Looking back on 2017

This year has just been the most amazing year.

When I am old and grey, I will look back on 2017 as one of the best years of my life; I am sure of it.

It's just been full of the most beautiful and amazing memories, good news and amazing opportunities for not just Tom and me, but our closest family and friends too.

Of course, as well as Tom and I getting married, we watched our best friends and favourite couple - Soph and Paul - get married too.

My brother got engaged, Tom's sister got engaged, and it was happy times for more of our best friends as Hattie and Jamie got engaged.

This year has just been the year of the celebration. It's no wonder there are talks of a prosecco shortage making Mail Online!

I decided to take a look back at some of my 2017 highlights, with some of the best people in the whole, wide world.

My hen party started it all off, back in March, and was just a laugh a minute from start to finish. I couldn't be more thankful for the gorgeous group of girls that I have in my life who helped me celebrate becoming a Mrs in style on the wet weekend in Holmfirth.

Then, of course, there was our wedding which was just amazing. I will cherish the memories from that day forever. We are so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and loving friends and family who helped make our wedding day perfect in every single way.

Fresh from our nuptials, Tom and I headed to Northumberland. We spent the most gorgeous week tucked away in a little cottage on the coast where we ate lots of food, watched all the Harry Potter films, played chess, and drank lots of wine.

It was then time to turn our attention to another big day - that of my number one girl and best friend. Her hen party! We headed to a spa in the Dales and had the most fun weekend ever. I've never felt so pampered, and so drunk, all at the same time. We made so many memories that weekend that I will treasure forever.

A few weeks later and there was another celebration in the form of Jack and Amy's engagement party! They got engaged in Mexico about a month after our wedding. It really was the Mexico Dream after all!

Literally, the next day, we were at Selby Abbey celebrating our lovely neighbours getting married. James and Chloe have been planning their wedding pretty much the same amount of time as us, so it was lovely to share their day with them and see all their plans come together.

August was the turn of Mr and Mrs Duck. The most perfectly gorgeous day which was full of smiles from the second we opened our eyes that morning. Soph looked like an absolute angel and was the most beautiful bride I have ever laid eyes on. So effortlessly beautiful and just the happiest, most lovely couple ever. I still get emotional thinking back on the day now!

With Soph and Paul safely back from their honeymoon, we headed off on ours. Dubai and Seychelles were just the two most amazing places. We had the best time ever, saw some of the most beautiful, most amazing places on this earth, and made enough memories to last a lifetime.

As if that wasn't enough excitement, two days after getting back from honeymoon we found out we were pregnant. A little baby Kershaw is on the way!

Not quite content with that being it for celebrations and excitement for one year, we've still got so much to look forward to in the shape of Christmas.

Jack's fiancee, Lauren, is flying over from the States for Christmas and New Year, we're having a huge family Christmas Day with my family and Tom's all coming together to celebrate, and we're in the process of planning a lovely New Year with our best friends and fellow newlyweds Mr and Mrs Duck.

2017 has been amazing for Tom and I, and our closest family and friends. It's been full of love, laughter, and dreams coming true for so many people that we love and hold dearly. We can't wait to see what 2018 brings, with baby Kershaw's arrival being just one of the highlight on our calendar already.

2018 has got a lot to live up to, but I am pretty sure it will be just as amazing, if not even better.

You may also like: Making memories is my favourite, but documenting them is important too


Learning to love my belly

Having a rounded belly is not something I feel totally comfortable, or confident, with.

I've always been conscious about my weight. I remember when I was at school swapping breakfast for a Nutri Grain bar because I thought it was "healthier".

However, now, I am starting to fall a bit in love with my belly - something I never thought I would say. I love whacking it out on a night and just looking at it and touching it. It's so hard when I poke it, which is really weird because it looks like it would be really wobbly!

Don't get me wrong, there are days when I do just feel fat. There are days when I am massively struggling to get to grips with the fact my body is changing at a rapid rate every single day and there's not a thing I can do about it.

