By the Hull Daily Mail
Lounging in the hot tub, surrounded by glasses of pink bubbly and bowls of strawberries, my friend and I decided we could get used to this life.
Glorious early spring sunshine lit the turrets of our "kingdom" for 24 hours, the blossoming countryside providing a splendid backdrop and idyllic seclusion … this was Carr Hall Castle and we had, we felt, arrived.
It is, quite simply, an incredible venue. A castle for hire in a country village just a few minutes' drive from J24 of the M62. Licensed to hold civil ceremonies, and with the main house sleeping up to ten people in five decadently luxurious double bedrooms and suites, we could well imagine what a fabulous setting this would be for a special celebration.
The castle is actually a folly, built in the style of a Norman castle from farm buildings in the early 19th century. For the past ten years, it has been home to Leeds entrepreneurs Terry George and Michael Rothwell, who now rent out their modern- day fairytale castle to visitors looking for a short break to impress.
A few years ago, it bagged them the award of Britain's Best Home on a Channel 5 programme. It's easy to see why.
The recently redone interior design is opulent and bold, yet also homely, warm and welcoming. With rich colours, plush textures and state-of-the-art technology wired throughout the castle, everything about this place says luxury. I loved some of the quirkier design statements, from the signed print of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch in the master bedroom's dressing room, to the plush furnishings, gleaming warriors' helmets and textured wallpapers.
A former stable block houses an indoor swimming pool, gym and lounge, which you can access from the main house or the grounds. There's the aforementioned hot tub, a water wheel and a separate block with bar, toilets and space for a large dinner party or small wedding. There's the lake, barbecue, beauty treatment room, sauna/shower … and then there's the attention to detail.
A house manual told us everything we could ever possibly need to know, from where to find spare batteries, to how to contact the housekeeper. There are plasma TVs, an iPad and iMac, WiFi, docking stations, games consoles and speakers all over the house. The Aga is always on in the kitchen, ready for use at any time, and a log fire provides a cosy focal point between the living room and dining room after the sun goes down.
Everything had been thought of, so all we had to do was relax and enjoy ourselves. Unsurprisingly, we loved every minute of our stay at Carr Hall Castle. We indulged and admired, preened and pampered, ate, drank and were merry.
When we first drove through the deer park and caught our first glimpse of our "kingdom" for a day, we were delighted to discover the flag was flying for us. Queens of the castle? We certainly felt like it.
A walk around the castle's 12-acre grounds and lake, Visit www.carrhallcastle.co.uk