A sylish country inn with spacious suites and destination restaurant, overlooking one of England's finest views.
The Carpenters Arms in pretty little Felixkirk, just outside the market town of Thirsk, is a clever marriage of country inn and destination restaurant – we love that you can turn up in country casuals and wellies or a Little Black Dress and be made just as welcome. This village pub with a twist is a bit of looker, inside and out, with a warm, welcoming feel, from its oak beams and stone floors to the deep colours and sparkling place settings. The enticing menu offers bistro classics, grills and game in season, but also has a clever Asian-fusion thing going on, so depending on the season you could kick off with grilled mackerel with a homemade spring roll or tamarind and lime chicken. Follow this with hake with crispy mussels or halibut served in a shellfish broth, and it's clear that you're in safe (and imaginative) hands. Most of the veg and herbs – not to mention the flowers throughout the pub – come from their own kitchen garden, while service is bright and slick. The cosy beamed pub is just one dining space. There's also a garden room with log burner or – great for lazy summer lunches or warm evening dinners – tables on the outdoor deck, with some stunning views over the rolling Vale of York beyond. And if you feel like you don't want to leave after enjoying a meal, wait until you see the rooms. They'll probably have to prise the key from your hands after a night in one of the glamorous garden suites, arranged around a landscaped courtyard, looking down over the sweeping Vale of York. It's all about big things and little things, done really well – so there's underfloor heating, a walk-in rain shower, fireplace and sofa, and sliding windows onto your own patio, but there are also upscale toiletries from Harrogate and a brushed steel cafetiere with Grumpy Mule coffee to hand. The beds are big enough to hold a tea party on, while if you can tear yourself away, the outdoor deck, bar and restaurant are just a stroll away through the garden. You'll leave – if you ever do leave – feeling like you've just been spoiled rotten. This is 'country Yorkshire' with a confident, contemporary style and a big heart – great for a special weekend away, with the North York Moors National Park and the rolling Howardian Hills on the doorstep.