There are days when I feel insecure about my 'bump' and already look forward to shedding the pounds once babba is here.

But, then I remember, I am growing a person. The human body is absolutely incredible to be able to reproduce actual, living people. It's crazy to think there is a teeny, tiny person in my belly right now - breathing and wriggling away. It's beyond belief.

So, when I do feel insecure about my body changing, I remind myself of that fact.

I'm starting to get a bit of a bump now too, so hopefully it will become obvious to strangers soon that I am pregnant and not just enjoying all the Christmas food that is out there (which I obvs am as well!)

Then again, who gives a shit what strangers think? Or anyone else for that matter?

I always stressed that I didn't want to pile on the pounds while I was pregnant and would do my best to stay healthy and eat healthy. But my body has had different ideas.

My insane aversions to fruit and vegetables has made maintaining any sort of healthy diet impossible. And the sickness I suffered with in the first trimester meant when I could eat, I would just eat what I fancied/could.

So what if I am a few stone heavier by the time June rolls around?

Everyone is different and the worst thing I have found I can do is compare myself to others. There are those lucky ladies who barely put on a pound during pregnancy and look so petite, neat and like they've just bad a big meal.

I'm going to be like Kim K during her pregnancy with North - like a big, swollen ball (minus the Mrs Doubtfire dress!)

If I am, I will deal with that once I know that the baby I've been cooking for nine months is happy and healthy. Because, at the end of the day, all that matters is baby Kershaw is okay!

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Google searches, sore body parts and weird symptoms

The first trimester is finally behind me and, so it seems, are some of the worst symptoms I was experiencing.

Sickness was probably the worst one but I've also suffered really badly with tiredness, food aversions and a rather strange collection of other symptoms.

Nobody told me pregnancy - and the associated 'side effects' - could be so strange.

If anyone were to take a took at my Google history, they would think I was insane. Some of the stuff that is happening to my body, and the things people tell me will happen, are just insane. I can't even bring myself to ask people I know who have been pregnant recently - the only person I really know well enough is my boss, which would be well awks considering some of the things I've been Googling! - if this shit is normal, so trusty Google it is.

I won't go into too much detail, because nobody wants to know the ins and outs of my person; but here's a tiny insight.

Every night I lather my rounding guy and my ever-growing boobs in Palmer's tummy butter (gotta try and combat the inevitable stretch marks!), spray moisturiser on my nipples (because I can't stand for them to be touched at all), and slap enough Sudocrem on my spotty face to plaster a decent sized wall.

Seriously, who knew your nipples got so dry and sore?! The shit that is going on down there is mental. They look different every day and I just don't even know what's normal anymore. I've seen so many pictures on Google of pregnant people's nipples, just to reassure myself that mine are normal, to last me a frigging lifetime.

I plan to breastfeed baby Kershaw when he/she arrives, so Christ only knows what they will look like then. I saw this picture the other day, hopefully nothing too much like this...

My skin is also horrific, which is highly traumatic for me. As a teenager, I had awful acne and went on really strong tablets to get rid of it. Then, from the age of about 15, I was on the pill to keep my raging hormones under control and stop them escaping my body as mini mountains on my face and back.

Now, it's like a scaled down version of the pissing Pennines on my chin!!

Thankfully, my face as a whole has escaped the epic breakout that seems to have ensued. My jawline and neck have taken the brunt, which I can deal with at this time of year with turtle necks and scarves.

Other than that, I literally have no idea what to do to them. They are so sore, so red and so god damn big!

Then, there's all the other crazy stuff that's going down. All the bogeys, the farting, the crazy dreams and being unable to string a proper sentence together because I either forget what I was going to say, or just forget how to speak English.

I am quickly learning that this stage of pregnancy is far from glamorous.

You see these celebrity mums-to-be in glossy magazines posing naked with their bumps and they look glowing and so happy. I really can't wait for the glowing phase to arrive.

