Prepare yourself for a photo heavy post! At the start of May the boyfriend and I set off on a sunny drive up the A1 to Scarborough to stay at Ox Pasture Hall, a beautiful country hotel in Yorkshire. We’d settled on May with the hope that the weather would have improved, though I was worrying that maybe it wouldn’t as we moved through April and all that unseasonal snow! However, we totally lucked out and there was something of a heat wave the weekend we went to the seaside – couldn’t have planned it better!
It took us about two and a half hours to get to the hotel from home but we took a lovely route and with the weather being so gorgeous it was a wonderful little road trip. We arrived at Ox Pasture Hall mid afternoon on the Saturday to be greeted with a green as far as you can see, with the hotel gorgeously nestled in. Photographers paradise!
The hotel has 17 acres of land surrounding it, and it was lovely for me personally to be back in the Yorkshire countryside after moving away from Leeds almost a year ago. Behind the main hotel building was a large pond, which at the time of our stay had a family of goslings swimming around. Between these, other birds in the pond, cats and dogs there was a real sense of nature added to the area.
All the rooms appear to be named after different places in Yorkshire, and ours was just to die for. With a large lounge area with a tv and two large windows overlooking the pond to the rear of the hotel and a huge bedroom we couldn’t have been more comfortable. The bathroom – can I have one? This bathroom was fully my aesthetic, and I’m so glad I opted to bring a bubble bath from Lush with me so I could enjoy the bath. Double sinks, walk in shower, and a window with natural light – just gorgeous. Ali also absolutely loved the channel effect taps!
After checking in and exploring our room and the grounds, we decided to jump back in the car and head down into Scarborough for the remainder of the afternoon. The centre of Scarborough is about a ten minute drive from the hotel, so easily accessible. We went for a walk down the beach in the South Bay, grabbed some fish and chips because hey, we were at the seaside, and wandered around taking in the area. It was the first time I had been to the town so it was lovely to just wander around and have a look. Of course we popped into one of the arcades and had a go on the 2p machines!
We ate dinner in the Courtyard restaurant on the Saturday evening. We were given a glass of prosecco in the comfy, rustic bar area as we waited for our table to be prepared and then were shown to our seats by the window overlooking the front lawns. The dinner itself was absolutely amazing. Hats off to the chef Craig who trained and worked at the 2 Michelin star restaurant La Gavroche in London. The menu was full of brilliant quality local produce and a huge amount of thought has clearly gone into the creation of the dishes.
We were treated to a pre-starter dish which was described as ‘just mushroom’ by our server Leoni. I live for mushrooms so this mushroom mousse was right up my street. After this we were served soda bread with butter and dripping, which I easily could have eaten plates of. Both of us picked different dishes to get a feel for more of the menu. I opted for the Wye Valley asparagus with smoked ricotta and hazelnuts, a dish I’ve never had before but would happily have again. For main I had the 50 day salt aged beef with aliums, miso and seaweed and it was absolutely the right choice. The beef was stunningly cooked and the plethora of flavours on the plate all complimented each other.
Ali chose to start with the BBQ short rib with octopus and brassicas which he said tasted fantastic. He went with the North Sea pollock with Jersey Royals, olive, back fat and yeast which again he said had fantastic flavour – just felt like it wasn’t quite fully cooked. We ended up having a lovely conversation with an older couple at the next table over dinner. They were well into their 80s and enjoying a few days away together and it was lovely to have a chat with someone we didn’t know and share some stories.
After a long day and stuffed to the brim with food we retired to our room unable to fit in any dessert, but vowing to have an ice cream on the Sunday to make up for it. I ran a huge bubbly bath with my Lush Comforter and we just enjoyed the remainder of the evening together.
We woke up extremely well rested the next morning bright and early. We didn’t have to check out until 11 but we wanted to make the most of the day and had several things on our list! We dragged ourselves out of the huge comfy bed (seriously, I could have stayed there all day) and headed down to breakfast, which was just as yummy as dinner! We both opted for tea, and a full English. Now I have to say usually I hate black pudding, and I forgot that cooked breakfasts usually come with it, but when Ali said it was really tasty I gave it a go and oh my god it was scrumptious!
We had a last wander around the grounds and caught more of the young goslings playing. Ox Pasture Hall is also a wedding venue, and it appeared that we were staying between two different weddings. We saw them setting up for a ceremony in the gardens just before we left on the Sunday and it just looked so picturesque. I wouldn’t hesitate considering the hotel as a wedding venue at all!
After making friends with a ginger cat we’d seen wandering around the grounds a lot, we checked out and thanked everyone from the staff we could find for a great stay. We then got in the car, headed back down into Scarborough and parked up for the day. Anyone who knows me knows that Ali and I love going out for walks and visits to country houses and the like, so we definitely wanted to get up to Scarborough Castle while we were there.
It was a long uphill walk but with the weather it was so worth it. We spent a good couple of hours wandering the castle grounds and taking in the views. You can climb up to a point in the castle and see right across the town from the South to the North bays and I just couldn’t get enough of the view! Scarborough Castle is quite interesting to look around with its varied history, and it would be a great place to take the kids on a day out!
We headed back down into the South Bay to try and find somewhere for lunch and by now it was super super busy! We managed to get a little table in the back corner of a little nautical themed restaurant called Golden Grid – and of course we had more fish and chips. After this we jumped in the car and headed up to the North Bay for a while. It was much quieter around here as it’s less of a tourist area, so we could take our time without being surrounded by people. We found a little rocky cove area by the Old Scalby Mills pub where a river meets the sea and we hung around there for a while watching the waves and kids playing in rock pools and dogs playing. It isn’t the most accessible of coves as by mid afternoon the sea has risen enough that the steps down are underwater so we had to do a minor bit of climbing to get up and down – but if I can do it I’m sure most people can!
Our last stop was the SeaLife Sanctuary. We both love aquariums, and we went to the SeaLife at the Trafford Centre for my birthday last year. The sanctuary in Scarborough is much bigger and better as it has indoor and outdoor sections. We wound away the last couple of hours of the afternoon watching the fish in the tanks and laughing at the antics of certain animals. We headed to the outdoor section and watched the penguins waddling around a while – it seemed they were having a clumsy half hour and kept falling over when trying to hop into the water!
As if by some miracle we were around for the feeding time of both of our favourite animals! We got to see the otters Eric and Pumpkin have their dinner! They’re actually a non-breeding pair but super affectionate all the same. It was fascinating to watch them sniffing out the various bits of food that the keeper scattered over their home, and it was great to be able to chat to the keeper about them and various other animals in the sanctuary. We spoke to her about the seal rehabilitation centre at the sanctuary and the work they do to nurse injured seals back to life, which is obviously a really worthwhile thing to do.
After the SeaLife sanctuary we hopped in the car and started on the long drive home, again luckily through the sunny country roads of Yorkshire!
We had an absolutely fantastic weekend, and I still can’t believe how much we managed to squeeze in. Scarborough is a lovely town and I’ll definitely be back sometime. It really reminded me of the family trips we used to take to Torquay when I was little and I kept thinking we were on the south coast rather than Yorkshire!
We want to thank everyone at Ox Pasture Hall for a wonderful stay, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the hotel, as well as Scarborough itself, to anyone! xx