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Ideas for the perfect Harrogate winter getaway

North Yorkshire is the perfect place to take a mini-break and winter is a time when this area really comes into its own.

With cosy luxury accommodation, festive events, and feel-good food, Harrogate is a great stay for a girlie retreat, a family jaunt or a romantic weekend.

To give you inspiration when booking your next trip here, we’ve noted down some ideas to make your getaway even more special…

Pick the perfect accommodation

When it comes to choosing where to stay, the 5-star accommodation near Harrogate offers many different options.

Harrogate town centre itself is home to many wonderful places to check-in, or you can venture a little further out of town, giving you access to stunning scenery and idyllic vistas of the Yorkshire Dales.

You can pick from lovely big hotels with spas, small & quirky B&Bs with character, or choose to stay in an exclusive private hire venue if you are travelling with a larger group. Here at Grassfield Hall, we offer both B&B weekday stays, as well as full venue hire over weekends for up to 16 people, so you can select what suits you best.

Eat, drink and be merry

Winter food is all about comfort and warmth, and when you visit Harrogate, you can be sure that your tastebuds are in for a real treat!

In town, you will find a host of restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, and the most wonderful thing is that the majority of them are independent. FISK is great for sustainably sourced seafood with Asian inspiration, while William & Victoria is Harrogate’s longest-running wine bar and perfect for a cosy meal with friends. There are lots of quaint little pubs to pop into including The Montpellier, The Old Bell Tavern, and The Fat Badger, and no visit to Harrogate would be complete without a Fat Rascal from Betty’s Tea Rooms!

Further out into the Dales, our favourite local country eats are Olleys Italian in Pateley Bridge, The Sportsman’s Arms at Wath and Grassington House in Grassington.

Walking and cycling

When you’ve indulged in the best food and drink, you might fancy a little hike or a cycle to burn some of it off!

Luckily, you are spoilt with great walks and cycle routes in Harrogate and its surrounding areas. In fact, Harrogate is a melting pot for keen cyclists, who flock here to spend the day cycling around Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, and Brimham Rocks, before popping into one of the cycling cafés in town when they are finished.

The Nidderdale Way is also a very popular hike for many of our guests here at Grassfield Hall, and a great achievement to complete. The 53-mile roundtrip is usually spread over four days and offers incredible scenery and a great chance to explore the delightful villages of Middlesmoor and Ripley too.

Check out the festive events

This year, Harrogate is putting on a real festive show. Already, kids (and big kids) are enjoying the carousel, helter-skelter, and Ferris wheel that are dotted around the town. And, this Friday, the Christmas Fayre arrives in town with over 50 festive traders and independent foodie stalls.

There will also be a festive market in the gorgeous Valley Garden from 4th-5th December, and a free festive train will be travelling around the town until the 12th December to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Out of town, you can see a stunning display of Christmas illuminations at the Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park or visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal for a winter walk followed by a big mug of hot chocolate!

 

We hope we’ve tempted you enough to book a last-minute winter break to Harrogate or the surrounding areas! And, if you want to find out our availability for B&Bs or venue private hire over the next few weeks or months, then please get in touch via info@grassfield-hall.co.uk and we will get back to you asap.

 

 

 

How to create a stylish Christmas dinner table décor

With just over six weeks to go until the big day, chances are you will have already decided how you are going to spend it this year.

For those of you who are hosting friends and family at your home, we know it can be a pretty stressful time – deciding who to invite, what to cook, where to seat everyone and how you are going to decorate your space!

Here at Grassfield Hall, we are great lovers of beautiful table décor, and the festive season gives us the chance to be really fun and creative with our displays. Therefore, in order to make things a little easier for you, we have put together a little list of tips and ideas to help you make this year’s Christmas dinner table sparkle like never before…

Choose your colour palette

Deciding on your colour scheme is a good starting point. There are many ideas available to consider – whether you want to stick to a traditional colourway or choose something a little more contemporary.

You could give your dining table some Nordic charm using crisp shades of white and silver. In this theme, you can add homely highlights with ceramics and candles and bring it all together with the gleam of clear glass, silver cutlery and natural wood serving utensils.

If you are a fan of the traditional red and white, then you could use striped ribbon to tie decorations to guests’ chairs and dress the table with a red and white striped cloth. Red placemats with gingham check napkins give a nod to the festive trend, and team with white tableware with green and red decoration and cranberry-coloured glassware.

For something a little more modern, you could opt for a blue-base colour scheme this year. Mix in some rose gold metallics and soft velvet in midnight jewel tones for an effortless yet luxurious Christmas table setting to impress your guests. Inky indigo tableware also contrasts perfectly with warm copper, so you could choose this metal type for your cutlery set, candle bases and coasters to complete the look.

Welcome the outside in

Wintertime offers us a selection of beautiful, natural foliage that can help you to connect with nature as well as create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere at your dinner table.

Bring gathered greenery to your table made into simple arrangements such as string-clustered bundles of holly, mistletoe or sweetly scented winter herbs and foliage tied with garden twine. Alternatively, you could use small potted plants or succulents around the table, or thoughtfully placed sprigs on place settings to tie in further elements of nature at the table.