As well as the weird symptoms - I'll stop talking about my nipples now - I am learning a lot about the human body.

I must have not been paying attention during a lot of my science lessons at school because I had no idea that some of these parts even existed, let alone what they were called/where they were located.

One of my friends messaged me after I told her I was pregnant and was telling me about a pregnant lady in her office who happily shared with everyone her experience of perineum massage.

I haven't ever seen this on a spa menu before, so assumed it wasn't something I booked into the beautician for.

My first Google search...

I mean, I was taken aback. I don't think you'll catch me discussing this with my colleagues in the office (I prepare to write about it and share it with all of you instead...haha!)

Seriously, though, WHAT?!

I'd never even heard of this perineum. It makes me wonder whether we were taught the intimate details of the female body at school, or whether I just dozed off that day.

My next Google search...

I'm not going to lie, I am still not 100% sure of how this kind of massage works.  And I'm certainly not going to be getting on YouTube for a tutorial on that one!

Now that I have a bit more energy, and feel more like myself, I have lots of blogs planned to bore you all to tears with. I have been working on a piece about learning to deal with my ever-changing body which I hope will be relatable to other first-time mums. And maybe even just to others, who are seeing changes to their bodies because of health reasons.

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The first trimester, in a nutshell

If you haven't seen my post from the other day, Tom and I are having a baby - due in June next year.

We are both so, so excited - although if the remainder of the pregnancy goes as slow as this first trimester, it'll feel like an eternity to wait.

The first trimester has been weird, hard and all kinds of crazy.

Let me take you back, first, to finding out I was pregnant.

Towards the end of our honeymoon, I started noticing a few changes in myself. The main one? My boobs were growing at a rapid, rapid rate. To the point where I was genuinely starting to worry that people would think I'd had a boob job on the sly while we'd been away.

Everyday they seemed bigger than the day before, and they were starting to get quite tender.

I thought it was maybe just to do with general weight gain, and eating four desserts a night. I know this time last year when I put a bit of weight on, a lot of it went to my boobs.

Tom has, affectionately, started referring to them as "the canons"... I have to keep reminding him that when all this is over, they'll just look like balloons that you find at the back of the sofa months after a party.

I found out I was pregnant a few days after returning home from honeymoon. I went to Tesco and bought one of the ClearBlue digital tests, which spelled out in plain English whether or not I was up the duff. I didn't trust myself to work it out from how many lines I could see.

The first test I did confirmed what we'd suspected - pregnant. It estimated between two and three weeks.

I did the second test, just to be sure. And that said the same. Tom was still at work at this time, and I didn't want to tell him over the phone.

When he got home, he'd bought a test for me to do. I told him I'd already done two and the good news.

His first words?

"Yes, my balls work!"

I did the test that he bought me the next morning, as I read the hormones are stronger in your first wee of the day - and that said the same.

I rang the doctors straight away and they booked me in with the midwife.

I had my first appointment with her on my birthday - when she calculated that I was actually, roughly, seven weeks pregnant. They work it out based on the date of your last period, rather than from conception, which added two weeks onto the ClearBlue test indicator. Although, that in itself was a rough guide given I had literally only just stopped taking the pill at the end of August and didn't have a 'proper period'.

From there it was a waiting game until I got my letter inviting me for my scan. When I had my scan, it actually transpired I was a week behind the rough guide the doctors gave me, putting our due date at 13th June 2018.

It's been absolutely horrific keeping it a secret, particularly when morning, noon and night sickness kicked in good and proper.

Up until the weekend after my birthday, I just felt a bit nauseous on a morning. But this went off when I had something (aka a lot) to eat. It kicked in good and proper the Saturday morning, though, and I spent the morning feeling like I'd smashed 50 jager bombs and two bottles of prosecco the previous night.

Since then, everyday has felt like I've had a horrific hangover. It's been awful. And so hard to hide.

