Aren’t bank holiday weekends just the best!? An extra day for us to relax and recharge our batteries. This bank holiday weekend gone, I had the pleasure to stay at Ox Pasture Hall*, a luxury Scarborough hotel, for one night and oh boy was it a relaxing stay.
What’s a bank holiday weekend without a visit to the seaside so of course that’s where I started mine. In just over an hour by train from Leeds I found myself on the beach of Scarborough. I’ve been before but this was the first time getting the train. It’s a really picturesque train journey, packed with like-minded people fancying fish & chips and ice-cream whilst breathing in the fresh sea air.
Scarborough was particularly windy during my visit but I still enjoyed it. I haven’t been to the Yorkshire seaside in a very long time and it’s only when I go I realise just how much I miss it. I love the sea and if it hadn’t been so cold and a low tide, I’d be out wading in it. Instead, I enjoyed a walk along the harbour, reading up on Scarborough’s history at various information points. I actually didn’t know until now that Scarborough is the UK’s first seaside resort. No wonder its fair got a song named from it.
It was too cold to enjoy an ice-cream (can’t believe I said that, I can normally eat ice-cream any time of the year) but I did have time for a scampi lunch, a beer and people watching. Heading back to the train station for a taxi to the hotel, I walked along the winding streets admiring the architecture. There’s something special about seaside houses; they’re so colourful and quaint.
Ox Pasture Hall
A short taxi drive away from the city and I arrived at Ox Pasture Hall. The country hotel is situated just at the entrance of North York Moors National Park with stunning views and a tranquil surroundings. As soon as I stepped out of the taxi I felt calm, it was really nice getting away from the hustle and bustle in Scarborough.
The Helmsley Room
Check in was really swift and I was straight away seen to my room: the biggest suite on offer I believe. Ox Pasture Hall is spread across several 1-2 floor buildings and mine was the furthest away. I first thought I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to the main building but I managed without getting lost once. The suite I stayed in is called Helmsley and commonly used as the bridal suit when weddings are on. Realising I didn’t only have one but two king size bedrooms, and a lounge and a massive bathroom, I was overwhelmed! I had to sit down and take it all in for half an hour or so, calming down with a delicious rhubarb tarte which was brought to my room on arrival. I mean, the size of the suit is as big as my flat, if not bigger.
The afternoon I spent outside, admiring the estate and getting my bearings right. It’s a lovely garden full of greens of different kinds and I so wish it was my own. The courtyards all have ripple fountains which add to the tranquillity of the estate. One of them was outside my bedroom window and I love how relaxing it is listening to it. I also had time to get comfy in one of the beds (I picked the smaller room as the other was too daunting on my own) reading and napping before getting ready for my 5 course tasting menu.
I love that the bathroom both had a bathtub and a separate shower cubicle. I’m not a fan of showering after a bath still in the bathtub so extra points for that. The taps are a lovely detail where the water flows fast but soft. Luckily I brought my own bath fizz bomb as no bubble bath gel, only shower gel, is provided. The bathrobe is super comfy: it feels like being wrapped around by a teddy bear. By spending too long time in it, I had to rush getting ready for dinner. I think a spa addition is in the planning stages and I’ve got a feeling it’ll be really good so once up and running I’d love to come back.
Bar & Restaurant
Because the restaurant is situated in the main building it feels like getting ready to head out for a meal, not dine in a hotel restaurant. It’s a really nice touch which makes the whole experience a little bit better. Before being seated, I enjoyed a gin and tonic in the bar eyeing up the menu of my choice. The bar is very much like an old fashioned English pub: rustique with a dark colour scheme, massive leather sofas and of course a fireplace. The restaurant however is much lighter and has more of an Italian countryside feel to it (not that I’ve ever been but I can imagine). I really love the tree decoration with its fairy lights.
5 Course tasting menu
For dinner I enjoyed a five course tasting menu: two starters, a main and two desserts. Luckily all dishes were slightly smaller than normal so I had room for it all but still felt pleasantly content.
I started off with an onion mousse with radish and granola and it was the garnish that made the dish. The mousse itself didn’t taste much but it had a lovely texture. Secondly I had the mackerel with celeriac and this is by far my favourite. You all know how much I love fish so no surprise it’s my favourite of the evening. The celeriac had a lovely fresh taste and crisp texture. The main was treacle beef served with Pomme Anna and various vegetables. The meat was a tad bit dry for me but the flavours were stunning, especially the pickled blackcurrant.
The lemon cake served with raspberry curd I ate very quickly which is a sign of deliciousness I guess, ha. I was really happy to be served a lemon infused dessert as it’s my favourite pudding flavour at the moment. To finish off, I was served three different truffles: coconut, mint and a blackcurrant marmalade truffle. The mint is my favourite, taking the edge off being full of delicious food and prosecco. Each dish is meant to be served with a different wine but I’m glad I stuck to prosecco all night, only to break up with a red wine for the main.
After a really good nights sleep, I felt well rested and ready to take on the day. My favourite meal of the day is breakfast and Ox Pasture’s does not disappoint. They have a side table where you help yourself to all cold food: cereal, juices, croissants etc. and warm food: toast, tea and a choice of hot breakfast is served at the table. Again, being the fish lover I am I ordered the salmon, lemon scrambled egg served with parsley oil and it is delicious. It all melts beautifully on the tongue and who would have thought such basic ingredients and simple seasoning can make one so happy. Compliments to the chef on this one! I shall practise at home so I can eat this all the time, ha.
North York Moors National Park
I was up and ready for breakfast at 8 so I had plenty of time for a short walk in the National Park before checking out at 11. It’s a good check out time leaving everyone with plenty of time to get ready without stress. The National Park is massive so if arriving by car you should have plenty of options of where to go. Travelling on foot like myself and if you’re staying with dogs, the Dog Bark Bend entrance to the park is a good option. It’s a lovely morning walk with all kinds of trees, flowers, birds singing and stunning views.
A nice end to my visit at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel which I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a luxury, quaint, tranquil or foodie weekend away. Ox Pasture has something for everyone, especially lovely and friendly staff who take great care of you.
Have you had he pleasure of staying at Ox Pasture Hall? Are there any similar hotels you recommend me to stay in in Yorkshire?
*I was invited for a complimentary stay including dinner and breakfast in return for an honest review. As always, words and opinions are all my own.