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Monday, 23 May 2016

B&B; checks in with a reality TV win

Plaque of glory ... Denise Carter (front) with Nikki Langford-Young
 and Jackie Fennell.
Knaresborough's Newton House B&B is the winner of the latest Channel 4 TV Show Four in a Bed.

Owner, Denise Carter and her colleague Jackie Fennell, appeared in the reality programme and were tasked with visiting and judging the other properties as part of the format for the show.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Guesthouse checks in with TV programme appearance

Knaresborough's Newton House is in the TV spotlight, appearing in several episodes of Channel 4's Four in Bed from today until Friday.
Checking in ... guest house Newton House gets put through
its televised paces when other proprietors come to stay.

Guesthouse owner Denise Carter and her colleague Jackie Fennell were involved in filming the new series of the popular reality TV show, and had the task of visiting and judging other B&Bs as part of the format for the show.

Denise said: "We were a little nervous at first about being asked to take part in a national TV show, as it is one of those warts-and-all formulas where other people are judging your business. But, we soon realised, it was a great opportunity for Newton House to be featured on national TV.”

The programme sees the owners of four B&Bs throwing open their doors and taking turns to stay with one another, paying what they consider fair for their stay. The winner is judged on best value for money.

Denise added: “We are not allowed to say who won, as we are sworn to secrecy until the show is aired, but what I can say is that both Jackie and myself had great fun.".

The first episode is screened today on Channel 4 at 5pm with three more episodes following during the week before the winning B&B is revealed on on Friday.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Graham joins the inn crowd and makes it a family affair

A family affair: The Drovers Arms' new 
owners Martin Firth (left) and Graham Usher 
(right) with Graham’s children Elizabeth
(back middle), Millie and George.
Graham Usher, who has been in the hospitality industry since leaving school, has, with his partner Martin Firth, taken over the Drovers Arms, at Skipwith, near Selby, fulfilling a lifetime ambition..

And the for pair, it is very much a family business as all of Graham’s three children are helping out in the popular inn, which dates back to the mid-19th century.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Gold for green: hotel checks in with award for top rated eco credentials

A North Yorkshire hotel recently crowned Good Hotel Guide country hotel of the year has scooped another award.

Green light ... top eco award for the Traddock.

The Traddock, in Austwick, near Settle is celebrating a gold award from the nationwide Green Tourism scheme after securing top marks for its green credentials. It joins three other gold award winners from North Yorkshire: York's Best Western Monkbar Hotel, Swinton Park, near Masham, and Scarborough's Crown Spa Hotel.

Friday, 30 August 2013

York hotel in wedding award running

Hotel shortlisted in wedding awards
Waitress Samantha Wynne sets a table for a wedding reception at York's Best Western Monkbar Hotel which has been shortlisted in the best venue category of the North of England Wedding Awards. 
General manager Graham Usher said: “It’s fantastic that we have been shortlisted in these awards which are entered by venues from across the North of England. The whole team here at the Monkbar is very proud."
The awards ceremony is being held at the National Railway Museum, York, on Monday, 9 September.
Graham added: “We look forward to spending the evening amongst the best in the Yorkshire wedding world, and wish all those nominated alongside us good luck."

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Inn the know: independent hotels group launches summer campaign

Independent hotels group The Great Inns of Britain which includes a number of North Yorkshire inns, has launched its summer campaign to showcase a range of breaks focusing on seasonal food and drink, events, masterclasses and activities.

Do be a boar ... the Boar's Head walled gardens.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Chain reaction for cycling hotel staff

WHEELY good! Nikki Brannan, Graham Usher, Andrew Jones and Robert Douglas from York's Monkbar Hotel are gearing up for the Tour de France with their own challenge.
A year to the day that Le Grand Depart, ten hotel employees will ride the distance of the legendary race’s Yorkshire heat – some 242 miles – by combining their mileage along the relatively flat York-Selby cycleway instead of the hilly Yorkshire Dales.
The team, led by general manager Graham Usher, is raising cash for Martin House Children’s Hospice.
Donations can be made at

Thursday, 20 June 2013

White Bear lets the music play on

Masham's White Bear Hotel is ready for its 12th annual three-day music and beer festival which kicks off on Friday afternoon.

Thousands are expected to descend on the T&R Theakston-owned hotel where real ale connoisseurs will be treated to beers from around the country.