What other changes have I noticed?

Well, I've become the most paranoid, on edge person ever. This is probably going to be too much info, so I apologise in advance (just fast forward to the next paragraph if you don't wanna learn more than you need to about me!) I've been continually worrying that any cramps or moisture  downstairs meant bad news. I must've taken ten extra trips to the toilet each day - in addition to all the extra ones for all my extra wees - to check that the moisture I was feeling was not blood. I was terrified about telling anyone about our exciting news too early because I imagined how horrific the conversation would have to be if it was no longer there.

This paranoia was heightened, I think, because I got pregnant so soon after taking the pill. It all seemed too good to be true, for it to be happening first time. I know how long people try and wait, and how much heartache couples go through, and it just felt like we were too lucky for it to have happened so quickly.

Even the days before the scan, I was still on edge. I was so, so excited for the scan but terrified in equal measure. I have written so many heartbreaking stories at work about miscarriages, still births, pregnancy problems - you name it, I've probably written about it and met someone who has been through every mum-to-be's nightmare. I was just worried that something would be wrong.

It's amazing the bond you feel with something that's only the size of a profiterole.

So sickness, ginormous knockers and paranoia aside, the other main side effect of growing a person has been the tiredness.

I am always tired anyway. Tom always mocks me because I need at least eight to nine hours of sleep a night to function. Since falling pregnant? That's gone up to at least 10 hours, usually with a nap in the day. I'm in bed by 9.30pm - at the very latest - every night and I'm fast asleep before my head has even hit the pillow.

They do say, though, to get all your sleep in during pregnancy because it's much more difficult when the little one is here, so I'm really taking that advice on board!

I am genuinely so, so, SO excited to become a mum. Ever since I was little, I've dreamt of being a mum. I've always been the mother figure in my friendship groups - particularly at uni - and absolutely love kids. I am just so excited. But I'm also terrified that a real life actual baby will be dependant on me and Tom.

When I got to the final of Woman of the Year at Slimming World, I got a plant. It was dead within two weeks. Although, of course, I'm not going to go off to work and forget to water the baby!

So, oversharing all done and dusted for one blog post, that's where we are at.

I apologise in advance for many more TMI moments that are sure to come over the next six months.

It's going to be a bumpy ride (excuse the pun!)

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Tom and I have been keeping a little secret...

...I've been growing an actual human baby!

Our little perfect peanut is due on 13th June 2018.

Yep, I have an actual, human baby growing in my tummy. Not a fur baby with four legs, or a food baby, a real-life person with wriggly arms and legs and a strong, beating heart.

When we went for our first scan it was having a right little wriggle as the lady pressed on my bursting bladder very hard with her little gadget. Peanut was flipping, jumping and busting all kinds of shapes. Obvs gets its moves from mumma!

We have been absolutely dying to tell the world our news, but have wanted so much to know that everything was ok first. People have kept saying to me how quiet I've been on the blogging front, and just on social media in general, but it's hard when this huge thing if your life is a big secret. So expect lots and lots of pregnancy spam posts now - I'm so sorry in advance!

I've been struggling quite a bit with the first trimester, so it's been difficult to hide it. And, in particular, hide my ever-growing belly. I'm so glad I can justify it now!

Tom has already started churning out the absolutely outrageous baby names. I think he hates the baby already, some of the suggestions are insane. Someone needs to sit him down and have a word.

We haven't bought anything 'baby' yet. We were so set on making sure everything was ok at the scan before going on a mad one in the baby clothes section. But, now we have seen it wriggling and fidgeting away, we might start to pick up a few littles bits.

So, yeah, there we have it - our very own little honeymoon baby! The best, most special, long-lasting souvenir we could have possibly acquired.


Making memories is my favourite, but documenting them is important too

While we were away on our honeymoon, I was seldom without some sort of camera or recording equipment in my hand.

