|*Thanks to Artists’ Cottage for our accommodation in exchange for review.
Last weekend we packed up the van and headed north to visit Harrogate, thanks to Artists’ Cottages. We were invited for a two night break at their Artists’ House, just a ten minute walk from the bustling town centre. We were so excited to have a little break as a family, and even though the journey was quite long (4 and a half hours minimum from Cardiff, depending on traffic!), we knew we’d have fun because we were together.
The drive was pretty fast, considering we hit a fair bit of traffic, and soon we arrived at our destination. Awaiting us were the owners of Artists’ Cottage, and they gave us a little tour before handing over the keys for the weekend. We couldn’t wait to unpack and eat, but first we needed to snap a few pictures of the house for you lovely lot…
Downstairs consisted of a spacious hallway, lounge, dining area, kitchen and garden. Everything was incredibly clean and tidy, and there was a lot to feast our eyes on! I loved the quirky record player (don’t forget to take a selection of records with you though!), the comfortable seating and the thoughtfulness of the owners who left milk and biscuits. If you do decide to book I’d suggest discussing any dietary requirements beforehand; I couldn’t use either the milk or biscuits because of the whole vegan thing! However, the thoughtfulness in leaving some provisions was not wasted on me; I truly appreciated it and Warren ate the biscuits (!).
Upstairs consisted of two lovely looking bedrooms, a family bathroom and a second toilet. The carpet was so incredibly thick and bouncy and it was spacious and airy throughout the house. You could tell a lot of attention, time and care had gone into the set up of this lovely holiday rental property.
We had a little nose around and soon it was time to head out for dinner. I had been desperate to take the children to Wagamama, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to do so. We had a lovely walk across town, with lovely sights; it was very calm and I really loved how green Harrogate is – so incredibly beautiful.
Soon it was time to head home and relax – some people relaxed more than others…
Everyone slept soundly, the beds were very comfortable and the house was very cosy (the heating was already on for us, which was very thoughtful indeed!).
The next morning it was time to test out the shower; well it was pretty awesome! There are two options, the normal shower head or the large rain shower
head. I tried out the ‘rain shower’ and it was so relaxing; I certainly felt ready to face the day ahead after that!
We had booked in to review The Royal Horticultural Society at Harlow Carr, and we really couldn’t wait. After our visit to The Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show in Cardiff, we were excited to see more!
You can read all about our day trip to The Royal Horticultural Society here. After a full on day in the fresh air we ended up heading back to the Artists’ House to have a cuppa and a little rest. Obviously this involved board-games, television and snacks, but I’m not complaining!
We had a lovely dinner at Pizza Express to end our trip, and I’m sure you can agree that pizza is definitely the right way to end such a busy, beautiful and relaxing weekend!
So, what can you expect from the Artists’ House?
When it comes to the house itself, it’s pretty well equipped and there’s a fair amount of things provided. Here’s a more detailed list of what to expect…
There’s a smart television provided, as well as a record player and some board games. George and Molly had a great time playing snakes and ladders! We also brought our own games and I’d definitely suggest bringing your own vinyl because we were only provided with one record for our stay. We only have a Firestick at home, so it was really refreshing to watch ‘normal’ television, adverts and all!
The sofas and beds are beyond comfortable, and the general vibe of the house could leave you wanting to stay ‘home’ and snuggle! Bed linen is provided, but you do have to strip your sheets the morning you leave, which kind of takes the whole idea of a holiday and rest and turns it on its head. I think it would be great if this were to change, so you wouldn’t need to worry about this at the end of your stay.
There’s also a washing machine and dishwasher, and the latter made us very happy indeed! We haven’t had a dishwasher in years, so even just the sight of one made us feel excited. I found the dishwasher tablets very easily, but I couldn’t locate any washing powder, so it may be wise to take this with you!
There’s a log fire also within the property, and you’re provided with one night’s fuel. You can purchase more if need be.
When it comes to family holidays, I do think it’s important to be mindful of little ones running around. In the house we stayed in there were a few items I constantly worried about, and I think if we still had toddlers something may have ended up broken or damaged. It’s lovely having lots of beautiful things, but it’s also important to be practical. I’m sure the hosts would happily remove any such objects though, should you ask ahead of your stay…
The kitchen was really well thought out, with numerous gadgets and useful utensils, perfect for cooking within the house. The only serve-wear is bone china though, which I kind of felt slightly uncomfortable about. This is a question of personal taste however, and I know some people would probably love this. Not only this, but younger children would have to use these plates, bowls and cups also, and this could lead to disaster. I’m not saying they should whack in some plastic bits and bobs, but just having an alternative for children (and vegans) would be good.
Within the house is a little welcome booklet full of interesting information. You can find out your obligations as a guest, you can plan your stay with all the information about Harrogate clearly listed, you can access emergency numbers and you can connect to their wifi. The wifi and password in our booklet stumped us at first, but eventually we worked it out; this could have been a little clearer.
There’s also a huge storage file with all the appliance details (yes, we couldn’t work out how to use the cooker!) and it was all very useful to us.
The art within Artists’ Cottages is all sourced locally. I think I was expecting bold and bright canvasses on every wall, but in fact it’s a little more subdued than that. This isn’t necessarily my taste, but I can imagine it being suitable for so many different people, and it’s a great way to champion local artists and showcase their work.
I think this kind of art could really appeal to people, in particular the local folk. I also think it’s an awesome talking point during and after your stay, and you never know, you might be able to purchase some of the art from the local artists whilst you’re there.
There’s a absolutely lovely garden at the back of the property. We didn’t get a chance to use it, but it was really beautiful. There’s a BBQ too, but you need to bring your own fuel for this (as well as food!). There’s plenty of room for little ones to play, whilst the adults sit and chill with a beer (or two!).
I thought I’d list things I think would be useful for you to take for a break at Artists’ House…
- Hairdryer and other styling bits
- Washing powder/tablets
- Underwear and socks
- Swimwear for the local pool if you decide to go (plus towels)
- Wellies and sandals (Because even in England you never know…)
- Coats, hats, gloves scarves/ Hats,sunglasses, sun lotion
- Clothing for your stay
- Crate if you take your dog
- Money for fuel if you want extra logs for the fire
- Board games
- Tea bags, coffee, sugar
- Wine 😉
I think it’s important to just go and have a lovely time, regardless of having everything you think you ‘need’. Besides, if you do forget anything, there are so many shops nearby, you don’t need to worry.
With so much greenery and the RHS a stone’s throw away from the centre, I can see why people would be drawn to this very picturesque place. I only wish we could have stayed longer, for a chance to explore more in the surrounding area.
I want to say a huge thank you to Artists’ Cottages for our pleasant stay at the Artists’ House. Have you been to stay at one of their properties? What did you think?
Here’s another review of their lovely holiday homes from Eat, Sleep, Love, Travel.