If you have never thought too much about going on a mini break in Yorkshire, then I’m about to try and change your mind. I’ve managed to have a lot of mini getaways and holidays in the UK, but weekends away in North Yorkshire are something I rarely think about. However, last weekend I was lucky enough to head to a luxury Scarborough hotel, tucked away in the peaceful countryside, for a little pre-Christmas Wintery break.
On a rather mild December weekend, two of us headed off to the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, situated in Scarborough and nestled near the North Yorkshire Moors. Driving to Scarborough from Manchester meant passing through the lovely city of York, where we stopped off and spent a few hours exploring the cities shops and bars, before checking out the famous York Minster. I’ll put up a little post about how I spent the day there, but for now it’s all about Scarborough and this beautiful country house picturesque hotel.
The drive to the stunning privately owned hotel coming from York is a peaceful little drive through some of the most quaint and cottage filled towns. As we were getting closer to Ox Pasture Hall, it felt like we were getting more and more remote – like a real cut off from the busy world. And yes, that’s definitely a good thing, as I love nothing more than being surrounded by fields, land and nature. I never really knew just how pretty Scarborough is, but from driving around the area before pulling into the hotel, I was captivated by the rolling hills, stunning valleys, luscious green fields and heather covered moors.
It didn’t take me too long to realise after arriving that this hotel is the perfect location for a wedding, with it’s seventeen acres of picturesque grounds and a cosy, country cottage themed interior and exterior. However, it’s also fairly close to the sea, just a few miles out from the centre of Scarborough, and in easy reach of Filey, Whitby, Helmsley and York making it an excellent choice for couples and families wanted a break away.
In terms of rooms, we stayed in one of the luxury suites, which resembled a little one bed flat with an open plan lounge and bedroom area. The suite was lovely and spacious for two people, offering a relaxing area for lazing on the sofa watching the TV (and admiring the stunning views from the window!). It has to be said though that my favourite room of all was the bathroom – it was huuuuge! The shower area is designed as a walk-in space, with a large silver shower head which is super powerful. It also comes with two large sinks and a deep, relaxing bath. with a clean and minimal tile decor.
So everyone knows I love food- right? Therefore one thing I was especially looking forward to once the evening arrived was checking out the dining situation.
The courtyard restaurant is a lovely little dining area, aptly named due to it’s view of the hotels quaint and neat little courtyard garden. We tried out a red pepper and tomato soup with fruit and nut bread to start, which was the perfect size to begin with, however the main course menu left me with rather too many decisions to make! Lemon Sole, Open Lasagna, Beef Cheek, Sea Trout… too many tasty options! In the end we opted for the crispy leg of Duck Breast with red cabbage and potatoes, and the Pork Belly Loin, which I never usually go for. Both were absolutely delicious! The Pork was just the right texture and full of flavour. I have to say too that the red cabbage that came with both meals was just the right side to sit with the meat, and I wanted to try making this at home now…
As the only restaurant in Scarborough to have been awarded 2-rosettes for culinary excellence and also recommended in the michelin guide, I can completely see why it has impressed so many people. We finished off with a bottle of Prosecco, Chocolate Fondue Cake and and Apple and Blackberry Crumble which was the perfect dessert to complete the meal.
As there has been a wedding party staying at the hotel, the breakfast area was packed the following morning, meaning we had to wait a little while before being seated and to take our orders, so do plan your weekend here around the possible wedding party crowds. It is possibly a good call to head down as early as possibly, as we did leave this quite last minute.
In true Yorkshire style, we tucked into a large full Yorkshire cooked breakfasts, in which I tried black pudding for the first time! I think I had a bad one once, which put me off, but this one was incredible and I actually enjoyed eating it. A new found favourite of mine thanks to the breakfast chef that morning!
As you can see from the photos; the hotel, suite, staff and dining was of the best quality. The surrounding grounds are breath taking, and I can see why this is an ideal place for romantic getaways and weddings.
That aside, you can easily break away from the hotel and venture into Scarborough, which isn’t too far away. It’s quite an attractive place to visit due to being right on the sea, making it an ideal choice for a Summers weekend to enjoy the sea, but equally as appealing in the Winter. I don’t know about you, but I love a good Winter stroll along the seafront with a hot drink and a bag of chips. There are actually two sides of the beach – the North Beach and the South, both lined with shops, cafes and visitor entertainment.
The drive into Scarbourough from Ox Pasture Hall took us about 20 minutes, where we enjoyed the views of Scarborough castle from the sandy beaches. I haven’t been to Scarborough since being a child, so nothing was familiar at all about the place, which made it all the better to explore!
The South Bar seafront is possibly the best location if you like trying out different bars and eateries, as it is lined with lots and lots of restaurants and cafes, plus little shops for picking up gifts and souvenirs. As well as eating and shopping – which are unashamedly my favourite activities – it’s quite a fun place to visit for those who enjoy activities, such as boating and fishing. I wanted a much more chilled weekend and took up the easier activity of walking, which can;t be grumbled at with the stunning views and fresh seafront air. I noticed too that there are also Ghost Tours and haunted walking routes which I would love to fit in next time I visit.
Overall, my stay at Ox Pasture Hall and visit to Scarborough was all in all one of the best Pre-Christmas wintery weekend breaks to date. It was just the most tranquil, relaxing and loveliest little stay in the UK I have had in a long time. The best thing about it is that you have so many amazing cities and town surrounding the area to try and visit. As mentioned, we fitted in a visit to York on the way up, and after Scarborough we also gave Whitby a little visit too. I’ll pop these both up on the blog soon!
Thank you to all at Ox Pasture Hall for a brilliant weekend.