Good morning Monday! October already, I feel like I’ve blinked and now this year is almost over. I’m super excited about it being Autumn and jumper season because let’s face it, it’s the best time of year. Summer can be great and all, but cosy nights in, X Factor, Hot Chocolates and Santa really seem so much more appealing than a bit of sun. Anyway, back to the point of today’s post… If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have noticed last week I was at the fabulous Wynyard Hall! Myself and my Mam had a girly night away as a little a catch up since I’d been away for 2 weeks on holiday. I’m extremely close to my Mam and is there really a better best friend than your Mam? My favourite person in the world!
We went along last Friday evening after work, in need of a prosecco or two, ready for a relaxing stay. Wynyard Hall is a four-star luxury hotel situated on the outskirts of Durham in the Tees Valley. The place holds a lot of warm and fond memories for me, as my God Mother, who’s like the big sister I never had, got married there a few years ago. I always thought it was a stunning place back then, but now it’s had some TLC, it’s truly fantastic. It’s surrounded by 150 acres of historical landscape, meaning everywhere you explore, is postcard picture perfect.
Speaking of history, initially, the landmark was leased by King Edward I to Sir Hugh de Chapell in all the way back in 1230, several prominent families owned the Wynyard Estate over the decades. However, Wynyard Hall as we know it today was not completed until 1846. Wynyard was Designed by Philip Wyatt and Ignatius Bonomi, the interior incorporates French and Italian marble, Spanish mahogany, stone and exquisite stained glass. A real mix of cultures! The extravagant layout is a reflection of the signature style, popular during the reign of the French king, Louis XIV, therefore, the place is full of character and personality. It almost reminds of a Downton Abbey set.
Wynyard Hall has wonderful function rooms and a Marquee, perfect for that special day and occasions. There are nineteen bedrooms and suites, each with a bespoke design plus three elegant cottages for a cosy weekend away. From the renowned two AA rosette restaurant, The Wellington, offering an ever-changing menu of modern British dishes created with only the local produce, to the Lakeside Spa, where you can indulge in a variety of beauty and body treatments, it is easy to see why Wynyard Hall is one of the North East’s most loved destination.
We were welcomed in with pleasure by the attentive staff and shown to our room, The Vane Tempest Suite. I was in total awe at the room the minute we stepped through the door. I loved the warm tones and deep red interior, you’d think the red would be overpowering and dark but it really isn’t, it made me feel even more in that autumnal mood. My favourite fixture of the room was, of course, the bed, I’ve been suffering terribly from jetlag so I literally dived onto the soft bed and it was so comfy. The views from the room were breath-taking, we could see right over the lake and the outside terrace area. We took in our surroundings for an hour or so, having a glass of fizz then got ready for our meal in the well-renowned Wellington Restaurant.
The Wellington has very cosy and chilled atmosphere. The acoustic music playing in the ambience really sets the tone for the tranquilly of the setting. The restaurant was busy, yet the tables were fairly far apart meaning you’re not listening to your neighbour’s conversation or eating dinner with them. Ideal! We sipped our glasses of Rose and browsed the menu. The menu has a lot of selection, so much, in fact, it took me ages to decide what I fancied as it all sounded so delicious. After much deliberation, I choose the Pea and Yorkshire Ham Soup, Pease Pudding Ravioli for starter and the Bavette Steak with fries for main. My Mam went for Warm Pork Terrine, Marinaded Carrots and Crackling and the Seabass, Saffron, Clams, Mussels and ‘bouillabaise’ broth for main. Don’t deny, all of those dishes sound amazing right?! And they tasted amazing too. The pea soup was the best soup I’ve ever tasted, gorgeous and the ravioli added a scrumptious twist. My steak was cooked to perfection, medium and the peppercorn sauce melted and marinated the meat adding to its natural juices. My Mam described the Pork Terrine as different as she’s never tried Terrine warm before, but obviously, it was divine and full flavour. The seabass, which I had a little forkful of, was perfectly cooked, moist and fell apart. All of the ingredients complimented each other, she didn’t want it to end. We managed to squeeze a dessert in, just. I went for the Vahlrona Chocolate Tart, Shortcrust Pastry, Cocoa Nib with Scottish Raspberries and my Mam went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding, Butterscotch Sauce and Pain D’epice Ice Cream. Just look at these photographs, the proof really is in the pudding. I have such a sweet tooth so when it comes to dessert I’m a tough cookie to crack (no pun intended!). I was so impressed by these beauties, the tart was jam-packed full of rich chocolate which was the right consistency, not gooey, but soft enough. Scrumptious! The Sticky Toffee Pudding won hands down though, the butterscotch sauce was thick and luscious smothering the pudding which was so moist. I wanted that after I tasted it! I’d definitely recommend anyone going to the Wellington to try the sticky toffee pudding! Overall the food was outstanding, the right portion sizes, filling and unbelievably tasty. We were enjoying ourselves, and the wine, that much we were the last ones in the restaurant. We retired to bed, full to the brim and jolly!
We both slept like a baby, I must stress how comfy the bed was. I was so snug, I really didn’t want to move. We got up around 9, breakfast is served until 9:45am on a Saturday so we got ready and headed back to The Wellington. We were seated, told to enjoy the continental buffet breakfast and to decide a breakfast from the menu. Again, a lot of choice on the menu, I choose the full English Breakfast and as did my Mam. We couldn’t resist and it was the right choice. It was splendid, it wasn’t greasy or soggy (my worst nightmare!), even the bacon was cooked just how I liked it. As a whole, it set me right up for the day. We checked out around 11 as we had an appointment at the Spa!
Nestled peacefully on the edge of the lake, you will find a true picture of serenity at Wynyard Hall Spa. It was smaller than I thought, however after being told it was the old boathouse I understood and that’s what’s so nice about it and being there, imagining what it must have looked like before renovations plus the history behind it. When we arrived we were greeted by the receptionist who booked us in and showed us to the conservatory where we sat and took in the scenery, it’s totally idyllic. Guest can have afternoon tea and food in the conservatory because obviously, it’s hard work being pampered right?! We were given a tour by staff which was really helpful as there was a meaning to each room and what it was used for. We got changed into our swimsuits and relaxed. The jacuzzi on the decking, overlooking the lake, makes the spa. I think I spent most of my time in there, it was so warm in contrast to the lowering temperate of the air. There are an aromatic steam room and sauna which is really refreshing.
Throughout my whole stay, I had the chance to unwind, laze and loosen up. My time at Wynyard was just what I needed, it was an unreal night away. I can’t recommend Wynyard Hall enough, not only are the staff 10/10 but the surroundings, food, the atmosphere is five star. I can’t wait to go back with my partner! Desperate for another break away from reality. I urge all of you head to Wynyard. Wynard Hall always has a great offer on, check them out here!