Review: Bank Chambers, Knaresborough: A Hidden Gem 

* * * * * 5 stars – A Hidden Gem!

Nestled away on a busy high street, In Hot Property have come up trumps with these serviced apartments.  There are 4 in total, and we have been staying in Apartment 4 on the top floor.

First impressions are wonderful.  On entering Bank Chambers, you are greeted by the most beautiful period doorway, and a wonderfully clean, light and airy hallway with the most grand sweeping staircase I’ve ever seen.  It is truly beautiful, and being on the top floor, I had the pleasure of climbing it!

Apartment 4 has two bedrooms, a lovely double bedroom with walk in wardrobe and a second bedroom with bunk beds. The kitchen diner is light and airy and well equipped with a dishwasher, microwave, cooker and hob, toaster and superb collection of kitchen knives (I often find holiday properties have really rubbish, blunt knives, so this was a mega plus from me!). The lounge area has a sofa (which is also doubles as a sofa bed), two lovely tub chairs by the window overlooking the high street, and a wall mounted television.  All in all, I felt like I was in a swanky London pad (note to self, must visit Vauxhall Apartments in London!).


Knaresborough itself is a lovely market town. There are some delightful quirky independent shops.  We enjoyed ‘The Wine Shop’ (weekend away without the children!) and ‘Knaresborough Toys’ were just two that we purchased from. I found these painted windows really interesting and after a bit of research I discovered they’re from an arts festival that happens annually.

We stayed for 3 nights and enjoyed various walks down by the river, a visit to Mother Shipton’s Cave (there’s a really good pirate ship playground here too), Knaresborough Castle, a day trip to Fountain’s Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens (well worth a trip particularly if you are a young family and National Trust Members), and Ripley Castle. We were on a child free weekend so were quite laid back with our plans, but there is so much to do very close by.

Walks by the river, Mother Shipton’s Cave

As recommended by Mark, we sampled the dinner menu at Carriages Wine Bar just down the road and it did not disappoint, it was delicious. We also had a lovely Sunday lunch at the Boar’s Head in Ripley (just 15 minutes away). There are also plenty of independent cafes and tea rooms for lunches and cakes, we had a yummy scone and shortbread down by the river. There is a Tesco Express just over the road and a Sainsbury’s about 3-4 minutes walk away for all the essentials if you wanted to do full self catering.

Carriages Wine Bar, 89 High St, Knaresborough

It’s the little extras that MAKE a holiday property:

Not only is Bank Chambers perfectly situated, beautifully decorated and well equipped, there are some lovely extra touches that make this property a wonderful stay.

  1. Helpful cooking ingredients – often when you stay at a property, you always end up buying various cupboard staples, but Bank Chambers keeps a Kilner bottle of oil, salt and pepper right next to the hob, just like you would have in your own home.
  2. Towels – I love walking into a hotel and finding towels pressed and neatly arranged on the bed, and walking into Bank Chambers was no different.
  3. Toiletries – I hate it when properties don’t supply enough toilet roll.  Bank Chambers provided more than enough and have even gone the extra mile and included a shampoo and conditioner dispenser in the bathroom.  I had a happy husband as he’d forgotten his!
  4. Umbrella – in the foyer downstairs is on umbrella bucket with a handy golf umbrella which is great when you get caught out in the British summer weather, shame we didn’t take it out when we had to run back in the pouring rain!
  5. COFFEE!! – I’ve saved the best for last and my husbands favourite. He is a big coffee drinker and to find an Lavazza coffee machine was a real plus.  He enjoyed making himself a coffee like he would at home and again, there were plenty of capsules!.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay at Bank Chambers, and would ABSOLUTELY recommend it to anyone (and I am sure their other properties in London and Norfolk would be no different).  The attention to detail makes these apartments a real treat, and there has clearly been a lot of love and care gone into the renovations.