If I wasn't taking photos, I was recording our every move on the GoPro. Whether it was the walk from our room down to the hotel facilities, or what we were eating and drinking, I was documenting every moment. Not to post on social media (although, I did do a lot of posts on Instagram), but most of what we captured is just for us to keep as a reminder of everything we did. It's nice to share our photos and videos with our family and friends, but it's nicer to have some that are special to us. (And no, they're not rude!)

Tom kept asking me why, telling me he would rather take everything in through his eyes rather than through a camera lens. The great thing about the GoPro is it is such a wide angle lens, I could point it in the general direction I wanted to film and still achieve my desired shot; while still being able to look at everything myself. But I did see what he was getting at.

The truth is, I take so many pictures and videos all the time because I want to remember everything. Of course, I know I will remember everything for now. I can still tell you now each meal we ate and what was my favourite cocktail from the bar menu. But, one day, one of us might not remember.

We might have forgotten how Tom mastered paddle boarding, or all the beautiful scenery in the Seychelles. We might have forgotten the things we saw in Dubai, or the amazing experiences we had during our honeymoon.

Each time he asked me why I was incessantly taking photos of everything I remembered the film The Notebook. Everyone in the English-speaking world has heard of The Notebook, if not ever seen it.

For those not familiar to the storyline, it centres around an elderly couple in a nursing home. The man is telling the woman a love story about how two people met and fell in love. It transpires, through the film, that the couple in question is the elderly couple from the start; and she has dementia. Each day, Noah tells Allie the story in the hope that she will remember him, even if just for a brief moment.

Now, of course, that sounds very dramatic (not at all like me, I know...) but you just never know what the future holds. I would hate to think that, years down the line, one of us developed Alzheimer's, dementia or another memory loss disease and not remember all the fun times that we had had together. All the adventures we had been on and all the memories that we made in good faith that we would hold them with us forever.

By taking lots of photos and videos, we always have something to look back on. We'll always have memory boxes, scrap books and photo albums to try and jog our memories. Plus, we can share all our adventures with our future family.

I know when I was little I loved looking at pictures and videos of my mum and dad's trips and adventures before me and Jack came along.

For now, I will keep snapping away and documenting every moment of our lives together. Because, taking hundreds of photos doesn't mean I don't take the moments in myself at the time, it just means I can look back on the memories in the years to come, when they aren't so fresh, and relive every moment.


Putting the smooth in smoothie

Hello - remember me?

I have been so, so crap at keeping my blog updated since honeymoon. The weeks before we went were hectic, rushing round getting everything sorted and the excitement of our trip. And since we've been back it's been just as hectic, catching up on life and getting back into a routine.

However, I feel like my life has resumed some sort of normality again.

Just before I went on honeymoon I was contacted by a company who wanted to send me some samples of a brand of smoothie that they were promoting. I completely forgot all about it, until I got back and the lady had emailed me again. While sorting through my hundreds of emails I found it, and decided that the post-honeymoon detox would kick off nicely with said smoothies.

I was sent a big box with a whole host of flavours in - some of which sounded more appetising than others.

The Savse (pronounced Sav-Say) smoothies are based on authentic family recipes created in the 1980s by Nina, the mother of Savse's founder Guka Tavberidze to help cure an iron deficiency during her pregnancy in the 1980s.

Savse is the ideal fix for those looking for something deliciously healthy and naturally tasty. And, what's even better, is that each low-calorie bottle offers two of your five-a-day.

Savse, mening 'crammed' in Georgian, is filled to the brim with 100 per cent natural super fruits and antioxidant-rich vegetables, to ensure the tastiest, healthiest, raw smoothies - with no added sugars, colourings of water.

I love smoothies, but my main concern is always how much sugar is in them. They're pitched as being so healthy but, often, they are actually worse for you than drinking a big bottle of Coke.

These, however, are completely natural and are all really low in calories.

