Over the past week I’ve been sharing photos of the fabulous places that we visited during our ‘West to East’ tour of the north. After a waltz round The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and spending a day exploring historic Harrogate, we headed east for the last stop on our trip, where my husband and I stayed at the stunning 4*Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. Situated amongst the rolling hills of North Yorkshire, just outside the seaside town of Scarborough, this hotel is truly a hidden gem. As we drove through the gorgeous countryside towards our destination, I could feel myself getting more and more excited to be staying in this picturesque part of the country and regularly stopped the car to take snaps of the stunning landscape. When my husband spotted signs to a nearby that he once camped in as a young scout, a smile spread across his face and I’m pleased to report that it stayed put for the rest of our trip! The building itself is a charming country house set in a valley with breath-taking views in every direction and as soon as we checked in, we headed outside to explore the hotel and its 17 acre grounds. An easily accessible path leads visitors all the way around the garden and everywhere you look there is somewhere to sit, rest and take in the vast views of the Yorkshire Moors. With the sun shining and birds tweeting, it was easy to see why this is hotel is a popular romantic getaway and hubby and I skipped along hand-in-hand like teenagers.
All the paths around the garden led to perfect photo-opportunity spots, such as pergolas, arched walkways and stone benches, and it was easy to imagine the fantastic wedding photographs that could be taken at this destination. I looked it up when I got back home and downloaded some photos of weddings at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel so that you can be inspired to hold your own wedding at this spectacular venue.
There was actually a small wedding in progress as we arrived at the hotel, and the fact that the family’s dog was walking the bride down the aisle made me almost burst into sentimental tears myself! The wedding party of around 20 guests celebrated in a beautifully decorated private dining room and by 10pm I was coveting the late-night chip butties being served to the bride and groom’s family. This wedding showed me that the wedding coordinator at Ox Pasture Hall listens to what the bride and groom want from their wedding and does everything possible to help to make their dream day a reality.
Ox Pasture Hall Hotel began life as traditional country farmhouse and the building has been developed over the years into a warm and welcoming luxury hotel containing a bright courtyard restaurant, a cosy bar, and a lounge with a roaring fire – which we were very thankful for after our sunny yet blustery walk around the grounds! We settled into the squishy sofa, put our feet up and waited for a delicious afternoon tea to be served.
A huge stack of cakes, scones and finger sandwiches arrived, along with steaming pots of tea, coffee and all the trimmings. After insisting that I take a couple of snaps, I could no longer stop hubby from tucking in, and I was already salivating at the idea of those lemon cakes so I too grabbed a plate and helped myself. Honestly, these still-warm-from-the-oven scones were the best I’ve ever tasted and I couldn’t resist loading them up with cream and jam. We spent a long, lazy afternoon enjoying our tea break in the hotel lounge and when we finally finished all the delicious treats (yes, we ate everything!) we headed out to explore nearby Scarborough.
I was surprised just how close the hotel is to the seaside town – just a few minutes’ drive – yet Ox Pasture feels so quiet, calm and far away from civilisation when you’re there. We took a stroll along the promenade and investigated the brightly coloured beach huts before heading around the harbour and taking some snaps of the seafront. Although we both agreed that we had been to Scarborough together before, neither my husband nor I could remember when it was, nor could we remember the town being so nice! As dusk fell, we decided to head back to the hotel but made a promise to ourselves to come back to Scarborough again in the summer to explore the destination further.
Back at Ox Pasture Hall we headed up to our first floor accommodation in the newly renovated barns. Whilst these traditional farm buildings look quaint and rustic from the outside, the accommodation is beautifully designed with modern facilities and bright spacious rooms that were warm and cosy. I actually felt most at home in this hotel out of all the places we had stayed during out trip and I would have been very happy to stay for longer – or even live there!
The views of the dramatic landscape from our room were spectacular and I could barely tear myself away from the window long enough to get ready for dinner. After a long soak in the biggest bath I’ve ever been in, filled by what was essentially a waterfall, and almost needing to tread water in order to keep myself above water (yes, it was that big!), hubby and I smartened ourselves up and headed out to the Courtyard Restaurant.
The evening menu had an extensive selection of dishes available, truly something for everyone. I’m a huge fan of food and if you asked any of my friends they would say that I’d eat anything. In fact, I’m a bit of a secret fussy eater and there are something things that chefs often add to dishes – such as nuts or some fruits – that really put me off a dish that I would otherwise love. In this instance, there was nothing on the menu that I wouldn’t eat and I could order my soup, beef and sticky-toffee pudding with abandon! Soon after toasting our Valentine’s trip with a glass of bubbly, our first course arrived and hubby tucked into rolled herring while I enjoyed the most delicious homemade tomato soup that I’d ever eaten, served with freshly baked bread in a variety of flavours.
Our beef and lamb main courses were cooked to perfection and the accompanying mashed potato was out of this world! I know that hearing about someone else’s dinner might not be particularly fun, especially if you’re feeling hungry right now, but I need to share this with someone: the butterscotch sauce that accompanied my dessert was life changing. I need to know the recipe because I have to recreate it – I can’t live my life without eating it again. Perhaps I’ll just have to visit Ox Pasture Hall again, because it was so deliciously amazing that I’d be happy to make the 4 hour drive back to Yorkshire just to taste it again! I was sad that (after all the cakes at afternoon tea and four mouth-watering courses) I just couldn’t finish all of my sticky toffee pudding. I still think about that tiny leftover piece of sponge drizzled with creamy toffee sauce and give out a little longing whimper.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that our stay at The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel was one of the best experiences we’ve had since our honeymoon nearly 13 years ago. Actually, this possibly tops our honeymoon too… just don’t tell Paris! With the homely surroundings, warm welcome, incredible food and breath-taking scenery, it’s easy to see why guests return year after year – I’ve already started saving my pennies so that we can go back to the hotel soon and get me some more of that butterscotch sauce!