I’m the sort of traveller that loves a good escape to a new city, eating my way through the traditional foods of each country and chasing the tourist attractions. As much fun as finding hidden gems and spending my time discovering things by foot, I am all for a luxurious weekend spa break too. I recently wrote a post about the benefits of having a spa break and why it’s important for every traveller to experience from time to time.
That time had come around for me after a series of many European escapades that left me wanting a relaxing break. I had heard so many great things about Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate. It was the perfect opportunity to get out of London, finally get around to visiting Yorkshire (as I had promised Jess for some time) and getting the spa weekend break I needed.
Harrogate is only a few hours away from London by train and is extremely accessible from London Kings Cross or St Pancras International. This means you don’t have to worry about driving and can get a head start on relaxing.
Arriving at Rudding Park Hotel, we were greeted with blue skies that matched perfectly with the luscious green park that covered the golf course grounds. As we entered into the hotel, our bags were immediately taken off us and we were greeted with a roaring log fire that just set the the scene for the perfect autumnal escape.
It wasn’t long before we were all checked in and were taken to our spa facing room, with two comfortable beds and a large living area. The room itself was filled with bright and vibrant colours that could put a smile on anyone’s face.
The room itself is quite minimal but in a good way. I feel like the concept behind the hotel isn’t about the rooms, but more about the spa and other facilities meaning you spend as little time in your room as possible. Either you are out on the golf course or enjoying some well deserved relaxation in the multi story, extensive spa. However, should you want a more private area to relax, Rudding Park brings it to your room.
Compete with Molton Brown products and a gorgeous large bath tub, you don’t have to go very far to get a some peace and quiet with a touch of luxury. The bathroom also has a TV which allows you to play music and the TV should you get bored of the silence.
Otherwise you can find yourself detoxing your body with the hammam steam room inside the bathroom. Yes, you read that correctly! Rudding Park have truly thought of everything, to fit every kind of traveller.
When you see the spa though, i’m sure you won’t regret making the short trip across from your room over to the spa. I think I made it across the footpath in about 4 large steps, I mean after all I could see it directly out the window of my room too.
Within this 9.5 million pound project, you will find what is my idea of spa heaven. I don’t think I have ever stayed at a hotel that has such extensive spa facilities and so many options. Binny and I knew exactly where we wanted to start, with a hot stone deep tissue massage by the wonderful therapists at Rudding Park.
I was in my element. It was just what I needed, especially as the hot stones help the muscles relax even more allowing a deeper massage using elemental oils. I chose to have the earth oil, to encourage my mind to relax and switch off during my massage.
All the relaxation between my massage and testing out their 4 different post-massage rooms I had built myself up an appetite, just in time for our reservations at one of Rudding Park’s restaurants, Horto.
We had a special tasting menu with wine pairings ready for us and from what I had heard from others that have stayed at Rudding Park, we were in for a real treat.
Our meal commenced with a celeriac and apple cones with a different take on the reuben sandwich with pastrami, kilon rye on crispy sourdough, followed my freshly baked bread. The snacks were extremely flavoursome and delicate, it was just the perfect way to set us up for the amazing dishes that were going to follow.
The first dish was shallot with pickled leek in a sake based sauce. The flavours from such a simple dish was just incredible.
Next up was a trio of different meat dishes, starting with slow cooked lamb with celeriac and apple.
The lamb was sticky and rich, which made for the most comforting dish whilst it was cold outside. It went really well with the crème fraîche it was served with, to balance it out.
After the lamb, an organic chicken dish with two types of potato was served. The skin of the chicken was crispy and the contrast from the two potato garnishes was just perfect.
The Yorkshire reared mallard was next served with beetroot and a duck sausage. I have to say it was the least favourite of all the dishes, the taste of the duck was rather powerful and it didn’t really work with the garnishes it was served with.
However, it was all made better when a quad of different desserts were to follow. Rudding Park sure know how to make their diners happy.
The first dessert was a yuzu tart with bergamot, followed by pear served with ginger snap and maple crumble. Both very seasonal desserts, which were right up my street.
The final duo was a chocolate ganache served with blueberries and sheep’s milk ice-cream, followed by an extensive and divine cheese board. Everything was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t even fault the service, all the waiters and waitresses waited on us hand and foot.
Luckily, we didn’t have to walk very far with a food induced coma before falling asleep in the comfortable beds with the wonderful customised pillows Rudding Park offer too.
You know the saying, the early bird catches the worm? Well, we caught it. Binny and I rose from our deep sleep at 6am, threw on our robes and popped over to the spa for an early morning swim and sauna session before breakfast. It was the best way to start our day, feeling absolutely energised and refreshed.
The indoor facilities are perfect for those earlier risers who want to get in a quick fix before breakfast. Rudding Park also encourages guests to attend breakfast in their robes and slippers to prevent them having to go back to their rooms to change. After what was a relaxing couple of hours in the indoor, we popped into Horto for breakfast.
Binny ordered the avocado on toast, with a poached eggs and chimichurri whilst I kept thing simple with poached eggs on sour dough toast and a bowl of fresh fruit salad. The perfect, light breakfast after a very indulgent and boozy dinner.
After breakfast we went onto the rooftop facilities and experienced the heated hydro pool, water based foot spa and outdoor jacuzzi.
I could not think of a better place to spend a spa weekend break than at Rudding Park Hotel. It was everything I imagined and more. I can definitely see why Rudding Park is a much valued and sort after luxury hotel in North Yorkshire. It is the perfect hotel for a hen party, girls weekend away, for couples or for those that just want to treat themselves. It is worth every penny!
Until next time…