I am no stranger to the pretty town of Helmsley, in the heart of North Yorkshire, or indeed The Feversham itself, so I was rather excited about this stay, and equally excited to introduce my best friend to one of my favourite places.
Affectionately known as ‘The Fev’, this four-star (AA) hotel is situated in the centre of the market town making it the perfect base for exploring the charming tea rooms, dramatic castle ruins, upmarket boutiques, Helmsley Walled Garden and perhaps a stop off to sample handcrafted beer brewed at Helmsley Brewing Co. All of which are just a short stroll away. If you are after total R&R then there is simply just no need to step foot outside the hotel grounds. They have the most stunning outdoor pool, which is heated, making it perfect for a magical February swim as well as idyllic to lounge around and enjoy during the summer. All 33 rooms are built around the pool, so you are never more than a stone’s throw from a quick dip.
We stayed in a beautiful poolside suite, complete with its own little courtyard overlooking the pool area. When the sun came out, it felt like we were in a Mediterranean haven. These suites recently underwent a refurbishment in the Spring of 2022 and feel luxurious with a countryside charm. Check in was from 3.00pm, we wasted no time in putting our cossies on, along with the plush fluffy robes and slippers provided in the room and padded over to the Verbena spa for a glass of Champagne. It’s easy to see why the spa has won numerous awards and we enjoyed an hour in its ‘heat experience’, sampling all seven of the individual sensory based wellbeing experiences from the aromatherapy room, steam room and saunarium to the monsoon shower before relaxing in the outdoor hot tub.
Dinner wasn’t until 8.00pm which gave us plenty of time to make the most of lounging around, and swimming in the outdoor pool. There is something quite special here, a feeling of absolute indulgence and relaxation, yet it is far from pretentious. The bar and lounge areas serve light bites which was just perfect to keep our tummies from rumbling before the main event later that evening. We ordered ‘A small grazing board’ complete with pickles, sourdough, mixed nuts, marinated bocconcini and stuffed peppers, which we devoured poolside.
Back to the room to get ready for dinner; we enjoyed the large walk-in shower and separate double-ended bathtub complete with Temple Spa accessories and I have to say, the whole room was spotless. We enjoyed three courses from the A la Carte menu in The Weathervane restaurant. The two AA rosettes restaurant is named after the large weathervane which sits above it. Jon Appleby has recently taken over as head chef after spending over two decades working in the area’s finest hotels and inns. Jon is passionate about sourcing produce locally where possible, and this modern British menu is faultless. The presentation was impeccable. I started with a deliciously tender beef tartare, pickles, osietra, yolk. My main course of salt aged duck breast with sauté cabbage, smoked pancetta, sweet potato, and water cress was just perfection. This was followed by poached peach, peach sorbet, honeycomb and fresh raspberries. Beautifully light to finish.
The wine list is vast and well curated, and the service was attentive and friendly. I was genuinely looking to find some flaws but failing to. Blissfully relaxed after a nightcap in the cosy bar and with full bellies, we returned to our suite and happily snuggled down into the divine duck down pillows and duvets for the night.
Breakfast is taken back in The Weathervane restaurant where we enjoyed smoked salmon and scrambled egg after a bowl of fresh fruit and coffee. When you stay somewhere, and the staff act like they really want to be there it makes such a difference. Nothing seemed too much trouble. This stay has only further reinforced my love for this magical place. Now to tear myself away. As I sign off, I am already mentally planning my next visit.
Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa,
High Street, Helmsley, York YO62 5AG.
Tel. 01439 770766
Tel. 01439 772930