Posted on June 8, 2017
Last month, an invitation to the northern flagship store of Carluccio’s came my way. Located on the premises of the legendary Terry’s chocolate shop and café on St Helen’s Square in York city centre, it is the largest and ‘most beautiful’ Carluccio’s restaurant to date.
Having already written about the Ilkley restaurant (purely because it happens to be our home town), I was inclined to turn down, however given the historical building that happens to be involved – accepted.
As part of the new site and exclusive to York, Carlucci’s have launched Terry’s Bar a new Italian cocktail and wine bar, it has undergone a detailed and meticulous refurbishment! Sat supping our gin, we exchanged the thought that this doesn’t feel like a Carluccio’s… or indeed the UK for that matter – we could’ve be anywhere (and I like that!).
Recognise the dome above a la The Titanic movie? Had we had more time, I would have taken more photos of the building because personally, that’s where the beauty lies.
Photo’s of other peoples’ food generally doesn’t interest me, so will keep these to a minimum. Our hosts were excellent (Dominic and Sebastian are charm itself) though we had to wait half an hour for mains to be served which tarnished the evening somewhat having to promptly throw a spoonful or two of dessert down our necks before rushing out for the train. Have fed this back to the team there who could only apologise – we’ve all been there, it happens!
Delays aside, will we return? Absolutely (I have a thing for their paté)! Most of you will know the Carluccio’s vibe so if you’re ever in York, would recommend a visit to this stunning building – if only for a G&T or two!
Posted on May 16, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Posted on February 2, 2017
One of the things I love to do here on the blog is to feature local independent shops. I believe they make our towns what they are by creating a truly unique experience.
Any of you perusing Living Etc in the coming weeks, will see Alpine Lifestyle Boutique which has just opened right on our door-step in Ilkley.
The name’s a giveaway; though it’s a long way from the slopes, everything through the doors transports you a la piste via exquisite LUXURY homewares. Read More
Posted on December 1, 2016
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.
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).
Posted on November 20, 2016
If a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content, then The Botanist, York is the perfect setting. Visitors to York will no doubt know of the iconic Mulberry Hall on Stonegate which closed earlier this year after 60 years of trading. The Botanist now sits on these premises in the beautiful 1943 building on one of the most picturesque cobbled streets in the city.
Having seen friends’ shenanigans at the Leeds restaurant in my social media feeds, I was excited to be invited to the pre-opening launch of the York venue last week.
The Botanist vibe is laid-back living. Expect comfort-food classics accompanied by botanically-infused cocktails and beers whilst listening to live music sets; a country pub in the city if you will. It’s the kind of place you forget the world outside as the hours while away… it’s ‘a third-place’, kind of place.
Our food and drinks experience matched the setting. There are few places we visit about which can be said “I wouldn’t change a thing” but The Botanist was an exception. The cocktails and wines were amazing, every dish of our three-courses was bang-on (probably not a food writer term); the service, impeccable. The hanging skewers shown (jerk salmon & lamb) are a Botanist signature dish we’re told, and they were something to brag about. The prices are reasonable with starters from £4.95 and mains from £9.95.
We’re already looking forward to returning, no doubt now there’s the Christmas Decorations up… (even more reason to go!)
When the composition of place, product and people is as well-matched as this, the result will always be a little bit special for those party to it. One can only hope that everyone will have the same experience!
You can visit The Botanist Website here.
Posted on November 2, 2016
The Feversham Arms Hotel has long been on my ‘must visit’ list. Anywhere that has an outdoor pool, in Yorkshire, has me intrigued!
Though I’m sure this is THE place in Summer (outdoor dining and poolside drinks), it was on a slightly fresher, but beautiful Autumn day when we went for a self-invited visit.
Quite tucked away off the main through-road, the hotel will appeal to those wanting a country retreat in unspoiled setting. Helmsley is quaint, charming and naturally, restful.
Thirty-three bedrooms and the Verbena Spa make it a great place to retreat for those looking to go away without anything too taxing on the agenda. Day packages at the spa will also appeal to ladies seeking a luxury hang-out.
Six individual treatment rooms and one double, with plenty of softly-lit space for relaxing on comfy sofas is going to appeal in the colder months. The outdoor space… speaks for itself!
We ate in the Weathervane restaurant. Though the food was excellent, there was not enough on the plate for either of us and a tad pricey at that, so a meal wouldn’t be a reason we’d return. That said, the outdoor space is such a delight that I can absolutely see us returning in the Summer months for a glass of wine and perhaps a few nibbles on the terrace…
Posted on October 21, 2016
After months of anticipation, yesterday Leeds finally saw the opening of Victoria Gate, a brand new development in the heart of the city.
The long-awaited shopping centre by Hammerson (I thought the two squares at the front of the signage looked like an ‘H’) and adds formidable strength to the presence of its existing development in the city, the Victoria Quarter.
Together, Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate, are now known as Victoria Leeds (can I get a David!). Anthropologie invited me along to their evening opening party.
Quite simply (because I’m turning this around unplanned in a day!), here’s the pics.
Anthropologie as ever, is a sheer delight and all the more in celebration of the festive season ahead. Gold trimmings everywhere, lustre and sequins – the store is decadent creativity at its best.
Pre-Christmas is the perfect time for the launch a centre where shoppers will naturally flock in the pursuit of gifts. By the time we left Anthropologie, the other shops were closing so didn’t get to explore the delights of John Lewis, & Other Stories and COS but I have a feeling we’ll be back!
For all the details of what’s on offer, visit the Victoria Leeds Website.