Driving up the winding countryside road to Wood Hall Hotel & Spa near Wetherby in West Yorkshire, stunning scenic surroundings immediately offer a tranquil escape from reality.
Part of Hand Picked Hotels, this group includes 19 country house and spa destinations throughout the UK. Not far from the A1 and very easy to access, Wood Hall is a rural retreat, complete with in-built spa luxury. Our two children in tow, we all received a warm welcome upon arrival at reception.
Shown to our family room which had recently been refurbished, the plush décor included a flat screen tv on each side of a partial room divide plus two double beds, Nespresso machine and marble bathroom. Settling in with a caffeine fix while recovering from our journey, the kids happily browsed Netflix. Heading downstairs for a drink in The Drawing Room Lounge, we were cosy indoors looking out onto a sunny winter scene.
Wandering over to the swimming pool for some afternoon family fun, the kids enjoyed splashing about while I luxuriated in the spa pool and explored an accompanying steam room too. An ideal size for families, couples or friends, the pool area is serene and soothing. And, if you’d rather have some time out from little ones, there are designated kids only swimming hours, so you can pick and choose.
My husband and kids still swimming, I stepped out for an appointment at the spa. With a comprehensive list of treatments to explore, another guest was having her nails done for a wedding within the hotel the next day. Having pulled a muscle at the gym earlier in the weekend, my Elemis Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage couldn’t have come at a better time. The therapist showed me to the relaxing treatment room before working her magic. She got rid of a ton of tension and immediately pinpointed my pulled muscle. Half an hour later I emerged, feeling re-energised.
After a little afternoon relaxation back at the room- which was made possible by just how spacious our family room was- we got ready and headed down for dinner within The Georgian Restaurant. A gloriously grand setting, we snuggled inside while the rain lashed against the windows, comforted by a roaring fire and candlelight too.
My daughter has specific dietary requirements and every single member of the team worked hard to accommodate her. Often it can be tricky missing out on dishes in the children’s menu, and I know it made all the difference to both her and us, that equally tasty options were offered.
To start, I ate Arancini comprising of goat’s cheese curd, beetroot and a balsamic glaze, while my husband enjoyed the Duck and Port Pate. Meanwhile my kids were having a standard garlic bread, and gluten and dairy free garlic bread, tucking in with glee. For mains, I chose the Pan Fried Plaice Fillet with lentil ragout, stem broccoli and lemon butter sauce. Deeeelicious. Meanwhile, Chris devoured Red Deer Venison Loin and the kids had chicken and chips, and chicken goujons and chips respectively.
I plumped for Dark Chocolate Mousse for dessert, which came with chocolate soil, caramel and ginger biscuit and Chris had Blood Orange Cheesecake, while the kids happily finished off their ice cream. Seriously tasty flavours all round, and beautiful presentation, it was a splendid meal.
Arriving back in our room, the beds had been turned down and little activity packs left for the children. Little touches like that all added to the extra special nature of our stay. After a lovely night’s sleep, breakfast was calling, back in The Georgian Restaurant.
With a wide choice of fresh and cooked plates, and toast, tea, coffee and local offerings such as regional honey, we ended our night away enjoying a brilliant start to the new day.
Bidding farewell to Wood Hall, we all left with happy hearts and full tummies, thoroughly recommending a stay at the hotel and spa. I’ve no doubt we will return again soon.
Find out more over at Handpickedhotels.co.uk