Wentbridge House Hotel in the village of Wentbridge (close to Pontefract) in West Yorkshire. We’d arrived quite late but were greeted with a beautiful Junior Suite offering ample space for a family, and with all manner of in-room extras including a half bottle of Champagne and even comics for our children – the latter, in particular, being a lovely extra touch that showed a great deal of thought and care had gone into ensuring a warm welcome for us all. The modern bathroom was simple yet elegant with muted beiges and a generous supply of Molton Brown toiletries. The hotel itself consists of the main building that houses a number of bedrooms, meeting rooms and the hotel’s bars, restaurant and brasserie, plus the hotel’s ‘Lane’ building, which is 5 years old, with additional rooms (and where our accommodation was housed), all set among the hotel’s well-tended grounds. Weddings are popular here and an integral part of the hotel’s trade and, weather permitting, the lawned area provides an ideal environment for larger parties to gather outside and enjoy the day’s events. Inside, we dined in the hotel’s Fleur de Lys restaurant, led by executive head chef Michael Ward, with 2 AA rosettes, and striving for a third. I began my meal with the incredibly tender and succulent hand-dived scallops with Happy Trotters pork belly croquette, pea purée and crackling salad. For my main, I was sorely tempted by the Dover sole but instead plumped for the somewhat richer Dovecote Park 28-day aged fillet of beef, cooked rare just as I like it, with sticky rib of beef , fondant potato, spinach purée, roast garlic and truffle jus. I really should have called it a day at the point, but the assiette of chocolate proved just too tempting! In addition to offering two excllent dining options, it should also be noted that the hotel is well-positioned for a wide variety of tourist attractions and places of interest. Race-goers have a choice or racecourses to visit, the nearest being in Pontefract but with Doncaster also close by. The National Trust’s Nostell Priory, one of the Yorkshire’s most famous historic houses, is in nearby Wakefield, home also to the contemporary art gallery that is The Hepworth Wakefield. Perhaps a little less cultured, but nevertheless enjoyed by our children, is Castleford’s Diggerland which we visited. This is a haven for little boys who actually get to ride, drive and operate real full-sized construction machinery. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but our sons loved it! Leeds is just a 30-minute drive away, York around 45 minutes and Manchester just over an hour, so the hotel is perfectly positioned for much more besides. At the time of writing, Wentbridge House Hotel has 117 reviews on Tripadvisor, and an impressive 90 of those have rated the hotel as ‘Excellent’. If this has whet your appetite, you might like to consider the hotel for a short, relaxing getaway of your own. Stays include an excellent Yorkshire breakfast, morning newspaper, free WiFi internet access and complimentary use of the local Fitness First gym. Two night stays over Christmas start from £299 per person, based on two people sharing, or from just £180 at New Year.We have just returned from a lovely stay at the four star
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