The first one I tried was the Super orange flavour (which contains mango, passion fruit, orange, carrot, celery, apple and lemon). It smelt beaut and it tasted just like Tropicana. It tasted like it should be so, so naughty and full of sugar.

It also reminded me of the mango and passionfruit iced drinks that they do at Starbucks and Costa - it was really refreshing and really tasty.

I then tried the Super Red one, which was just as nice. This one contained strawberry, kale, orange, broccoli, celery and spinach. I actually made myself a smoothie with similar ingredients at home before these were delivered, and it didn't look (or taste) anywhere near as good as this one.

I have also tried the orange and apple juices - which are beaut. The orange juice tastes just like proper orange juice - which is probably because it is! It also doesn't have 'bits' which is a big win for me, because that always ruins orange juice for me.

The apple juice was really tasty, too. Although, I must admit I preferred the orange out of the two.

The Super Blue (blueberry, blackcurrant, beetroot, strawberry, kale, spinach, orange and apple) at first taste reminded me of a Fruit Pastille ice lolly. It was lovely - very blackcurrant-y. 

The Super Green, which contains kale, spinach, pear, apple, lemon, kiwi, broccoli and banana, was the one I was least looking forward to trying. It looks really healthy, which usually means it isn't as tasty. However, that wasn't the case. It was really refreshing and I really enjoyed it.

The only one I didn't particularly enjoy was the Super Purple (beetroot, apple, lemon, lime and mango). The taste was ok, it was the smell that put me off. It smelt "very earthy" as my friend put it. It didn't taste as bad as it smelt, I will give it that, but it wasn't my favourite.

Other flavours that the range includes are a Protein Blast, a Protein Punch and Protein Smash. These are apparently perfect for pre and post workout - not something I have any experience or knowledge in whatsoever!

Overall, I must say I was really impressed. And I would definitely buy the smoothies in future. You can buy them in Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, ASDA, Co-Op, Boots, Ocado, Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Spar, Nisa, Planet Organic and Wholefoods.

They are priced around £1.75 for a 250ml bottle, depending on where you get them from.

Since its introduction, Savse has shaken up the smoothie market. It's not like other smoothie brands, as it uniquely cold-presses all of its ingredients to retain the essential goodness of the full fruit and vegetables. High pressure processing (HPP) is the sophisticated preservation technique used to ensure that all vital nutrients are locked into each bottle and removes any nasties, without compromising on taste or quality by using heat pasteurisation.

Basically, they're just really, really good for you. And they taste good - which is a double win!

For more information about the brand, you can find them on Facebook by following this link.


I understand now why they say the first year of marriage is the hardest

Our wedding day was truly the happiest day of my life so far.

You only have to look at our photos, and video, to see the beaming smile that was plastered across my face all day.

Image by Insight Photography.
Image by Insight Photography.
Image by Insight Photography.
Obviously, even without seeing my cheesy grin, you'd expect me to declare it as the happiest day of my life to this point. And, honestly, it was.

But the weeks that followed were hard.

Everyone always says "the first year of marriage is the hardest". I never really knew what they meant before.

I always knew that our relationship and partnership wouldn't change after we were married, so I couldn't understand what people meant. Did they mean it was hard between the two of you? Do you suddenly start hating each other once you're married?

Now I totally see what they mean.

After so much build-up, excitement and expectation, then a wave of emotions on the day itself, it's quite a comedown once it is all over.

And, honestly, I just didn't know what to do with myself.

We haven't yet been on our honeymoon (only two weeks now until we jet off!), although we did go on a 'mini-moon' straight after we were married. This was lovely, and meant we stayed living in our wedding bubble that little bit longer.

But, when we came home, it was strange. Whilst I felt so incredibly happy and excited about embarking on married life, I also felt strange.

I don't want to say sad, because that sounds extreme, but I didn't feel normal. I didn't feel like myself. Changing my name on everything was so exciting - but it was also a strange feeling.

