Set in half an acre of the kind of prime Yorkshire pasture that raises the finest beef, Northridge Hall sleeps 16. It’s a grand and imposing hunk of a house, a reminder of days when white-gloved butlers appeared at the ring of a bell. That can happen. But you’ll probably just want to get a dozen or more folks together and have a ball.
Midway between city-chic Leeds and historic York, Northridge is glitzy and ritzy with high ceilings. There’s high art on the walls, too: a collaboration with Cheltenham University’s Fine Art department. Pieces donated from students (sponsored to hone their craft in Rome) add colour and flair to the light that floods in from the windows.
The snug’s great for books in front of burning logs. The kitchen’s four-oven Aga will keep you toasty and test your cooking skills. Or put your feet up in front of the fire and call us for a celebration or fully catered break. Eat around the hunk of oak in the dining room, or out on the terrace.
A half-acre of prime parkland sprawls before you, perfect for a pre-prandial stroll. Out there in the walled garden, there’s swings and a playhouse, and a ball to kick into the open goal. In summer, there’s cricket and croquet or just Pimm’s and a paperback.
Head to the stable for more toys. Take a bottle and glasses to clink because two bubbling seven-seat hot tubs await. Dry off and get competitive around the pool table, the table tennis or table football.
On the terrace, table and chairs await al-fresco dining in the rural air. Sizzle your sausages on the gas barbie and rediscover the lost joys of vitamin D.
If you’re here in winter, note that Northridge Hall is part of the Ledston Estate. That means shoots from October to February that you’ll hear from the house. Of course, for you, gunshot and the flap of a falling bird could just add to the authentic country feel of the manor. It’s your call.
The ceilings are sky-high and the cultural feel even higher, with artwork splashed across the walls from Cheltenham art students sponsored by us on a three-week placement at The British School in Rome. Many, such as Betty Harrison, Lily Musker and Cheryl Brooks, have gone on to great renown.
There’s a piece of fine art donated for each student year. Track them down and let a little culture elevate your spirit further.
In the living room, stoke the fire beneath the marble mantle and make yourself at home. There’s space here to make merry or just chillax with a drink and a book. Monster sofas were made for cards or charades.
To catch a movie or the match, head to the drawing room or to the snug to get a fire going as you hunker down in front of the 58-inch TV or tap into the fast satellite broadband.
If you don’t want to get down and dirty with the four-oven Aga, you can always use it as a heater while we ship the experts in. Say the word and Friends 4 Dinner will rustle up buffets, breakfasts or formal dinners, and even load the dishwashers afterwards. Takeaways? Try Fuller Chinese or Caesar’s Indian.
Eat around the chunky hunk of a dining table underneath the chandelier and in front of exquisite artwork from students we’ve sponsored. Get a couple of dozen together, break the bread, pour the wine and get the party started. Alternatively, if you like your pork pulled and your meat smoked, the gas barbie awaits.
Eating out? Take your pick from French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Lebanese and more in cosmopolitan Leeds and upmarket York. A five-minute walk brings you to the Chequers’ cosy alcoves, for pan-fried salmon or pheasant. The White Horse in Ledston and the Queen o’t’old Thatch in South Milford are five minutes by car.
There’s Italian, complete with mood lighting and a curved bar at La Belle Vita in Garforth. Try authentic Indian at The Thaal in Bretherton, Saffron in Sherburn-in-Elmet, or Aagrah in Garforth, go gastro at trendy The Licorist, or head to Thorpe Park for cocktails on the terrace and dinner by the fire.
Northridge Hall is the cure for insomnia. Six grand, sprawling bedrooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows, superking beds made with soft cotton, and an all-enveloping silence broken only by the breeze in the trees. Wake refreshed, slide up the sash and breathe pure Yorkshire oxygen.
You’ll scrap over the master bedroom, with its superking bed and en-suite with walk-in shower. Break out the fluffy towels, get the water piping and chillax in the freestanding bath. Bedroom two is a superking double or two zip-and-link singles. Bedroom three offers the same, plus an en-suite with walk-in shower.
Bedroom four is also a superking with zip-and-link option and luxurious en-suite complete with walk-in shower, while family-friendly bedroom five sleeps four in a superking or zip-and-link, plus two singles. Bedroom six comes with a superking or two zip-and-link singles.
Bedrooms one to five are large enough to take an extra bed, and two go-anywhere zed-beds add flexibility to the sleeping arrangements.