Driving up to the Bridge Hotel & Spa is a delight, it was built as a coaching inn during the 17th century, and is ideally situated in tranquil countryside, boasting easy access to York, Harrogate and Leeds.
The pretty market town of Wetherby is just a few miles away. This is where I found myself on a Wednesday autumn evening. My wife unfortunately could not join me on this night, so I brought my brother-in-law instead.
On arrival we had a look around the hotel and started the evening off with a quick drink in the Byron Whisky Bar, which has a relaxing, cosy atmosphere, with traditional 250-year-old oak panelling and an original Inglenook fireplace. They serve afternoon tea here from 2pm-5pm, including a special vegan afternoon tea. Bar food is served daily from 12pm-9pm and true to its namesake the whisky menu is extensive.
We were feeling more relaxed now after a hard day’s work, so we ventured on through to the Courtyard Restaurant with soaring ceilings, oak beams and a warm and friendly ambiance. We were greeted by the welcoming hosts and shown to our table. You can choose from the evening carvery or dining menu. First things first, we chose from the fantastic selection of wines, deciding on a cold glass of Vidal, Sauvignon Blanc which went down nicely. A few things stood out on the menu. For starters Michael choose the sausage, chorizo, red onion and mozzarella tart, with a pesto dressing, and I opted for the crispy plaice goujons with citrus mayonnaise. Both dishes were thoughtfully presented and equally delicious.
Our main course was served by the chef at the carvery. Michael had the roasted topside of beef with fluffy home-made Yorkshire puddings accompanied by an excellent selection of vegetables, while I had the baked leg of pork with lashings of stuffing and crispy crackling. We enjoyed the meal immensely, appreciating the generous portions, but of course still managed to make room for dessert as well as indulging in more wine. Michael decided on the Belgium chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce, and I could not resist the sticky toffee pudding accompanied with butterscotch sauce and honeycomb ice cream. After a faultless evening, we headed back for another cheeky drink in the bar; well it would be rude not to.
The Courtyard Restaurant serves a great carvery lunch on a Sunday which is served from noon till 3pm. The 3-course carvery menu including coffee is just £22.50, £10.50 for children under 12, and children under three eat for free.
The hotel has different events going on throughout the year. The Murder Mystery evenings look like lots of fun, and they also have a Pudding Club. Alternatively, if you just want a relaxing time in their luxury spa this is the place for you.
The Bridge Hotel & Spa
Walshford, Wetherby LS22 5HS
Tel. 01937 580115