Those who know me, know I’m the definition of an introvert. There’s nothing I love more than peace and tranquility, the opportunity to relax and unwind my inner tiring mind, put my feet up with a hot drink catching up on trashy TV, indulging in some pampering treats whilst soaking up the country air; so, when I was asked if I would like to review a night at Ox Pasture Hall, the luxury Scarborough hotel with a king suite, dinner and bed and breakfast included I was absolutely delighted and quite frankly, totally flattered.
Known for its stunning location, beautiful surroundings, quality accommodation, amazing food, and fairytale like grounds only one can dream of, Ox Pasture Hall is everything I could ever want combined into one. It’s a place I’d been dying to visit in my lifetime and was so excited for this opportunity (especially with it being a chance for some special mum and daughter time)! The long taxi ride down the country lanes alone was a sign I was in for a treat as I could sense the tangible quietness. Nestled beneath the tons of famous Yorkshire greenery was this charming, boutique style building and elegant set out to finish. The taxi driver told us Ox Pasture was some place if you liked the woodlands and boy, I did.
Although check in was 2pm, we arrived around 45 minutes early. I wasn’t expecting to be able to do anything until that time but we actually found that when we arrived our room was all ready to be admired straight away so we wouldn’t have to be waiting around. Honestly, I was overwhelmed with such a pleasant, warm and friendly welcoming. When I go away, I try not to over judge the service (unless someone is blatantly rude of course) as I know hotels have so many bookings to deal with and can’t always spend every second tending to your needs but I feel like I need to highlight just how impeccable the service and smiley greetings were. From start to finish, any issues we had, any information we required, any general chit chat, or just a surprising, kind gesture on their behalf was all from the heart and it was great to see a hotel that valued their customers entirely with passion. Even when turning off our lamp blew the entire block of electricity, as well as all our lights whilst we were getting ready to go to dinner, a member of staff was informed immediately and the problem was fixed within minutes (trust that to happen to me of course).
Taken through just a glimpse of the alluring courtyards, we were guided to the back area of the hotel where the luxury suite complex settled. We stayed in the Richmond suite, just one of many sumptuous suites all named after Yorkshire towns. The room was huge, much bigger than I expected. It had three areas; the main living room area, the bathroom, and the airy bedroom with the comfiest king size bed I’ve ever slept in (seriously, I had the biggest case of ‘I think I’m glued to this bed’ waking up on Saturday morning. With two TVs – a great feature that allowed you to transfer from snug sofa watching to sleepy bed watching – tea and coffee facilities, a cheeky few biscuits (which happened to be my best), a desk, a dressing table, a coffee table, a double wardrobe, and Victorian style windows with ever so pretty curtains and a traditional Yorkshire view for miles, I settled in, in awe, right away. I’m always grateful for somewhere I can take my home-bound personality and the spotlessly clean, cheerful furnishings with classic, simple decor allowed me to enjoy all my home comforts, just from a completely different point of view.
It’s not a hotel stay without me favouring a room and this time round it was the ultra modern bathroom of dreams. Aside from the incredible giant bed, the presentation of the bathroom; the granite marble, the spa-like bath, waterfall taps, the massive walk in shower, double mirror, the his and her basins and the oversized, cuddly dressing gowns provided was my ultimate favourite part. After a fulfilling evening meal, a bubble bath to soak in was the perfect way to lounge until my heart’s content.
Once we’d unpacked and sorted ourselves out, after a busy morning in Scarborough, we were ready for food – something to take our hunger away, but leave us with enough room for our meal later. Prior to arriving to the hotel we had phoned up to ask if they catered for lunch and once again, the staff were keen to help and provide us with what we desired. There are two parts of the food and drink area – the courtyard restaurant and the bistro. The courtyard is more of a fine dine and the bistro is a chilled alternative with a charming, rustic vibe; exposed stone walls, darkened lighting and a conventional bar. We took seat in the bistro for our lunch and opted for a soft cheese sandwich with side salad which did the job of satisfying my taste buds, as well as allowing me to de-stress in front of a roaring log fire. If you weren’t sleepy when you entered, you would definitely be once you’d perched and rested there. We were even given a complimentary glass of prosecco which washed the snack down entirely.
Before the early dark night approached, I was eager to get out into the fresh, chilly air and take advantage of the shadowed sunshine. First up, I headed towards the historic courtyard and the hidden outdoor terraces which along with the main 17 acres of land, was the ideal setting to appreciate the picturesque sights, the prim and proper details of potted plants, water fountains and suntrap spots suitable for you to relax with a book or a gossip and a glass of wine with accompaniments in the summer time. Fine nature at its best.
