Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough
For months now I have be yearning for the sea. So this weekend we grabbed a suitcase, our coats, bundled in the car and head north for a trip to Scarborough.
We arrived to blue skies and with hungry bellies, but if a childhood of holidaying in Scarborough taught me anything it is that good weather takes precedent over grumbly tums, so the first thing we did was take a walk.
Scarborough sea front is an eclectic mix of architecture from its Victorian heyday, attractions from its 70’s past and modern facelifts. We started at South Bay accompanied by the sounds of the arcades before slowly working our way to the quieter beach in North Bay – more of a local hotspot than a tourist trap. Separating the two is a small harbour which is home to equally small fishing vessels whose catches are sold in little huts on the sea front.
After an afternoon filled with chips and beach walks, punctuated with time on the 2p machines, Mr M and I headed off to our home for the night; Ox Pasture Hall Hotel.
The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a countryhotel in Yorkshire sitting just outside of Scarborough and right on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. And it is a sight for sore eyes when your cheeks are red with the cold from the North Sea air.
We were greeted with warm Yorkshire welcomes and shown straight to our room. As the door swung shut behind us we took in the huge, cosy room and the gorgeous view.
With a quick glance at each other we both headed off in different directions to see what else the suite had to offer.
"The view's nice in here too....and the bed's huge." came a voice from the bedroom which was responded to with a:
"The bath has waterfall taps. I think I'm going to have a bath."
Despite our aching fingers and cheeks begging us to stay in the warmth, the view from our window was too much to miss so we set off for a wander around the grounds.
Completely surrounded by fields and woodland the only noise that broke up the silence were the geese on the pond and the seagulls in the air, reminding you that you are still irresistibly close to the sea.
Satisfied by a mooch around we headed back to the room to get warm and thaw out a little before dinner.
When we arrived the reception team asked us what time we wanted to have dinner, meaning we would avoid potentially having to wait for a table. It also meant we could plan pre-dinner drinks.
As we got to the bar we were asked our room number and told to take a seat; the menu for the evening and drinks would be sent over. As we settled into the comfiest cushions I have ever sat on a bottle of Prosecco appeared, along with some menus.
After a quick peruse we ordered our meals, sat back and relaxed as we waited to be called to our table.
Once we were at our table we didn't have long to wait before food started to arrive.
An amuse bouche of tomato and red pepper soup. Warm enough to dive straight into, and with the perfect balance of red pepper to tomato. Sweet, smooth, warming and the perfect time filler.
Then onto confit of duck and rabbit terrine for him.
And goats cheese tart with beetroot and range for me. The tart was good, crumbly pastry wrapped around beetroot and topped with tangy goat’s cheese. Earthy, sweet and salty. For me the tart bordered on being a little dry, but the orange brought it all back.
For mains Mr M opted for sirloin of beef with oxtail pie, horseradish mash and braised silverskin onions. The beef was beautifully cooked and incredibly lean but the real star was the oxtail pie. Melt in the mouth pastry filled with rich, intense oxtail. Definite food envy.
I went for the monkfish wrapped in Parma ham with ratatouille. The dish came dressed with a butternut squash puree which was divine. So silky and went incredibly well with the monkfish.
Dessert may or may not have seen us take a break from Lent. Mr M ordered a hot chocolate fondant while I went for a sticky toffee pudding. We shared, obviously. By far and away the star of the desserts was the sticky toffee. Warm with a sightly crunchy glaze topped with beautifully sweet sauce and served with frozen double cream. So good.
The only thing left for us to do was to collapse into our marshmallow bed surrounded by the silence of the countryside and into a food coma.
We woke feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep to beautiful weather and after feasting on croissants and omelette we took one final wander around the grounds.
Ox Pasture is perfectly placed for anyone wanting a slice of the sea and the country without sacrificing peace and quiet. With little hideaways dotted around, nestled amongst the quiet gardens come the summer the place will be buzzing with life and colour.
The only thing I'd mention is if you find yourself in room 23 turn the radiator down before you go to bed. The duvets are super cosy and if you're anything like me you'll be too hot too soon.
Before we left I insisted on two things: 1. a quick walk in the moors, and 2. a lemon top.
We drove a little further into the moors and parked up for a little wander. A walker’s paradise the moors stretches for miles with green carpet like fields and surrounded by woodlands. The weather showed it off beautifully.
It is only the call of a lemon top that could drag me away. Sitting on the edge of South Bay beach with one of these is a rite of passage, and law.
We took a wander towards North Bay where the sea is a little rougher and the beaches a little quieter, passing the closed fairground along the way. We stopped by Peasholm Park for a nostalgic meander. When I was little these dragon boats were swans. Peasholm Park was always one of my favourite places, and still is. A little slice of quiet away from the lively music of the arcades.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend, the kind that you enjoy all the more when you look back on it. A massive thank you to the team at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel for inviting us to stay. The hotel is a beautiful place to stay, and I have no doubt that we'll be back when we visit Scarborough again. Prices start at around £135 per night for a classic double room.
It's funny how much things can change in just one year. Scarborough, if I'm not back within the next year the lemon tops are on me.
*I was invited to review Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in exchange for a complimentary night stay, dinner and breakfast. Whilst our stay at Ox Pasture was paid for all views and opinion are my own.