Yorkshire is pretty wonderful. There's pretty much everything you could want here in God's own county - from the mean streets of Leeds to the rolling pastures of the Dales, the bleakness of the moors and the quaint little towns with drystone walls. I've made my way around quite a bit of these green & pleasant lands over the past couple of years, but there's still plenty to explore - including Yorkshire's coast. So when I was invited to come down to Ox Pasture Hall near Scarborough, I jumped at the chance.
Ox Pasture Hall is perfectly situated for those wanting to see more of Yorkshire - it's a five minute drive from Scarborough for those who want to stroll along the beach, but tucked away in the countryside for those who want a quiet break and a ramble in the fields. It's also not far from York or Whitby, so there's plenty to do for a longer stay. Oh, and it's dog friendly for those with pooches (and those who, like me, really want a pooch and will happily coo over other's pets when out and about...). We were just there for one night, but we managed to walk along the seafront and snack on some proper fish & chips - whetting my appetite to come back to this part of the world!
The hotel itself looks like a rustic country house, set in stunning gardens. There's a log-burning stove in the bar area and a few hints of the old life of this building scattered around the place. It's very cosy, although we went on a Wednesday so it was a little quiet - which depending on your sensibilities will be a good or a bad thing! Our suite was absolutely beautiful, and incredibly spacious. It was light and airy, and incredibly comfortable - the bed was like sleeping in a cloud. I was very disappointed to go back to my regular bed which has very few cloud-like qualities.
Let's talk about the food though, shall we? That's what you're really here for, isn't it? I'll be honest and say that the afternoon tea was nothing much to write home about; having had some very good afternoon teas in my time, I was a little underwhelmed by the selection. However, that being said, dinner more than redeemed any lingering disappointment from the tea - it was incredible. It's not cheap, but I was so full afterwards that I couldn't really manage any breakfast the next day, so it's easy to get your money's worth!
There are two menus - the A La Carte and Bistro. Since we were feeling fancy, we went for the A La Carte. A surprise 'amuse bouche' arrived first - a little cup of more-ish tomato & red pepper soup served with fresh bread and a dollop of garlic sauce. This was followed by Whitby crab for me - a very fresh dish - and ham hock for Paul. I want to sing the praises of the main course, however - a delicious beef dish made up of a slow-cooked joint and steak, which was melt-in-the-mouth and incredibly decadent. The menu changes regularly with the seasons, but if you get the chance then order this dish! There was no room for dessert after all that, which is not my usual modus operandi but needs must!
All in all, we had a wonderful time. It is one of my enduring memories of Bridget Jones that she was a little obsessed with going on a mini-break, which always confused me as a teenager. However, I think if all mini-breaks were like this one then I think I could definitely get on board with her way of thinking.Disclaimer: We were offered a complimentary stay and meal at Ox Pasture Hall in return for this review but, as always, I would never lie to you about the cloud-like nature of a bed. That's serious stuff.