Tuesday, 29 October 2013

12 Christmassy Reasons to Book a Festive Celebration

Why wait for a partridge in a pear tree? Here are 12 top reasons to book a traditional Christmas at Holdsworth House.

1. Stepping in the footsteps of Last Tango in Halifax actors around the beautiful tranquil gardens after an exquisite lunch, breathing in the crisp air, drinking in the historic facade and discovering what the winter borders have in store.

2. Watching the robins dance across the frosted lawns. Feeding carrots to the shires in our paddocks and hearing the winter birdsong fill the courtyard.

3. Enjoying a hot toddy beside the outdoor fireplace in the Colonnade Courtyard. Warming legs, hands or bottoms to the good cheer and banter of friends.

4. Stepping in from the wintery scene to welcoming, warming open fires and smelling the scent of Christmas logs burning
5. Having a 'this is the life' moment and enjoying being looked after. Raising a glass to good company without having to lift a finger. Relaxing as you see everyone around the table enjoying themselves.

6. Discovering new flavours together as your table tucks into a fit-for-a-king Host a Festive Feast dinners, passionately prepared by chefs who love food and winning awards

7. Browsing down the gin menu in the Long Bar or choosing your favourite from our incredible wine list, carefully crafted by our Master of Wine 
8. Reminiscing of Christmases past as the Friendly Brass Band's nostalgic music drifts in and out of your consciousness. Call us to find out what December dates they are playing.
9. Watching the night draw in through the ancient mullioned windows as we soften the lights and serve you the most divine desserts, coffees and liqueurs.
10. Being part of young loves' dream if you're lucky enough to witness a Christmas or New Year marriage proposal, as we have before.
11. Hearing the laughter of like-minded revellers fill the halls as merriment reigns with quality local food and fine wines.

12. Sloping off to your uber-comfy bed for what could be the most wonderful night's sleep you've had in a long time. It's a big statement but so often the case with our beds.
If you want to celebrate a special Christmas and New Year somewhere unique download our Christmas brochure today. Or call 01422 240024 or visit www.holdsworthhouse.co.uk

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Yorkshire Top of the Polls

As members of the British Hospitality Association we attended their Destination Marketing conference in October at fellow member venue The Devonshire Arms.

We were delighted to learn from Visit England that Yorkshire is well above the national average for providing complete customers satisfaction.

Visit England regularly polls the public to find out their travel plans, where they've holidayed and what influences their decision on where to go.

The recent 2013 poll showed that Yorkshire beat the national average in the following criteria:

Welcoming and friendly
Value for money
Level of customer service
Quality of accommodation
Quality of food, drink and dining
Accesibility: Places don't take long to get to
The only area people said we could improve on was offering more sporting or cultural events. So GOOD NEWS... soon you can enjoy world class events with all the above included! All eyes will be on Yorkshire for the 2013 Rugby World Cup in two weeks and the 2014 Tour De France Grand Depart. So if you're looking for hotels in Yorkshire, book now at Holdsworth House.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Recommended in The Guardian

CalderdaleWinter sunshine on Calderdale. Photograph: Alamy
Holdsworth House made the national press on Saturday 28th September 2013.
"The Calderdale Way, West Yorkshire
The Calderdale Way is a 50-mile circular walking route around West Yorkshire, offering every type of view: windswept Brontë moorland, meandering canal towpaths and autumnal woodland, plus some of Yorkshire's best little towns, with great names like Lumbutts and Mankinholes. It's champion. Enjoy a good Yorkshire cream tea en route, such as the one at Holdsworth House) in Halifax."  

Last Tango in Halifax - filming of series 2

Photographs by Kyte Photography
Courtesy of Red Production Company
Holdsworth House has seen its share of celebrity guests over 50 years. Now the Jacobean manor is crowning its Jubilee year by gracing the small screen in the second series of the BAFTA-winning Last Tango in Halifax.

Holdsworth House features in the final three episodes of Last Tango in Halifax, see more here, where Caroline and Kate head off for a romantic break in Halifax at Holdsworth House.

Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid once again lead the cast in the second romantic drama series made by Red Production Company for BBC One. Written by Halifax born Sally Wainwright the first series won Best Drama Series at the 2013 BAFTAs.

"Alan Buttershaw (Jacobi) and Celia Dawson (Reid) are both widowed and in their 70s. When their grandsons put them on Facebook, they rediscover feelings for one another that are just as intense and beautiful now as they were 60 years ago when they were teenagers. The story of their relationship is a celebration of the uplifting power of love at any age. But this is also a story about family, and it’s just as dark as it is comic. Both Alan and Celia’s family come with baggage." (Red Production)

In September 2013 Holdsworth House welcomed headline cast members to its historic halls, including Sarah Lancashire who plays Celia’s arrogant and ultra-respectable daughter Caroline, Nina Sosanya (who plays Kate), Nicola Walker (Gillian) and the wonderful Anne Reid (Celia). The hotel was written into the script by Sally Wainwright following location visits from the series’ along with the series producer Karen Lewis.

In addition to hosting the actors, crew and set designers Holdsworth House had four weddings to direct. 

General manager Richard Christie said, “We were delighted to welcome the cast and crew of Last Tango during one of our busiest periods. As a popular wedding venue it is essential that every event runs smoothly so there was a lot of careful planning on our part to ensure our film crew and special brides and grooms were well looked after.”

