Friday, 9 January 2015

A Much Needed Break

Last Christmas my parents gave us vouchers for one of our favourite haunts, Crab Manor at Thirsk. We'd just become parents and detaching ourselves from Forrest for a night took much longer than anticipated. We finally managed it last month and only then because our vouchers were about to expire!

We haven't been to Crab Manor for a few years and it's been updated since our last visit, with more themed rooms added. The hotel and restaurant are one of the most fabulously eccentric places I've ever visited, with 17 rooms all themed around famous hotels of the world. The first time we stayed I booked Bora Bora, which was fabulous but gets booked up a long way in advance. This time we opted for Ruka Lodge, a log cabin which has become 'our' room. It is closest to the restaurant and the hot tub is the most private, with a relaxing view into the woods. The floors inside are heated and make those return trips from the hot tub far more bearable!

Unfortunately the rooms all come with wonderfully 'romantic' lighting (i.e. next to no lighting at all) so whilst they are wonderfully ambient and relaxing, they are a nightmare if you want to take a photograph!

The bathroom also has a deliciously heated floor and is full of Molton Brown goodies and dressing gowns and slippers for your hot tub trips

We arrived at about four and headed straight for that wonderful hot tub, armed with the obligatory champagne. I love a hot tub! We've talked about getting one but I can't help but feel that we wouldn't use one if we had access to it all the time. It strikes me as being best kept for a special treat. And it really is - so relaxing and instantly spirit-lifting, soothing away any niggling aches and leaving us blissfully sleepy. So sleepy in fact that Matt had an hour long nap while I got ready for dinner and did my nails!

We skipped the complimentary 7pm canap├ęs in the main house and made our way straight to the restaurant - the most fabulously eccentric restaurant you've ever seen, with all kinds of antiques and unique paraphernalia strewn around and hanging from the rafters - including a full metal diving suit! The food here is marvellous and the service is the best I've ever experienced. We started with grilled fresh Queenie scallops for me, drenched in garlic butter and topped with mature cheddar, gruyere and fresh breadcrumbs. Matt had pork ribs in a sticky orange, ginger, Jack Daniels and treacle sauce with Chinese spices. The scallops were beautiful but Matt wasn't enamoured by the ribs, claiming I made better at home (!) For main, I had slowly braised ox cheek with Port and Madeira, honey glazed carrots and parmesan and brioche macaroni cheese. It was absolutely delicious but even I couldn't finish the enormous pile of meltingly tender meat, it was a hugely generous portion! Matt had Lobster Thermidor - steamed lobster, Queenie scallops and king prawns in a mustard, mature cheddar and  and brandy cream sauce. With chips of course! Unsurprisingly we didn't have a square inch of space left between us for dessert or even coffee, so we waddled back to the lodge and heaved ourselves into the hot tub for a last, whale-like bask in the bubbles before collapsing into our large comfortable bed for the night. Our room had been turned down while we were at dinner and miniature Molton Brown lip balm and mouthwash had been left on the bed, a luxurious little treat

You can guess how we started the morning ... well you've got to make the most of your own private hot tub, right??

After a quick spruce up we returned to the restaurant for breakfast

We each had the 'full Yorkshire breakfast', which was a bit of a letdown to be honest. But then if you've ever seen me Instagram a picture of my full cooked breakfast you'll realise that to me a 'full' breakfast means 'no space left on the plate'! I should have had the steak and eggs. Next time ...

We made our way up to the main house to check out and I couldn't resist some pictures of the beautiful gardens. When I am a millionaire and can pay people to manicure my garden, it will look something like this

The house is beautiful too, full of more quirky treasures, including a gigantic yeti halfway up the stairs and a hidden beer tap in the hall - a pint glass is left in your room and if you find the hidden tap you can drink your fill of free beer. 

If you want to treat yourself to a special getaway in Yorkshire I'd highly recommend Crab Manor. 


  1. Wow this looks stunning - I've just been looking at the brochure!

  2. I love this place, it's so quirky. But it's way too close to home to be a special getaway :(
    I wish more places were so charmingly eccentric yet still relaxing and of a nice quality! x

    1. We've said the same thing, it's so unusual. It's the perfect distance for us, far enough from home that you know you're 'away' but not too far x

  3. This post makes me kinda sad .... only because it looks AMAZING and we were actually invited to a wedding there last year, but on the day my boyfriend was poorly so we had to cancel! I was gutted at the time and now I'm even more gutted because it looks so brilliant!

    I definitely need to arrange a return visit!

    Chloe x

    1. Wow, a wedding there would be incredible! I'm disappointed on your behalf that you missed it - I'd have been tempted to go alone!!

  4. I went to a wedding here last year and it was brilliant (in fact I think it may have been the same wedding Chloe above was invited to, we have a mutual friend who's wedding it was!)
    It really is such a fascinating place with more and more brilliant things to find at every turn. Unfortunately we couldn't stay the night as it was full, so it's amazing to see the rooms and the famous hot tubs! I've been talking about the place ever since and saying that I'd love to go back for a meal, this has renewed my interest now.

    I'm glad you had a wonderful night away :-)

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

    1. You wouldn't be disappointed I assure you, get a table booked!

  5. Sounds amazing and a well deserved break for you both. Jonny and I always talk about making more us time but we never seem to get round to it but hopefully this year we will make it more of a priority and thus place will definitely be on the list to escape to :)

  6. wow what looks so cool and I'm glad you had so much fun:)x


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