This was going to be one hell of a break.

If there is one thing I’ve missed since our little girl was born just under 2 years ago, it’s the sporadically unplanned weekends away my wife and I used to enjoy. Sometimes we’d just check in to a hotel and relax for the afternoon, dine out for the evening, chat over a bottle of wine before heading back to the hotel and enjoy a lie-in the next day.

So when my parents insisted we have a weekend away and they would entertain our little girl for the weekend, we jumped at the chance.

The venue of choice that would provide ultimate relaxation? The Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa, with a website that claims to have every detail covered in order for us to relax. This was going to be one hell of a break.

After a quick shopping trip at the newish John Lewis store just north of York, we headed to the beautiful Yorkshire village of Helmsley, just east of Thirsk.

Arrival at the hotel could not be more perfect, with valet parking my car is whisked away once I’ve unloaded right at the front door, the receptionist welcomes us in a rather stunning reception area, and we are quickly checked in and escorted to our room. It’s the little touches that are impress us straight away.

IMG_7204Our room is outstanding. Yes, I used that word: outstanding! A spacious living area comprising of an extremely comfy sofa and huge sitting chair is a great place to relax and unwind following our journey. The bedroom is equally as impressive as is the bathroom, especially the deep bath which I have my eyes on for later.

A fantastic feature of the room is a double balcony that overlooks the outdoor pool and Jacuzzi areas of the hotel. I can imagine in the summer this is the perfect space to hang out!

IMG_7201Our excitement at being at a spa hotel got the better of us, and before we knew it our swim wear was on and so were the large fluffy dressing gowns provided by the hotel.

The spa consists of a number of relaxation rooms designed to rejuvenate, all of which are fantastic but it’s the outdoor area that really impresses. An outdoor pool in Yorkshire when the temperature is struggling to break zero? Oooh yes we did! The pool is heated to 27c. What an experience – the chill on the head when the rest of you is warm is an experience not to be missed. Followed by 15 minutes in a Jacuzzi, I was totally relaxed.

For dinner we headed to the hotel’s restaurant (once inside The Feversham Arms there really is no need to leave). Once again the service standards were impeccable. Pre-dinner drinks in the lounge whilst perusing the menu, we both decided upon the six course tasting menu. In what seems like a rarity for tasting menus, every course has a real element of excitement.

IMG_0425I’ll spare you a detailed explanation of every element and instead give praise to the highlights course number two; veal sweetbread winter truffle swine cress and cauliflower was exceptional. A fantastic balance of flavours with a rich sauce that excelled the dish to new heights. I admit to being unable to refrain from dipping my finger in the remaining sauce for one last taste (well you have to don’t you?!)

IMG_0441Course number five – the Texel Lamb Crepinette – now this is one amazing dish, a beautifully crafted plate of food again accompanied by a sauce that has numerous layers of flavour,  sprout leaves and carrot. What it lacks it quantity it makes up in flavour, and it’s that balance that leaves just enough room for dessert and the final course.

IMG_0443Champagne Rhubarb Tart Tatin is as good as it sounds, tremendously sweet but light at the same time. It’s served with vanilla ice cream which is of equal high standards. All in all a perfect meal. If I was forced to score them out of 10? It’d be 10 all the way, every course left me wanting just a little more – exactly how a tasting menu should be!

After a couple of nightcaps we enjoy a great night’s sleep before returning to the dining room for breakfast. Again, the food is exceptional and exactly to the standard I would have expected after the previous night’s meal.

Even checking out at the Feversham is an amazing experience. My car was brought back to me and we were given a complimentary bottle of water each for the journey home. It’s little details like this that should convince you that standards are high at The Feversham. Nothing is too much to ask. Relaxation and comfort is the main priority and that’s how exactly how I felt when I left.

I’ll be back to The Feverham there is no doubt about it. This was the perfect child-free weekend away!