During our stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel last month (you can read my full review of our suite and afternoon tea here), we were also offered a three-course meal* at their highly blogger renowned Courtyard restaurant. Being the only restaurant in Scarborough to have been awarded two rosettes for culinary excellence and feature in the Michelin guide, it was one of the things we were most looking forward to on the trip and we arrived with high expectations.
Greeted by a young waiter, we were shown to the bar and ordered a bottle of red wine to accompany our meal whilst we pondered over the choices on the simple but well-varied menu. It took a little while for us to be seated at our table despite there only being us and two other tables dining that evening, but once we had sat down and ordered, our food was brought out promptly, starting with an appetizer of rich, butternut squash soup and a selection of fresh, homemade breads, compliments of the chef. Simon opted for the duck starter (£7.50), which consisted of duck liver parfait with melba toast and a crisp pastry cup filled with shredded duck, accompanied by a tangy cherry sorbet and compote. I chose Ham, Egg & Peas (£8,75) - a mini ham hock terrine sat on a bed of piccalilli, with a crispy hen's egg which was cooked to runny perfection, complimented nicely with a drizzle of pea puree and honey mustard.
Before our main course, we were offered a shot glass containing a refreshing berry palate cleanser to prepare us for the showstopper. Simon and I had decided to choose different dishes for our mains so that we could sample as much of the menu as we could, but we agreed to share with each other to avoid any food envy that might jeopardise our relationship ;) I went for the straight-to-the-point main, The Lamb (£21.50), a pink-in-the-middle two bone rack of lamb and lamb & kidney faggot resting on dauphinoise potatoes, mingling together with courgettes and a sweet, butternut squash puree. As happy as I was with my main dish, I'm glad that Simon had agreed to go halves with his aptly named, The Pork (£18.95) because it looked amazing - a succulent piece of slow-cooked pork belly, surrounded by slices of pork tenderloin roulade, a tasty, homemade black pudding and finished off with sides of savoy cabbage, sauteed potatoes and red onions. A concern that I am often met by with fine dining is that the food is expensive but you don't get much of it, however the portions at the Courtyard were huge. After mixing and matching our main dishes we were left pretty full, but after a fifteen minute breather and another palette cleanser, we found a little room for dessert.
Simon decided on the Yorkshire Cheese Board (£8.50) which included a trio of cheeses accompanied by a selection of homemade breads and crackers with grapes and a cranberry chutney. I, on the other hand, needed to satisfy my sweet tooth after our savoury courses, and opted for the ultimate decadent dessert, Chocolate Trio (£7.95) - a rich, chocolate tart and hot chocolate fondant balanced out with a sweet, melt-in-the-mouth white chocolate parfait. Admittedly, I didn't make it very far in to my dessert- it was lovely (especially that hot fondant) but I felt I was about to burst, so feeling beyond satisfied, Simon and I took our bottle of wine and headed to bed.
Breakfast is often the highlight of my hotel stays- I think it's because I don't often get to enjoy a full-English breakfast which is usually what I opt for, and there's just something about having someone else bring you a pot of coffee, a rack of toast and a glass of fresh orange juice first thing in the morning. This time was no different, and both Simon and I ordered ourselves the cooked breakfast (they also offer continental choices such as yogurts, porridge, fruit and cereals), which included a sausage, two rashers of bacon, a tomato, a generous slice of the delicious homemade black pudding that we had sampled during dinner, sauteed mushrooms and eggs, cooked just how we like them. Even though it was quite simple, we both agreed that it was one of the best hotel breakfasts we had had- the sausages and bacon were hearty without being too fatty and the eggs were cooked to perfection- mine were poached with a nice, runny centre whilst Simon's scrambled eggs were fluffy and light.
Overall, our stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel was a pleasant one- the rural surroundings were a nice change from the norm and the dining experience was a much-needed luxury treat. If you are looking for a relaxing, weekend getaway with your other half, perhaps to celebrate an anniversary, birthday or other special occasion (Ox Pasture Hall are also renowned for being a beautiful wedding location, and with the picturesque surroundings I'm not surprised!), I would recommend Ox Pasture Hall for its romantic setting and attention to detail. At around £300 a night for a luxury suite like ours including dinner and breakfast, it's definitely a treat, but they also offer gorgeous four poster deluxe, double deluxe and classic double rooms a little cheaper at £205, £190 and £160 respectively.
Are you planning a relaxing getaway? Ever stayed at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel?