Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Review

A couple of weeks ago Phil and I arrived in Scarborough, a seaside town on the coast of North Yorkshire. Apart from a few train delays it was very simple journey from Sheffield. We took a train to York and from there we jumped on a second train to Scarborough, the journey took just over 2 hours.

It was very cold and windy on our arrival but luckily we’d wrapped up warm with lots of layers and wooly hats. We decided to make our way straight through the town and down to the seaside.

By the time we’d made it to the beach we were ready for lunch. It would have been rude not to go for fish and chips. It’s the seaside rule, isn’t it?

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We eyed up our choices; Winking Willy’s, Harry Ramsden’s, The Famous Fish Pan – Scarborough is not short of fish and chip restaurants. We bustled into Golden Grid, unwrapped our many layers and ordered big pots of tea and fish and chips.

The cafe was quiet when we arrived but quickly filled up so we knew we’d made a good choice. The staff were friendly and the service was quick. The fish was fluffy and the chips had a good crunch to them and weren’t weren’t too greasy, success! They went down a treat and we quickly warmed up.

It was then time to brave the cold weather and explore.

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I had been hoping for warm donuts or candy floss, for blog reasons of course, but we were just too full.

As we strolled down the front we dived in and out of the arcades and let the 2ps flow. I just can’t resist a good session in the amusements, I always have to be dragged away. With our pockets empty and our fingers a little warmer we decided it was time to make our way up to Scarborough Castle.

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The wind was bitterly cold but the walk did us good after our big lunch. We made it to the top, admired the views across the coastline and snapped out cameras.

We then decided to head towards the North Bay. Our plan was to visit Peasholm Park which is a recently restored oriental park. We’d also been keen to see the Gristhorpe Man, a Bronze Age skeleton at the Rotunda Museum. However, it was just too cold, after walking half the way we just couldn’t go any further.

If you’re visiting Scarborough then I’d put the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough castle, Peasholm Park and Scarborough Art Gallery on your ‘to do’ list. There’s a lot to do in this little seaside town. 

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Feeling a little disheveled from the wind we made our way back towards the town, bundled into a taxi and headed towards our hotel.

The reason behind our trip to Scarborough was to visit Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. I’ve stayed in a couple of  Scarborough hotels but nothing as luxurious as this one. As you can imagine, we couldn’t wait to arrive.

As the taxi made its way ’round the country roads we knew we were going to be in for a real treat.

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As soon as we stepped into the hotel we were greeted with a warm and friendly welcome. Just a few minutes later we were guided swiftly through the beautiful courtyard to our room. I say room, it was actually a luxury suite. In recent years the hotel has been restored and extended to offer many more rooms including luxury suites.

I’m longing to live back in the countryside so this former country farmhouse turned luxury house hotel was ideal for me.

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We stepped into the room and were both filled with a warm and cosy feeling. There was a big cupboard to hide away our clothes and bags, a desk with tea and coffee facilities and lots of storage.

We padded around the suite, marvelled at the king size bed (which was very comfortable) and squealed at the bathroom – I’m a huge fan of double sinks and the bath was just begging to be used.

After we’d changed from our windswept outfits we snuggled up on the sofa to watch TV and read magazines. We both tried to get online to do some work but luckily there was no signal. We were in the middle of nowhere and it was wonderful. Don’t worry though, you can easily pick up the wifi in the bar and communal areas – we made good use of this for Instagrams of our trip.

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Once we’d warmed up we were ready to go and make the most of the bar area. By bar area I mean, big squishy sofas and a lovely warm fire. It was a dream. We made ourselves comfortable, ordered a few drinks and relaxed with the magazines which were on offer.

There were a few other people in the bar and a lovely black Labrador. Actually, a few dogs popped in and out of the hotel throughout the afternoon. It was nice to hear that they have a selection of pet friendly rooms, I know a couple of friends who will be very pleased about this.

We spent a good few hours relaxing by the fire, chatting and making promises to return in the new year. It really is one of those places you visit to cut off from work and busy life.

We finally dragged ourselves away from the fire to get ready for the evening meal. I had a lovely bath, it was very relaxing and I wish I’d thought ahead and popped a Lush bath bomb in my handbag. Luckily there were a collection of soaps, and body washes on hand for me to use.

