inside the grounds) the building design has a total ‘fit’ with the landscape.  Monthly membership is available  as well as day packages. IMG_2621IMG_2626IMG_2622IMG_2591

Inside is light and airy yet cosy and welcoming.




The indoor pool is 15 meters with a full thermal suite, however the outside space is the pièce de resistance – an infinity pool over-looking Yorkshire hills.  On the cold day I visited it was divine – add twenty degrees of heat and a glass of bubbles and this will be the PERFECT place for a girls spa day.


Though the ground was newly turned-over (presumably from the build) and the trees bare… fast-forward a few months/a year and it is only going to get better.


Eight treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym mean there’s something to suit everyone looking for a day of invigoration and relaxation.  Spa packages are available from £39 per person.


The Coniston Spa is what this area of Yorkshire has been waiting for and it isn’t too hard to imagine people gathering their friends to make the visit!  You can visit their website here for more information.



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