Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. I was recently invited to spend the night in Scarborough at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, and planned a fun-filled weekend for Matt and myself. We even went up a day early and stayed in a budget hotel so we could make the most of it. Oh, we had plans to spend the Friday in York, exploring the city, going round the Christmas market and having a lovely dinner. We’d even done some major research on eateries, including having a look at the recommendations on Quandoo for the best places to eat in the North of England. Then we were going to spend the weekend having a walk on the Yorkshire Moors near our hotel, before coming back to a bottle of fizz and a lavish dinner.
Sounds great, right? But sadly it wasn’t quite to be. We got to York about lunchtime on Friday as planned, but almost immediately after lunch I realised that I’d gone from ‘feeling a bit off’ as I had all morning to full on ill. We were back at our budget hotel by about 4pm, and I spent the evening in bed. But we did manage to see the back of the Christmas market before I had to go back to the car, so that’s something…
Luckily I felt much better on Saturday, so we headed to Scarborough. Ox Pasture Hall is so cosy and comfortable that it made feeling a bit poorly seem not so bad – because why would you want to leave your hotel room when it looks like this?
We started our stay with afternoon tea on Saturday afternoon. It was SO good. The sandwiches were pretty simple – cheese, cucumber and beef – but that was fine because the desserts were so plentiful and incredible that we struggled to finish them. The scones were still warm, which always means top marks in my book – and all the extra cakes were amazing. Lemon cheesecake, chocolate tart and pistachio slice - YUM. This is where I found out that Matt had never had afternoon tea before, and felt a bit bad for all the men out there who assume it’s a girls’ only deal. Cake and tea is equal opportunities!
Several hours later (after that ridiculous bath I mentioned) we came back for dinner. There’s a reason why Ox Pasture Hall has two rosettes for culinary excellence for their food, because it was amazing – beautifully presented, with super attentive service.
To start we had a sample of their butternut squash soup. It may not sound exciting but it was one of the best soups I’d ever had – so hearty and flavourful. Next course, I had chicken roulade, Matt had duck parfait which were both excellent. And then another little extra, a palate cleanser of passionfruit and frozen whisky shot. God this was good. I never realised how well passionfruit goes with whisky before. SO well.
For mains (yep, we still had room) I had beef brisket with mash, Matt had lamb shank. These were amazing, and also huge. Often you get little portions in fancy restaurants, so I approved of my hearty stack of buttery mash. The beef was so well cooked, too – it just fell apart when I prodded it. Afterwards, we shared the raspberry crème brulee and a cheeseboard. The crème brulee was warm, which is quite rare I think, but it had such a lovely flavour. (I didn’t have much room for the cheeseboard after that, but Matt stepped up)
This really is a beautiful hotel in a stunning location. We were struck at how well we were treated while we were there – the staff couldn’t do enough for us. There was a wedding going on while we were there too, and apart from a few glimpses of wedding guests (including an adorable little girl singing Let It Go by herself in the courtyard) we didn’t hear a peep, which I was really impressed with, as I assumed we’d be very aware of the guests.
Honestly, I really want to go back and explore it properly, and am seriously thinking about booking a weekend there next year. I think it would be amazing in the summer – the hotel even offer picnics for you to take out with you, so now I’m fantasising about a wander on the Yorkshire moors with a fabulous picnic in my hamper. Sounds pretty great, right?
Thank you so much for the stay – we’ll be back!