As mentioned before, Ox Pasture Hall’s main attraction are their unique, manicured gardens; a pristine amount of tended flowers, plants and trees and nothing but open pastoral space which lead you to a blissful essence as soon as you step foot into the winding walkway up to the reception. At every corner turned, there’s a standstill to admire. From the sheltered seating and overhead archways, to the never ending foliage – it’s somewhere you can cherish at any time of year but somewhere I believe you can take more advantage of in the spring/summer season. I almost got lost in the lavishing beauty and felt like I was an extra in a remake of The Secret Garden. With the flowers blooming and the sun still staying strong, it didn’t feel as though it was mid November. I could have spent hours exploring the grounds as there really isn’t any end to the regular, old school fun of pacing back and forth in the freedom. There was an option of free wifi but I found myself stepping away from the hustle and bustle of real life and just making the most of my true escape.
Now onto the final, foremost part – the food. After a quick spruce up of christening new clothes and using any excuse to glam up, and as the day turned to night and the natural light disappeared leaving twinkling, ditsy fairy lights supporting the now extra pretty surroundings, it was time to head down for our 6:30pm booking. The presentation of the courtyard restaurant was just as divine as the food – with it being a former barn-house, the low ceilings and wooden planks reflected and complimented the stylish table set up. Being the only ones in there, we imagined to feel alone but were proved wrong yet again. Paul, the restaurant manager, made sure he was on hand to provide us with first class dining and as the soothing music played, we were ready to be wow’ed.
We decided against a starter as we didn’t want our bellies to be bigger than our eyes but it turns out we didn’t even need to order one as we were proposed a couple of appetising tasters; beginning with baked rock salt celeriac – a newly introduced vegetable to me but one which can be now added to the love list, followed by wholemeal fruit loaf served with homemade butter, sea salt and cracked pepper and smoked with poppy seeds – the sweetness and individual tastes turned something so ordinary into a masterpiece!
For the main me and my mum both opted for the mushroom risotto with Parmesan cheese. I am slowly improving with my food experimentation but always find myself going back to the ‘boring’ safe and familiar option opposed to the fancy, posh meat choice such as duck and pigeon. This, however, was far from ordinary; it was, hands down. the most delicious, succulent risotto my mouth has ever been blessed with. The portion size wasn’t massive but the proportion of rice made it just enough and I made sure I devoured every last part. It was absolutely cooked to perfection and you could really tell the chef took pride in his creativity, flavouring and recipes!
Moving on to dessert, the part where my vindictive sweet tooth can regain power and all ideas of a diet go out of the window. We were presented with a taster dessert of cherry sorbet to begin with which was a tangy, fruity warm up, and then after waiting patiently for our homemade chocolate fondant with warm banana, pistachio ice cream and popping candy, we dove headfirst into the burst of fresh, ever so delectable chocolately goodness.
The breakfast also didn’t disappoint – despite the over consuming of food the night before, we weren’t going to be defeated. We were graced with a choice of continental – your typical cereals, granola, yoghurt, pastries, toast, fruit and basic juices, and then for afters a full cooked breakfast; the flavours of each nourishing food item baked to your preference entwining together to create a crispy, seasoned edge. I was in bacon, sausage, egg and mushroom heaven.
All in all, the food was 5 star, exceptional in all standards and you receive the quality you so highly desire at such a deluxe venue. I must now head back there sometime soon as I’ve heard so many good things about their Sunday dinners and afternoon tea. Mmmm.
Although Ox Pasture Hall is only a few miles from Scarborough town centre it felt as though it could be detached completely as it’s so reserved. The relaxing experience was one of a kind and after one of the best nights sleep I’d had in a while, I was thoroughly refreshed. My visit really did make me feel more human (it must be the country air) and it took me aback when I had to return to civilisation, the reality of manic train stations and a drastic change of weather. If you are the sort of person to be on the look out for a rural getaway, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a place suitable for any age with any zest of life, and is even pet friendly (I’m sure a dog would be in its element roaming round those gardens). When we left, there was a wedding in full preparation and it got me thinking about the potential memories of celebration which could be held there. Not to plan in advance or anything (a bit steep seen as I’m still a singleton) but it’s now become a serious future wedding venue choice. Now all I need to do is find a husband to be.
P.S. thanks so much to Shaun for inviting me along and to Paul, Alan and Lindsey in particular. Your kindness, gratitude and premium service all round is much appreciated!