I just can't put my finger on what was wrong. I was agitated, stressy, snappy - even more so than normal!

The only thing I can think of is it being an extreme comedown from the wedding. From the two and a half year build-up, the excitement, the anticipation, the happiness - all over with.

Once our wedding bubble burst, and we went back to reality, it was weird.

Without sounding overly dramatic, there was nothing to focus on. Nothing to save like crazy people for. It was just suddenly all over.

I now understand why everyone says the first year of marriage is the hardest. They don't mean the marriage itself, or the relationship - at least not in our case. Tom and I have never been happier or more settled. We're making exciting plans for our future and looking forward to so many different things.

It's the circumstances - if even that - that they mean. The huge changes, the comedown, the pressure that's on you as a couple...

So many people have said to us about having a baby, starting a family and generally creating a brood.

While that is lovely, and I too am excited for all of the above, it does add a bit more pressure to us. To know that people are waiting to see when it will happen. I feel if I wrote a blog entitled 'We've some happy news to share' everyone would automatically assume we were having a baby.

There's been a lot of talk about this recently, whether it's right to ask people about starting a family. Of course, you never know what anyone is going through personally, and I am sure no offence or harm is meant when people ask.

It's just another example of the pressure newly married couples face in the first 12 months. Everyone automatically expects that once those rings are securely on your fingers that you'll start pro-creating.

I really hope I am not the only person who has ever felt like this. I'll feel even worse if nobody else knows what the hell I'm talking about!

I definitely feel like I've come out the other side now. We had Soph and Paul's wedding which catapulted us straight back into the wedding bubble. It was just beautiful.

Now we've got our honeymoon to look forward to and when we get back from there it's time for birthdays, bonfire night and the Christmas countdown.

Hopefully the post-wedding black hole is a thing of the past now. I certainly feel more bright and positive, that's for sure!

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REVIEW: Abbey House Restaurant, Selby

Ever since Abbey House Restaurant opened its doors in November 2015, we have been massive fans.

It's our go-to place in town for special occasions. We've celebrated birthdays, Mother's Day, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, the festive season and new jobs there.

So I was absolutely over the moon when I won a Facebook competition (it was a like and share this post, you know the type) which was run by one of Abbey House's local suppliers, Bert's Barrow, for a meal for two.

We booked in for Bank Holiday Monday, knowing full well that after the excitement of a wedding that I really wouldn't want to cook.

I have eaten at Abbey House more times than I can remember, but the reason I wanted to write a review this time was because I feel more people need to know about it. When we told friends where we were going, they hadn't heard of it. People asked what food they served, what it's like inside, how much it is etc.

The restaurant has an AA rosette - which is no easy achievement. They're only given to the real best - and Abbey House is Selby's only AA rosette restaurant. Yet so many people still don't even know about it. That makes me very sad. So, here's my attempt to make more people know about it. (Hopefully not too many that I struggle to get booked in for future occasions, though!)

We were booked in for 7pm, but arrived quite early. We enjoyed a lovely drink outside, taking in the last of the summer sunshine, before our table.

We were given the menu to peruse while we enjoyed our drinks. It's the first time we have been since the menu change, so it was nice to have some time to deliberate.

Our order was taken and we were promptly shown to our table - where we were given homemade wholemeal ciabatta to enjoy. I'm sorry there's no photo of this - we were both starving and dived in before I even had a chance to register!

We were both really impressed with the menu choices. Abbey House has a set menu - £13 for one course, £19 for two courses and £24 for three. It's really good value, especially when you see the quality of the food.

For starter, Tom went for the ox tongue, tomato chutney, Yorkshire blue, garlic, lovage oil.

While I opted for the Beetroot cured bream, chorizo jam, hummus, lime dressing, pickled cucumber.

I had never tried bream before, I did spend some time googling its taste/texture before ordering it. But I have to say, it was beautiful. The chorizo jam and hummus was perfect with it, as was the pickled cucumber.