The event features jazz, blues, and rock music and a cooperage display by Theakston’s cooper Jonathan Manby.
The entertainment line-up is Friday night, The Conspirators; Saturday: Kelsey Main, Broken Empire and 3ft Ninjas and Sunday: Mike Green

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Petey-designed hotel on the market

A hotel believed to be the only William Petey designed building remaining in private hands in York is on the market through agents, Colliers International, with an asking price of £2.25 million for the freehold business.

Dating back to 1896 ... The Groves hotel at York.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Refurbished youth hostel throws open its doors for grand opening

Kirby Malham School youngsters enjoy candle dipping in the educational facilities at Malham's youth hostel which have been extended as part of a £460,000 refurbishment.
 The hostel has been redecorated, benefited from five en-suite bedrooms and new furniture and the addition of a caf矇 open to non-residents as well as guests. The site has a separate block for families and groups looking for self-catering accommodation.
The project has been part funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and by a legacy from Margaret Hardware whose sister, Dot Berry, attended the launch. Dot said: “To know that her legacy has contributed to the Malham hostel development is wonderful and provides a lasting memorial, which pleases me as much as it would have thrilled Margaret.”  

Friday, 7 June 2013

Be part of the Inn Crowd with this Hardraw Force opportunity

A traditional country inn dating back to the 13th century and home to England's highest single-drop waterfall is on the market.

A force to be reckoned with: The Green Dragon marketed by Colliers International.

The Green Dragon, home to Hardraw Force, is available for lease opportunity through specialist agents, Colliers International.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Hotel's new owners check in with refurbishment plans

CHEERS: former Hotel Du Vin hotelier Nick Lawson (left) celebrates the acquisition of Harrogate's Balmoral Hotel with deputy general manager Steve Hopkins. The 23-bedroom four-star hotel, which dates back to 1841 when it was three former townhouses, will be refurbished. The freehold was acquired for an undisclosed sum from HRH Group Ltd. Nick, an experienced hotel executive with experience with Malmaison and Radisson Edwardian Hotels, aims to launch a number of contemporary high quality townhouse hotels under the Bonne Nuit brand.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Work to start on one of the north's biggest luxury hotels

Artist's impression of the luxury hotel.
Developers are about to start work on the £100m country resort at Flaxby, near Knaresborough, 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Hotel in running for national recognition

A Grand affair: Cedar Court Grand Hotel
is in the running for further honours.
York’s five star Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa has been named as a finalist in VisitEngland's Awards for Excellence.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Popular B&B; goes on the market

Whitby's Haven Crest.
One of Whitby's highly rated guest houses is on the market.

Tom and Teresa Campbell have enjoyed a semi-retirement lifestyle operating Haven Crest since selling the White House Hotel nearby in 2003 but now plan to fully retire from the hospitality business.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Monkbar sprouts off about its servings

Whether you love them or hate them, there's no doubt that they are a staple of the Christmas menu.

And this year, chefs at York's Best Western Monkbar Hotel estimate they'll serve up 19,044 sprouts to guests this December.

For the 2012 festive season, the hotel has sourced the bulk of its sprouts — Brassica Oleracea — from the Balloon Tree farm shop at Gate Helmsley.

And, instead of ordering the entire consignment by the “net,” a proportion was delivered “au natural”, namely still on the stalks they have grown on.

Hotel general manager Graham Usher said: “I think few people don’t actually realise how sprouts are grown, and it certainly came as a surprise to a few of our staff when the Balloon Tree delivered them still on the stalks.

“Seeing them like this proves just how fresh they are, and the best news is they are grown locally too.”

He added: “Sprouts are a traditional part of the Christmas meal, and each year we serve up thousands over the four-week period. It’s fair to say Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them.”

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Youth hostels get the world class touch

Plans have been unveiled to create two world class youth hostels in North Yorkshire

The £2.41 million investment at York and Malham will provide "unrivalled facilities" for families, groups and tourists, according to the Youth Hostel Association (YHA).

A total of £1.95 million is being invested in the York site with £460,000 destined for Malham to bring them in-line with YHA’s modern service offering of en suite accommodation, private family rooms and restaurant and education facilities.

The two sites are closed for the extensive refurbishment and will re-open in February and March, next year.

YHA York will be extended to increase the number of bedrooms from 37 to 45, providing accommodation for up to 205 guests. Educational parties will benefit from secure zoned areas for child and group safety and security while on-site, as well as an educational and conference rooms, each accommodating up to 80 people.