A fab stay, go on, why not treat yourself to a weekend away……

Bank Chambers, High St, Knaresborough.

Disclaimer: I have carried out this review independently, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you would like to work with me, please contact me to discuss terms.


Review: Spokes Cafe, Harringworth

I stumbled across this new ‘Pop up Cafe’ in Harringworth last night whilst scrolling through Facebook. And wow, what a delight it is!

This weekend was the grand opening. Usual opening hours are Fri 10am-4pm and Sat-Sun 9am-5pm. Spokes Cafe was a real weekend treat. Set just off the main road through Harringworth, it will be popular with cyclists (hence the name I guess!).

I had a bacon bap, I asked if they would  mmind adding an egg which was no trouble at all. My husband had a sausage bap and the children shared another. I had a cup of tea and Stew had an Ethiopian drop coffee, all of which were simply delicious. An even bigger treat was that they were made of Kings Cliffe Bakery bread which is our local bakery.

The courtyard with picnic benches, a beautiful array of garden pots and umbrellas was lovely. After a yummy breakfast we walked down the road to see the viaduct and stumbled across some pigs and chickens. A fun walk for H and L! A perfect morning breakfast.

We decided (couldn’t resist!) to buy some cakes to takeaway for lunch which are all baked by Alice and boy, they did not disappoint. We bought two slices of Victoria sponge, a slice chocolate cake, a slice of carrot and a slice of coffee and amaretto cake. Delicious!

My picture doesn’t do them justice!

Simon and Alice were diligent and friendly hosts, nothing was too much. A real countryside haven. We will no doubt be back SOON! Thank you again.
Spokes Cafe, Wakerley Road, Harringworth.

Review of Eastbank, Ballater

Wow, what a cottage!

If you ever venture to the Highlands for a Scottish break, then look no further. Eastbank in Ballater is by far one of the most superior holiday cottages we have ever stayed in. A beautiful log burner, thoughtful family touches, lovely garden, gated driveway, car port and only a short walk to the town where there is a good array of shops, cafes and a supermarket.

The cottage happily sleeps 6 adults in 2 double rooms (one ensuite) and a twin room, however, each bedroom has their own bathroom.

Downstairs, there is a beautifully laid out conservatory, gorgeous dining room (although we made that a no go room for our littles), a lovely office area, a twin bedroom and the lounge. Both the lounge and conservatory have Sky tv packages and there is wifi throughout the house. But by far, the pièce de résistance is the kitchen…

….the kitchen was like my dream kitchen! Farmhouse style, butler sink and the most wonderful Aga. I have never cooked on an Aga before, but it was wonderful and the dog certainly enjoyed sleeping in front of it in the evenings. The breakfast bar was also a fab addition and our son enjoyed sitting there having his breakfast in the mornings. Fresh eggs delivered each week and a lovely loaf of bread and bottle of wine to enjoy for our arrival. And I’ve saved the best bit until last…THE PANTRY!

I was green with envy when I opened the doors to the pantry.  So cleverly set back into the wall and better stocked than my own cupboards at home. Amazing!

The cottage is stunningly beautiful and you’ll be hard pushed to find any faults (I’m yet to find one!) and so ideally placed for a wonderful Highland getaway. Things to do nearby are:

  • Craigendarroch Hotel (1 mile)
  • Ballater Golf Course (1 mile)
  • Balmoral Castle (7 miles, Apr-Jul)
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery (8 miles)
  • Braemar Castle (16 miles, Apr-Oct)
  • Spittal of Glenshee for skiing (31 miles
  • Aviemore (51 miles)

And plenty more as you are right in the middle of the stunning Cairngorms.
Jerry and Joss have made their family home into a 5* holiday cottage and when we next travel to the Highlands, we will definitely look it up again!

Disclaimer: a big thank you to Jerry and Joss for allowing us to unleash 2 toddlers and a dog into their family home, we had a thoroughly fabulous time. All words and opinions are my own.