“An outpost of cosmopolitan glamour, set in a former schoolmaster’s house in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales”
Most rooms sit in the main house or the schoolhouse. Each is themed, but that doesn’t mean gimmicky, over-the-top styling; instead, David and Charlotte have taken inspiration from memorable places on their travels and created subtle reminders of them - perhaps an ornate chandelier, a carved headboard or patterned wallpaper. It’s all rather glamorous, with magazines and coffee-table books spilling out by the bedside, top-of-the-range sound systems and TVs (David once worked for Bang & Olufsen), and thoughtful details such as local tea, fresh coffee and trays of homemade shortbread.
On the ground floor of the main house are Japanese-influenced Nishiki, Moroccan Rahmoune and bright and breezy Caribbean-themed St Jean, all with outdoor hot tubs. Upstairs are French-inspired Mougins (the smallest room, though it’s by no means tiny), English-style Bainbridge and Italianate Pienza (which has fantastic views from its in-room tub). Hidden away at the very top of the building is Greenwich, a New York-style loft suite that’s a favourite with honeymooners thanks to its twin freestanding baths and den-like lounge (though its sloping ceilings can cause a few bumped heads).
We stayed in African-themed Kariega, a schoolhouse room with an outdoor hot tub on its private riverside terrace. Next door and also with a hot tub is Rangali, the Reillys' distinctive take on the Maldives, while above on the first floor and reached via private staircases are Spanish-inspired Carabeo and Canadian lodge-like Jasper.
Another room sits in the village, a few minutes’ walk away: The Barn been added since our last visit but looks as stylish and soothing as the others, with a mix of contemporary furniture and original features (exposed beams, flagstone floors, mullion windows). It's spread over 2 floors, with a lounge (complete with a PlayStation 3), a bedroom, an ensuite with a roll-top tub and tsunami shower, and a private terrace with a hot tub; there’s also a kitchenette, though breakfast at the hotel.
Some rooms can be set up as twins, and lounge areas in the larger ones can be converted into additional bedrooms for 2 or 3 people. Bathrooms are top-of-the-range, with sleek fittings and Molton Brown toiletries. Some have walk-in showers, while others have baths with shower mixers (no separate shower) - see Rates for full details.
Yorebridge is aiming for Michelin status with its sophisticated take on modern British food, and its menus are crammed with local produce.
Dinner (included in the rates at weekends) begins with canapés in the buzzy bar or the cosy lounge, before you move through to the restaurant - an airy room with dark wood tables, mirror-hung walls and pretty views through picture windows. Starters when we visited included a creamy white onion velouté with a tangy tomato confit, and escabeche of mackerel with a delicate saffron aioli; our mains were pan-fried East Coast bass with Whitby crab ceviche, and a lip-smackingly tender fillet of beef from the farm across the road. Dessert was an imaginative trio of gooey chocolate treats, served with refreshing green tea mousse and chilli ice cream.
For folks who like simpler food, there’s an all-day bar menu listing favourites such as pumpkin and parmesan risotto, crispy pork and pea soup, seared trout with hollandaise sauce, Yorkshire ploughman’s, and lemon meringue pie.
Breakfast (included in the rate for all rooms) doesn’t disappoint, either. Help yourself to a buffet of fresh fruit, thick slices of Wensleydale cheese, smoked salmon, yoghurts, local honey and preserves, then tuck into locally smoked kippers, eggs Benedict or the full Yorebridge (sausages, honey-cured bacon, fried duck eggs, local black pudding, slow-roasted tomatoes and toasted homemade bread).
If you fancy a change of scene, Bainbridge is home to the quirky Rose & Crown pub and The Cornmill (closed in winter), a traditional - if not especially exciting - tearoom. But there’s much more on offer in Askrigg, just a mile away, including 3 pubs (the most atmospheric is The Kings Arms), the sophisticated Rowan Restaurant and the Cake Walk Tea Shop, a lovely modern café serving cakes, soups and ploughman’s lunches. If you’re willing to drive, it’s worth making a detour to The Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton for sophisticated Dales dining, or visiting The Blue Lion in East Witton for upmarket pub grub in a classy setting. And, if you’re here in summer, make a pitstop at Jervaulx Farm for Brymor’s ice cream.
Children of all ages are welcome, and cots and rollaway beds can be added to most rooms for a small charge.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Greenwich can serve as a family room, with the lounge transforming into a second bedroom with up to 3 extra beds. The lounge area in The Barn also has a sofabed for 2 additional guests; kids will love the PlayStation 3 in the latter, and its kitchenette may come in handy for preparing children's snacks.
Baby monitors are available on request.
Baby cots are available, and there are highchairs in the restaurant.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Families might want to avoid Kariega, which has a terrace with unfenced drops to the river below. Note that The Barn is in the centre of the village, so you'll have a 5-minute walk to the hotel restaurant for meals.