To further embrace the beauty of nature, you could opt for seasonal fruits to help add a touch of colour to place settings. Try pairing the soft green tones of your foliage with dark berries, burnt orange clementines or deep red cranberries arranged at the side of plates or glasses.

Create a centrepiece

If you want your Christmas table to have a real impact, then a centrepiece is always a good idea.

Begin with a table runner as a base, and then layer up your look by adding various levels to your table setting. For a more traditional centrepiece add holly, baubles, ribbons, pine cones and tea lights to your central garland. Or, for a more modern look, use fresh flowers, teamed with battery-powered tea lights inside clear glass baubles, and perhaps some sprinkles of metallic confetti.

Take your centrepiece to new festive heights with candles of varying sizes and lengths, and also perhaps glass jars of various sizes filled with tempting sweet treats such as candy canes, homemade gingerbread and macaroons.

Add personal touches

A little goes a long way when it comes to personalising your Christmas table.

So, this year why not make your own crackers? Not only will you save on budget and waste, but you can personalise your crackers to each individual guest – selecting them a gift that you know they will love or that will make them laugh! Simply place a treat inside a cardboard roll, wrap crepe paper or even fabric scraps around, then tie the ends with pretty ribbon. You could even write your own jokes inside, neatly jotted in a metallic pen.

Other personal touches could include hand-written name place cards, individual wine glass stem markers or balloons hung on the back of everyone’s chair with their initials on.

We hope you found this guide helpful and now feel more confident about creating your Christmas dining table decor. Remember, here at Grassfield Hall, we have a stunning dining room – The Hanley Room – which is available to hire for private dinners and events. We can also provide chefs, locally-sourced food and staff to look after you and your guests – ensuring you achieve the perfect dinner party atmosphere. Give us a call to check availability for your next dinner party date.

 

 

Wise words from a 2020 Grassfield Hall Bride

Its been a rollercoaster ride for couples planning their wedding this year. The ups and downs, and will it won’t it happen has been enough to test any relationship, but our beautiful bride Melissa from a wedding we hosted in September here at Grassfield Hall, sums up what is really important….All you need is love! https://www.theaisle.online/blog/really-an-intimate-wedding

A little bit more history

The Collins Family

In 1896 the Collins family took up residence at Grassfield House. The head of the household, Major Collins was a Royal surgeon, and met his wife, Olympie Amelie, whilst travelling to Mauritius with the Army. Their seven children were all adults by the time they moved to Grassfield, we are not entirely sure which children lived here in permanent residence, but we know that if they didn’t all live here they were here often, as their second daughter Amy was a keen photographer and took many photographs of her family with the Yorke family socializing together as they were known to be good friends.

Frank the eldest of the seven children was a headmaster at a school in Dulwich. William and James were both in the army  along with Earnest Collins who would become Major E R Collins, commander of East Lancashire Regimental Depot, and later returned to Pateley Bridge to become mayor! James a solicitor in Kensington was married to Dolly, and you can see them pictured together in many of the photographs. Henry, the youngest child born in 1877,  was also a solicitor in Surrey until, like his brothers,  he joined the army in 1914.  Louisa Amelie was the first daughter and sadly died in 1916 after they moved from Grassfield. Amy,  the 2nd daughter was not found in many photographs as she was behind the lens. Her photographs are proudly displayed all around Pateley Bridge and here at Grassfield Hall. I think she would be extremely impressed to know that people valued her work over 100 years later.

Like the Hutchinson family, we felt that the Collin’s were a huge part of the history here at Grassfield, and so have their photographs proudly displayed and have even named several rooms after them.

After the Collins family moved out, the Yorke’s sold Grassfield Hall in 1925 when the Bewerley Estate was broken down for death duties. We are lucky to have found and purchased the sale brochure from when the of the Bewerley Estates were sold.

The history of Grassfield Hall

The Hutchinson Family

Grassfield house as it was known in 1810, was built by entrepreneur Teasdale Hanley Hutchinson, who, while the house was being constructed, lived across the river at Harefield Hall. The Hutchinson family leased and managed local lead mines in the area, and previously  had been involved with lead mining in Alston, where one of their mines was said to be called ‘’The Grassfield Mine’. Teesdale started construction of the house in 1801 and built it to stand proud on the edge of Pateley Bridge with spectacular scenery surrounding it.

Teasdale lived in the house with his wife Elizabeth, and their first son Hanley was born at Grassfield House in 1811. Teesdale and Elizabeth lived in the house until they passed away. Elizabeth died in 1837 at the age of 61, and Teasdale lived until the age of 77.  After this in 1845 the house  passed to their firstborn son Hanley. The 1851 census tells us that living at the house at this time was lead merchant Hanley Hutchinson, his wife Charlotte, their two sons Teasdale aged two and Charles age 2 months,  plus four servants

In 1883 after his wife had passed away, Hanley moved out of the house to Whitfield Lodge in Ripon, as he said the house was too big and lonely for him! He spent the remaining few years of his life in Ripon. It is at this time that the Grassfield Estate was sold to John Yorke of the Bewerley Estate.

