Ox Pasture Hall is a wonderful anomaly on the edge of a town that remains one of northern England’s favourite day-trip and short stay destinations.
In most people’s minds, Scarborough is the archetypal British seaside resort.
Amusement arcades, fish and chips and shops selling sticks of rock and other tacky souvenirs dominate the South Bay.
Overlooking this fantastic natural harbour and its North Bay equivalent are imposing grand hotels that have, unfortunately, seen much better days.
Once they were the place to be seen.
Now, having seen little investment and a decline in the traditional British seaside holiday that was so popular back in the 1960s and 70s, they are shadows of their former selves, in dire need of investment and modernisation.
But, much like the youngsters exploring the rock pools on the beach, if you are prepared to do a litlle digging you can uncover a gem.
Take a few steps off the beaten track and you will find the stylish and chic Ox Pasture Hall.
It is just a few minutes’ drive from those glorious beaches, but could be a world away.
Far from the madding crowds of the seafront is this wonderfully tranquil retreat offering its customers a chance to kick back and relax in luxury .
The pace of life at Ox Pasture Hall is the perfect antidote to the holiday-making crowds that pack the seafront.
Afternoon tea is an attraction all of its own, and worth sampling even if you choose not to stay the night.
Endless tea or coffee with plates of sandwiches and six different sweet treats served in the bar or lounge from 3pm onwards will get your stay off to an impressive start.
Having over-indulged, like I did, it is worth taking a stroll round the grounds to take in the impressive North Yorkshire countryside in which the hotel and its wedding suite are based.
As the early winter dusk fell, my wife and I retreated to our fantastic suite to relax and prepare for our much-anticipated evening meal in the well-regarded restaurant.
The suite in which we stayed was among the newer additions to the impressive accommodation throughout the hotel.
We were spoiled with the fantastic bath and shower, living area and separate bedroom.
The high quality fixtures, fittings and furniture are a far cry from what you will find in most rooms in those aforementioned seafront hotels.
Ox Pasture Hall exudes quality.
And that quality certainly extends to its dining experience.
Following a drink in the nicely sized bar, we were shown to our table in the dining room for, what turned out to be, a wonderful meal.
You can’t visit the seaside and not have fish, so I chose marinated herring fillets with pickled cucumber for my starter, and certainly wasn’t disappointed.
My wife was equally impressed with her salt baked beetroot served with carrot puree and beetroot sorbet.
She also thoroughly enjoyed her Mediterranean Vegetable Wellington, but the highlight of the meal for me was my impressive selection of pork cuts.
The belly pork and the loin stuffed with apricot and sage were wonderfully complemented by the best black pudding I have ever tasted.
A selection of Yorkshire cheeses and coffee followed to round off a great evening.
The following morning I found that Ox Pasture Hall doesn’t do a full English breakfast.
Instead, it offers the full Yorkshire Breakfast with local ingredients, which was another culinary triumph.
Nine years ago, Ox Pasture Hall was the perfect place for my wife and I to hold our wedding reception.
In the intervening years it has lost none of the touches that made it such a special place, and has added plenty more.
It was then, and remains today, a highly impressive country hotel.
If you want high quality Yorkshire hospitality in a relaxing rural setting, then this is the place for you.
Ox Pasture Hall Country House Hotel
Lady Edith’s Drive