Feversham Arms – country house hotel
Famous for its good food and its spa, the Feversham Arms is definitely not a conventional starchy country house hotel and it was refreshing to see people sitting round the pool in their bathrobes, eating cream teas. It is the informality that makes it ideal for both parents and children.
The hotel is a refurbished 19th Century coaching inn with amazing walks in what is true James Herriot country and it is situated in the charming market town of Helmsley. We strolled past fields of sheep and over typical bridges to the wonderful ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, once one of the wealthiest abbeys in England but dissolved by Henry V111 in 1538. Seeing it come into view over the hedgerows was quite breathtaking.
This is just one of the varied attractions nearby to keep children of all ages happy; from the large, outdoor adventure playground at Castle Howard to a creepy crawlies play park. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is also a firm favourite as is, a little further afield, in York, the famous Jorvik Viking Centre.
Back at the hotel, in common with all 33 rooms our bathroom had speakers for background music, big, soft, towels, luxurious robes and products from L'Occitane. There are Bang & Olufsen TVs, in each room and there is complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel.
The seven-poolside suites are perfect for families and there are DVD and CD players available on request and a selection of children's DVDs available to borrow.
Children under two years stay free of charge with the cots provided, while z-beds for older kids are available for £19 a night. The hotel provides babysitting and there is an extensive children's menu and plenty of highchairs. Ask at reception for colouring books and toys for babies.
The food at the Feversham Arms is excellent and deeply rooted in the landscape that surrounds the hotel with game, shellfish, lamb, beef, while the large trolley of cheeses came with a full explanation from the waiter!
Another advantage for families is that pets can stay free.
One of the highlights of the hotel is undoubtedly the spa, which has recently been voted by The Tatler one of the best 101 spas of the world. There is a large choice of treatments and the waiting lounge itself is quite blissful with candles, good sofas and lots of reading material. Helen gave me an hour and a quarter, ice facial, which was suitable for my skin type and I really glowed afterwards!
Visit the Feversham Arms website for current prices and special offers. The nearest rail station is Leeds. For train times and fares visit www.eastcoast.co.uk or call 08457 225225