WHETHER IT’S FINE DINING, SHOPPING, RELAXATION, CULTURE OR JUST GREAT VIEWS THAT YOU CRAVE, YORKSHIRE HAS IT ALL.
This summer, His & Hers Magazine was invited to pay a visit to the Cleveland Tontine, a rather beautiful seven-bedroom Yorkshire hotel which is a mere two-and-a half-hours from Liverpool. Having taken a look at the hotel’s website, featuring chic individually designed bedrooms and their welcoming yet highly regarded restaurant, we swiftly cleared our diaries.
As we were keen to make the most of the journey, making the time spent in the car an enjoyable part of the mini break, rather than a chore, we hired the zippy yet refined BMW 2 series for the weekend. As we left Liverpool, my partner decided to start our journey in style and make the most of the sunny evening by driving with the roof down. We had so much fun enjoying the sporty yet smooth driving experience that the first part of the journey flew by. With the radio playing and the car’s Sat Nav taking the hard work out of planning the best route, we savoured the Yorkshire scenery and the building sense of anticipation as we neared our destination.
The Cleveland Tontine makes an excellent first impression with its blend of period and contemporary architecture. Bidding the BMW 2 a fond farewell for the evening (we really had enjoyed the drive), we peaked through the window into the busy yet immaculate kitchen which is visible as you approach the Cleveland Tontine.
We were then whisked upstairs to ‘The Coach House’, our room for the evening, which had been designed with flair and a sense of fun, contrasting a striking ‘book-case’ wallpaper and bold design classics. The rather lovely views across the surrounding woodland are rather easy on the eye, too.
We were told that the feature wallpaper had been designed by award winning local designer Deborah Bowness. We followed a staircase within the bedroom up to a luxurious bathroom in the eaves. The double shower and free-standing bath would entice any weary traveller and the views across the Yorkshire countryside are even more striking from the bathroom.
With our tour of the room complete, dinner beckoned. Having heard of the Cleveland Tontine’s formidable reputation for fine dining, we were expecting something rather formal, but the Bistro has a warm, cosy and intimate feel, which immediately puts diners at their ease.
The seared Isle of Mull scallops melted in the mouth and my caramelised chicory and onion tart proved that some restaurants really do go the extra mile with their vegetarian options. In the morning, we headed back downstairs to the light and airy Conservatory (the perfect counterpoint to the intimately lit Bistro). Our friendly waitress advised us on must-visit sites during our planned day trip to York while serving up tasty and attractively presented breakfasts. It was the perfect start to the day!
Having fortified ourselves with hearty breakfasts, we hopped back into the BMW 2 for our day in York. With the sun hitting our backs and the car’s top down, we settled in for another enjoyable drive. Having soaked up the Yorkshire scenery and said a silent thank you to the car’s Sat Nav for keeping us on track, we soon found ourselves in the heart of this beautiful historic city. It was our first visit to York and we really had hoped to dedicate more time to the Roman remains. However, an early sighting of an amazing cake shop and a Mulberry store derailed these plans somewhat!
As night fell, we drove to the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford for the last evening of our Yorkshire adventure. The staff at this popular hotel greeted us warmly and helped us to plan our evening. They suggested that no visit to Bradford could be considered complete without a trip to a curry house.
The award winning Akbar’s was recommended as the best in the area and we weren’t disappointed. Giant naan breads, excellent main courses, incredibly efficient service and very modest prices proved to be a winning formula, making for a really fun, informal evening.
Our room at Cedar Court was chic, modern and simply designed, and we couldn’t resist one more hotel breakfast before we said goodbye to Yorkshire. I can vouch for the fact that Cedar Court serves excellent breakfasts and the team there were so welcoming that we were sad to say goodbye.
We made the most of our last drive in the BMW 2, which we’d heartily recommend for a really fun yet comfortable driving experience – it’s the kind of car that makes you want to go away in the UK, rather than overseas, enjoying every mile you travel. Therefore, we were a little glum when we returned to Williams Liverpool, where we reluctantly handed over the keys to the vehicle. Our conclusion: if you’ve never thought of Yorkshire as a holiday destination before, please do reconsider. You won’t regret it, and if you’re looking for a car you’ll want to spend your weekends, as well as your week-day commute in, the BMW 2 is that car.