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before dinner

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It wasn’t long ’til we found ourselves sitting back by the fire. This time we were treated to a bottle of prosecco (thanks Shaun) while we browsed the Courtyard Restaurant menu. I was pleased to hear that everything is locally sourced.

It was very hard to make our decisions. There was a selection of around 7 starters, mains and desserts on the menu. We finally narrowed down our choices and put our orders in. You can see the menu here, but I’m fairly sure that it changes from time to time. Phil and I were very very happy with the choices we made.

I informed the hotel of my food allergy before we arrived and they were more than happy to ensure there was always something suitable for me. The hotel is happy to cater for all food requirements. So if you decide to visit then just make sure the hotel and restaurant are aware.

I’d heard that the Courtyard Restaurant is one of the best places to eat near Scarborough and I couldn’t agree more. You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the restaurant. We saw many people popping in for their evening meal. Before we left on Sunday we even got talking to a few friendly regulars who said they always come to the restaurant on a Sunday. I wish I lived close enough to be a regular of the Courtyard Restaurant.

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Everything was kicked off with a selection of delicious fresh breads and mackerel paté with crispy onions. We both really enjoyed this. The texture of the crispy onions and creamy smooth paté work so well together. The photos don’t do it justice. I was using my new pancake lens which doesn’t work so well in low light. 

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For my starter I had the Warm Salad; Little Gem Heart, Oak Leaf, Crispy Roots, Ginger and Coriander. Oh my! I don’t think I’ve ever had a starter that I’ve enjoyed as much as this. I could eat it right now. Phil went for the mushroom soup which he said was one of the best he’s ever had.

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My main was the Duck Breast; Crispy Leg, Butternut Squash, Red Cabbage, Potato, Black Berries Jus.  Phil went for the Pork Belly and Loin; Champ Mash, Red Cabbage, Crispy Roots, Real Gravy.

The presentation of the food was wonderful, I don’t think I’ve had many meals which have been as beautifully presented as these were. We both were very happy with our choices, the meat was tender and the vegetables were delicate and full of flavour.

We were left feeling content and very full. I don’t normally go for all 3 options but it would have been rude not to try dessert.

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My dessert choice was the Pear Tart Tatin with Pear Sorbet and Phil had the Chocolate Fondant with White Chocolate Ice Cream. Each of our desserts were prepared to order. This made them feel extra special and it also gave us the chance to take a little foodie break and have a good chat.

We both decided that once again we’d made excellent choices and that we’d go for the same desserts if we get ’round to going again in the new year.

After the meal we headed back into the bar to relax by the cosy fire. We sunk into the big sofas, shared photos on Instagram and chatted about our plans for 2016. We then headed back to the bedroom to watch some TV in bed and I think I can honestly say that I had the best nights sleep that I’d had in a very long time. I’m yet to have such a good sleep, looks like I really must visit again to catch up on sleep.

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morning breakfast

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The following morning we woke early and did some reading before breakfast. There was a buffet of pastries, juices, bread and cereals ready for guests to pick from. As soon as we sat down our orders for a cooked breakfast were taken and coffee arrived at our table. As with the evening before, the service was prompt and friendly. Everyone in the hotel had a smile on their face.

The menu had a good selection of breakfast choices. Phil went for a full English breakfast, without the black pudding and I had scrambled eggs, mushrooms and toast.

The room was filled with a warm atmosphere. Everyone was enjoying breakfast, chatting and making plans for the day ahead. We felt very relaxed and it was no secret that we didn’t want to leave.

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The hotel is situated in 17 acres of gardens. There’s so much opportunity for long countryside walks, a stroll around the gardens or even taking your bike out to explore. After breakfast we braved the rain and walked around the gardens. It was well worth it, the views across the fields were stunning and I felt calm and relaxed. This hotel really is an escape from day to day life.

The staff called a local taxi for us, we said our goodbyes and made our way to the train station.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. We had a truly wonderful and relaxing stay. The hotel was luxurious, the food was delicious and the staff were warm, friendly and very helpful. We were well looked after by the staff and we’re keen to visit again in 2016.

I’ve already told my friends and family about the trip and I do hope they will find the chance to visit one day. Let me know if you take a trip to Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. It’s a place I’d like everyone to experience.

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