I normally don't like cucumber, or hummus, but it all worked wonderfully well together for my starter. It's always nice when you try something new and it's a hit.

I can always count on Abbey House to be the place I try something new, because I always know it's going to be the best quality and prepared in the tastiest way.

We ordered a bottle of Merlot - our favourite tipple - to enjoy with the rest of our meal as we waited for our steak.

The atmosphere in Abbey House is lovely. The decor is simple yet elegant, and the vibe is really chilled - but you still feel like you're somewhere fancy.

The restaurant is spread across two floors, a smaller downstairs and a much larger upstairs. There's even a private table at the bottom of the ground floor, away from all the other diners, which is perfect for more intimate occasions.

Everything, even down to the music playing in the restaurant, just ticks all the boxes. The staff are friendly, pleasant and very conscientious. Nothing is ever too much trouble!

For mains, we ordered the flat iron steak (which is only served medium rare) with watercress, shallots, chips and pepper sauce. For good measure, we added a side of onion rings on. And when you see what they look like, you'll see why!

The presentation is impeccable - as you can see.

The chips are out of this world, as are the onion rings. They're proper onion rings in proper batter - just talking about them now is making my mouth water!

The pepper sauce is beaut, too.

I have to say, the steak at Abbey House is up there with the best steak I've had. It's cooked to perfection and is usually always my go-to main course. I really should be more adventurous and try some of the other delights - which include lamb rump, coley and pork - but I know I love the steak so much. And the chips.

We were both a bit stuffed after our main course, but we couldn't not have desserts.

The desserts are out of this world.

I think I must have tried almost every dessert they've done. From an upside down cheesecake when they first opened to an insane brownie.

Their new dessert menu includes chocolate tart, vanilla ice cream, raspberry parfait, a set lemon custard with Italian meringue and white chocolate and lime sorbet; as well as doughnuts.

Tom went for the milk chocolate tart with yoghurt and Tonka ice-cream, mango and cocoa nibs.

While I had the doughnuts with cream cheese, cherries and caramel.

They were proper fresh, homemade doughnuts and were just incredible.

The caramel sauce was out of this world too, and the cream cheese worked really well with the sweetness of the doughnuts and caramel.

They were the perfect way to round off an incredible meal.

As we finished our wine we both said how amazing the meal had been.

A few more tables came in while we were eating, but it wasn't as busy as it should have been.

People of Selby and surrounding areas - you don't know what you are missing!! Abbey House should be booked up weeks in advance - the most sought after tables ever.

If you don't believe me, then perhaps the words of celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager will convince you.

Rosemary was dining at Abbey House the same night as Tom and I, after her appearance at the nearby Sherburn Craft and Food Festival.

When the head chef, Lee, came out of the kitchen to chat to her, she was full of praise for the dishes she tried. She couldn't have complimented Lee, his menu and his creations any more if she had tried.

I felt so proud hearing her speak so highly of the place - and I only hope more people go out and try the place for themselves.

Our meal was part of the competition prize, but our drinks and side orders were to pay for. In total, this came to £34, meaning that were we to pay for our meal too, our bill would have been £82.

For a three course meal for two people, with a bottle of wine, gin and tonic, glass of prosecco and side of onion rings - especially of the calibre it was - I don't think that's at all bad.

The quality of the food speaks for itself - I tried to make my photos look as impressive as possible but, honestly, they don't do the incredible taste justice.

If you don't fancy the set menu on an evening, I can highly recommend Abbey House's Sunday dinner menu. It's one of my favourite places to go for Sunday lunch, purely because it's such good value for money. And, just like the rest of their menu, is excellent quality.

It's also one of my mum's favourite places, too. Being coeliac she struggles to find places that can adapt their menu to her allergies. Abbey House are more than accommodating, often creating gluten free desserts especially for her! They honestly can't do enough for you.

If you don't believe me, try for yourself. I would highly recommend it!