Kate and I met at a blog training weekend after having corresponded online as well. She has lots of creative outlet and now doesn’t have a blog but you can check her out on Instagram.
She regularly goes to Rudding Park Hotel, where she got married, and kindly wrote this review of the hotel for this blog. The focus here is very much on a nice break “just the two of us” but the hotel is definitely appropriate for families too.
Rudding park hotel Harrogate
- 88 bedrooms and luxury lodges for families
- From £135
- Check prices and book*
Rudding park review by Kate
If you’re looking for a luxury break in a stunning hotel filled with colourful modern twists which boasts top quality service, then I have the place for you.
Rudding Park Hotel holds a special place in my heart as it is where my husband and I got married last year. But forget your preconceived notions of bland soup and lukewarm chicken as wedding food, as this hotel truly sets the standard when it comes to both events and a luxurious stay near to the beautiful Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate.
So I might be a bit biased when it comes to this hotel after we held big day there, but having returned to stay for our first wedding anniversary last month I can confirm that standards have in no way slipped. Yes, it might be on the pricier side, but a hotel doesn’t win a slew of Tripadvisor awards year-on-year if it’s not doing something right.
A luxury hotel, spa and golf course set in 300 acres of beautiful parkland
Rudding Park Hotel stands in acres of beautiful grounds which flank the Grade 1 listed Regency house and 88-room hotel. The stunning period façade hosts the events area of the hotel, far away from the accommodation, which happily means you won’t be kept awake by wedding guests dancing to The Funky Chicken at 2am.
There’s also a spa (which I can totally recommend after enjoying a massage there on a previous visit) an 18-hole golf course and a private cinema which you can hire out to watch the film of your choice, in total luxury of course.
The bar is a bright, colourful and contemporary area and there are several rooms adjacent to it which are styled in a classical way with a modern twist where you can relax with a drink or afternoon tea in peace and quiet.
My favourite room in the hotel, though, is the library, which marries traditional style with flashes of bold colour. You can see from my photos just how stunning this room is and some of my favourite photos from our wedding were taken in this room.
The lodges at Rudding park are some of the luxury accommodation in traditional or contemporary style
But what of the accommodation itself? There are two choices of rooms, a more traditional style in the Ribston Wing or a cool and contemporary look in the Follifoot wing. We stayed in the former and found the room to be spotlessly clean, well-appointed and comfortable. The bed is both huge and a dream to climb into at the end of a busy day’s eating (more on the food to come soon), with soft fluffy pillows and something which always gets a big tick from me in hotels – a duvet. None of this faffing around with blankets and sheets, thank you very much.
The bed is both huge and a dream to climb into at the end of a busy day’s eating (more on the food to come soon), with soft fluffy pillows and something which always gets a big tick from me in hotels – a duvet. None of this faffing around with blankets and sheets, thank you very much.
There’s also Sky Sports in the rooms (something which is sorely lacking from a lot of hotels) and the facility to record programmes to watch later at your leisure if you fancy a quiet night in. I really liked this feature and although we didn’t use it, it’s another great touch.
Afternoon tea at Rudding Park: prices and Kate’s opinion
But onto the food. We arrived at lunchtime and as we had time to spare before check-in at 3pm we decided to have something to eat. Now while the setting in the conservatory next to a 400-year-old olive tree is beautiful, the prices are somewhat eye-watering. At £9.50 for a sandwich and £4 for a portion of chips you would be right to expect something a bit special.
We had kindly been given a gift voucher for the hotel as an anniversary present and used it to pay for lunch so the prices didn’t bother us too much, but I did feel they were a little steep, as was the almost £4 charge for an individual pot of tea. But the salt beef and gherkin ciabatta sandwich I had was lovely and my husband enjoyed his chicken and roasted pepper sandwich.
We had booked a dinner, bed and breakfast rate and included in that was an evening meal in the hotel’s 2 AA Rosette Clocktower restaurant. There was a generous allowance included for this which meant you could enjoy three delicious courses of mostly locally-sourced food. I had honey roast duck breast with Yorkshire forced rhubarb and ginger to start which was so tasty, followed by free range chicken breast, parsley risotto balls, roast chestnuts and ceps for main. It didn’t look much when it was put in front of me but the stunning presentation must have hidden just how filling it was.
For dessert, I enjoyed chocolate praline mousse with smoked chocolate, salted caramel and blackberry parfait – a simple but delicious dessert with a beautiful depth of flavour softened by the parfait. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. My husband really enjoyed his smoked salmon and prawn cocktail starter with avocado mousse and Yorkshire cheese selection for dessert, after choosing the same main as me.
Along with the excellent food, the service in the Clocktower restaurant was seamless. The only minor gripe I had is that we were asked three times in quick succession if we wanted any wine, which was a bit annoying as my husband and I don’t drink. But it was only a small quibble and I’m sure the restaurant staff were only making sure there hadn’t been an oversight.
Everything to make you feel relaxed
A nice touch with the room is that while you are enjoying your evening meal there is a turndown service, which includes the replenishment of your drinks and snacks and the small gift of a wooden ladybird massager. A really lovely touch and a nice reminder of your stay.
After a peaceful and comfortable night’s sleep, it was back to the Clocktower restaurant for breakfast. Think prepared to order cooked breakfasts or an impressive continental breakfast selection and as much as you can eat while you read the complimentary paper that had been delivered to your room. A really lovely touch was that the restaurant manager insisted on making our toast for us as he refused to let us do it while our breakfasts got cold. Now that’s what I call attention to detail and service!
We finished off our stay with a walk around the grounds to soak up the cool February sunshine and take in the impressive historical building, where preparations were already being made for the wedding later that day in one of the function rooms. Having experienced first hand the seamless way events are run at Rudding Park Hotel, I wouldn’t be surprised if the couple in question return next year to celebrate their first anniversary in the best possible way.
Rudding Park Hotel is definitely a cut above when it comes to luxury and service, and if you are looking for a place to stay in Yorkshire then I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it.