Gail Moss co-owner of Holdsworth House said, “I am so thrilled that our former family home has made it into the script of such a brilliant TV drama series. I am very proud to have a small connection to such a popular and successful show and I can’t wait to see it on screen.”

Since the first series aired in 2012 Holdsworth House has been helping to give tourists a real taste of Yorkshire with their Last Tango Break. To mirror content from the show’s first series, the hotel’s break includes a frappuccino with homemade scone on arrival, a three-course evening dinner and overnight in a large House double room.

As Yorkshire recently won Europe’s Leading Destination 2013 award at the World Travel Awards, the team at Holdsworth House sees its role as ambassadors for the county as ever more important. “Scooping the Last Tango in Halifax filming will help give a boost to our role in driving tourism to Yorkshire”, said Holdsworth House marketing manager Liz Howe. The team is also targeting the American market for tourism trade since the airing of series one last week resulted in great reviews from the New York Times.

Holdsworth House’s Last Tango Break is from £185 per couple and bookable online at holdsworthhouse.co.uk

Yorkshire Wins Europe's Leading Destination Award

Yorkshire has beaten Berlin, London and Madrid to win the title of Europe's Leading Destination in 2013. The prize was awarded at the World Travel Awards in Antalya, Turkey, which are described by organisers as the "Oscars of the travel industry". Yorkshire is the first location other than a major city or country to have won the Leading Destination title in the 17-year history of the awards.

Being one of the most popular hotels in Yorkshire of course the world is our oyster!

In the 2013 Michelin Guide

Halifax’s top hotel has made it into the prestigious 2013 Michelin Guide, which lists the top 1700 hotels and restaurants in the UK. Independently assessed by Michelin inspectors, appearance in the guide is by invitation only following recommendations to Michelin by previous guests. Of course we're thrilled here at Holdsworth House!

Jamie Oliver Cooks Up A Storm

Halifax hotel Holdsworth House was thrilled when TV superchef Jamie Oliver visited to film for his book and Channel 4 series ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’.  Culinary king Jamie and his 22 strong crew spent five nights at West Yorkshire’s leading hotel in 2011 and happily the sun shone all week long, showing Yorkshire at its beautiful best.

Watch the show here

John and Ringo Slept in My Bed...in 1964

It may be half a century since the Fab Four checked in at Holdsworth House but the event remains just as memorable today as back then.
Between 1963 and 1965, The Beatles undertook six amazing UK tours and among the fans was Gail Moss, co-owner of Holdsworth House. The day The Beatles came to stay is an occasion that Gail will never forget. The beautiful old Yorkshire manor house hotel was owned by Gail’s late parents Freddie and Rita Pearson and was formerly known as The Cavalier Country Club. The Pearsons’ good family friend just happened to be Stanley Corbett, the Beatles’ road manager.
“They had been playing at the Gaumont Theatre in Bradford and they needed a place to stay,” recalls Gail, who was 14 at the time. “My father told me a couple of days before they arrived that they were coming and I think it was probably the hardest secret I have ever had to keep,” she laughs.
The night in question was Friday, October 9, 1964 – John Lennon’s 24th birthday – and Gail recalls how it was around 11pm when the four Liverpool lads arrived after a bit of a diversion and the help of a police escort to keep their destination a secret – a plan that worked.
The original restaurant bill reveals that they tucked into prawn cocktail, melon, smoked trout and turtle soup, followed by steaks and duckling. Including the chauffeur’s dinner, the entire bill came to £17 6s (£17.30) – more than a week’s wages at the time.  The bar bill, including whiskies, stouts and pints of Whitbread, came to £2 15s (£2.75) but it was only Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr who unwound in the bar until 1am – John Lennon had a toothache and went to bed early.
Because the business was just a country club and not a hotel, the Pearsons had to find beds for their visitors. “They actually ended up using ours.” says Gail. “John and Ringo slept in what was mine and my sister’s room and Paul and George slept in my parents’ bedroom. I remember we had set up for them to have breakfast the following morning and they didn’t come down. I was walking up and down the corridor waiting. Eventually my mother grabbed me by the hand, knocked on the bedroom door where Paul and George were sleeping and pushed me inside saying ‘My daughter has been waiting all morning to see you’ she said and left me there. I don’t know how she dared.”
Gail adds that George offered her a cigarette “which I refused” and asked if the old house was haunted. We’d been to Ibiza on holiday and I was chatting to Paul about that.
Kim Pearson, Gail’s sister was just eight at the time and admits the visit was “a little over my head”. “I was very shy and remember not wanting to meet them so I hid in the ladies’ cloakroom under a dressing table. All of a sudden this hand came through the curtains, a hand with rings on practically every finger. It was Ringo and he just said ‘come out and meet the lads’.”
Because it had been Lennon’s birthday the girls gave him a Cavalier Country Club tie. “I don’t know if he ever wore it but he did remember the visit because he sent us a copy of his book In His Own Write.
Once news of the visit became public, the Pearson family was inundated with requests for souvenirs. “We still have the brass bedsteads which were on the beds they slept in and at one time the little gold knobs on the top used to disappear from time to time,” says Gail. 

Written by Virginia Mason for The Halifax Courier.