In 1888 John Hawkridge Metcalfe and his wife Adeline move in as tenants.

1895 the first Pateley Bridge Agricultural Show was held on the Grassfield Estate. After this first year it was moved to its current location on what was the Bewerley Estate, now the Pateley Bridge Show ground.

Where will you go on holiday this year?

Staycations at Grassfield Hall
Around 18 months ago we launched our first house rental here at Grassfield Hall,  Renting the entire house and gardens to one group of people for a family get together.  It worked like a dream, in fact it seemed like the house was made for this purpose, people coming together to celebrate their Special occasion and filling the house with fun and laughter.
During the past year we have mixed our house rentals with bed and breakfast nights and small weddings which has worked perfectly.
The recent pandemic has changed how every business operates and also how we all live our lives, so going forward for the next few months we will be focusing on our house rentals. Getting families together after they have been apart for so many months feels like a perfect way to use the house.
We love helping our guests plan their perfect stay here at Grassfield, and to assist you we have written a guide, including information about private dining experiences in the house with some of the most talented chefs In in the region. We can also recommend suppliers to make your stay memorable, what about having a murder mystery night, or a magician to entertain you after dinner or splash the weekend away in a hot tub.
Locally the area has so much to offer, waking with llamas, trekking the Nidderdale Way or having an adventure at How Steam Gorge, one thing is for sure, you will have a fabulous time.
We have some incredible special offers for rentals which are more than 2 nights long, our brochure has all the information.

 

 

Your Wedding at Grassfield Hall

Small is beautiful – Isn’t that what they say?
We agree and love hosting our intimate Weddings at Grassfield Hall
So many couples are now thinking about having a small wedding. The idea of an intimate ceremony with your loved ones with you as you say your vows is incredibly special.  At Grassfield Hall we help you plan every detail so that on the day you can just relax and enjoy every second knowing you are in the safest of hands.
We can offer a one or two night wedding weekend, hosting 38 daytime guests, with our team coordinating the day. 16 of your guests will stay with us and have a champagne breakfast to start the celebrations. Your beauty team will pamper your bridal party before the ceremony and reception begins. Extra evening guests may join you after the wedding breakfast and you can dance the night away with our fabulous resident DJ.
Our brochure has details of prices and what is included.
It’s so important to us that your wedding is unique and it’s exactly the way that you dreamed it would be.

the details are so important at Grassfield Hall

The minute we walked into Grassfield Hall we fell in love with it!
It has now been ten years since that day and after spending a decade restoring the house we can think of nothing more wonderful than sharing it with you.
For so long the house looked so sad and unloved and now It’s just wonderful to see people in the house having fun, and using it as it should be used. All the hard work is made worthwhile when we hear the appreciation that people have for the decor, they understand that every detail has been added with love and a great deal of thought. Everything in the house is a reflection of how we feel about it. The small details make such a huge difference and the finishing touches make a house into a home.

Grassfield Hall in the 1900’s

From Chapel to Military base to Country Hotel, Grassfield Hall has had many lives!

In 1928 Father Hammond moved into Grassfield House. Previous, he used to pass through the town on his push bike as he cycled to Scar every Sunday after taking the train from Harrogate to say Mass for the Dale’s people. While his church, The Lady Immaculate was being built, he needed a base in the area, so he moved in and converted a room as a place to worship in Grassfield House, and he lived in a room upstairs. The new church was completed in 1934.

From 1939 until 1945 during the war, the Grassfield estate was used by the Military. The 69th Field Artillery was based at Grassfield  to protect the reservoir and used the house for document storage.

In 1971 after being split into apartments, Fred and Gladys Bailey lived in the house with Gladys’s  sister and husband, and it is here that you can see them at the front door as they celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary.

 

Grassfield House was turned into a business in 1975 when it was bought by the Machellan family, who ran it successfully as a Bed and Breakfast. Then after ill health, they sold the house and business to the Garforth family in 1988, who changed its use to a hotel Country House Hotel. It was the hub of the local community for many years. However, after a run of bad luck it finally closed its doors in 2001.

 

The house after being unoccupied for a while then being a little run down, passed to two different owners with plans to renovate it. However, the plans were never to succeed, and the house was repossessed by the bank in 2009. Year after year the house fell into further disrepair.

After standing empty for nine years the Hall had suffered with wet and dry rot, it needed part of the roof replacing and needed to be underpinned. All the original features had now been stripped out by looters, staircases gone and some of the upstairs floorboards were no longer in place. Most of the windows and doors were missing and boarded up. Squatters had taken up residence, and the house was now just an empty shell. The once landscaped gardens had become completely overgrown and the Hall could no longer be seen from the roadside. The derelict building no longer stood proud as it once had. That is where our story begins!

 

Re thinking your Wedding plans?

Are you Re-thinking your wedding plans?
At Grassfield Hall we specialise in small and intimate weddings, seating 38 day guests and an additional 20 evening guests. Get in touch and request to see our brochure.

 

Photography Jessica J Photography
Floristry & Design Forge_Events
Dress The Aisle
Jewellery Alice Clarke Jewellery
Wedding Planner Lucy Wright Events