The Malham project will also feature an extension to house its education facilities, which is being funded by the a sustainable development fund managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on behalf of the national park authority. Other improvements at the site include a licensed caf矇 with lakeside views which will be open to non-residents as well as guests, and a separate refurbished block for families and groups looking for self-catering holiday accommodation.

The charity, which has around 150 youth hostels throughout England and Wales, says it has worked hard to shed its former reputation of rickety bunk beds, sleeping bags, compulsory membership, chores and 1960s dormitories by investing more than £19.5m in recent years in to its network. Today, some youth hostels even have honeymoon suites and are used as wedding venues.

Chief executive Caroline White said: “We’re continuing to invest in our hostels to make sure they continue to offer the great welcome and friendly stay of which we are rightly proud.

“We want to make sure that we continue to have world class hostels in fantastic locations and to make sure that as many people as possible know about what a great time they can have when they stay with us.”

For further details of facilities in England and Wales, or to make a booking, visit

The Grand has a prestigious afternoon cuppa off to a tea

Two York entrepreneurs are serving up a storm in a tea cup — at the city's five-star Cedar Court Grand hotel.

Hans Verhoosel and Amy Gallagher, of LuLin Teas, launched an exclusive range of nine products in the world famous store Harrods and now their products are being served at the prestigious York hotel for afternoon tea.

The company caused a stir in the tea world in 2011 with the launch of their innovative tea bag, Tea Cubed.

Hans said: “The Grand is such a wonderfully opulent hotel, and it is great that they choose to work with local suppliers like ourselves.”

Maria Florou, general manager of The Grand, said: “LuLin Teas are a perfect match for The Grand: distinctive, innovative and of the highest quality. We’re proud to add their award-winning teas to our afternoon tea selection.”

Further information about LuLin Teas can be found at  To book a Grand afternoon tea, contact the hotel on 01904 380038.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hotel hopes its new brew will be a blonde bombshell

A York Hotel is joining forces with an independent brewery to supply it with its own-label beer.

From this week, bottles of Monkbar Blonde will be stocked in the bars of the Best Western Monkbar Hotel, as part of the venue’s policy to create a truly unique experience for guests.

The hotel, which has a reputation for working with local businesses whenever possible, called upon the expertise of Tockwith-based Rudgate Brewery to help in its latest project.

The move for an own-label beer comes hot on the heels of the award-winning establishment serving its own, unique blend of coffee, which has been created by Laurence Beardmore, of the York Coffee Emporium.

Hotel general manager Graham Usher said: “One of our top priorities at the Monkbar Hotel is to create a unique experience for both guests and visitors alike.

“Last month we launched Monkbar Emporium Blend coffee and this has now been followed by another brew – Monkbar Blonde. The saying goes gentlemen prefer blondes, and in our case it’s a bottled-blonde variety.

“We have worked closely with the team at Rudgate Brewery to choose the right beer for us, and I must say sampling their beers was a very pleasant task.

“In the end we plumped for the Jorvik Blonde, which, with the brewery’s blessing, we have now rebadged as Monkbar Blonde. Our ultimate aim is to eventually have Monkbar Blonde on tap.

Brewery managing director Craig Lee said: “We are delighted to be supplying the Monkbar Hotel with our bottled real ale.

“We are very protective of our beers and we certainly don’t let all and sundry do this. However, we are impressed with the labelling and we are more than happy to be raising a glass to Monkbar Blonde."

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Vouchers to keep in with the Inn crowd

The team at Great Inns of Britain, which has four establishments in North Yorkshire, believes gift vouchers promising a roaring log fire, fine dining and the opportunity to get away from it all, make the perfect Christmas present

Described as an ideal gift for him, her or for the whole family, vouchers can be redeemed at any of the 20 independent, historic, inns, positioned in picturesque settings around the country.

Each vouchers is sent in a smart folder with brochure and a personal letter from Sir Thomas Ingilby, chairman of Great Inns and owner of The Boar’s Head inn and Ripley Castle.  Vouchers are available for any value from £100 upwards.

All of these getaways are found in historic buildings, many with fascinating pasts and stories to tell. The four inns in North Yorkshire are the Blue Lion at Wensleydale, the Yorke Arms at Ramsgill, the Grassington House at Grassington, and Ripley's Boar’s Head.

For more information about the 20 Inns and places to visit nearby, go to