Wednesday 3 December 2014

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel Scarborough Review November 2014

Have you ever travelled many hours to get somewhere? When you arrive, you kind of flop, like a Marathon runner reaching a finish line. This is how it was when we arrived to see the very welcome sight above

We set off at 07:30 in the dim light of the sun trying to rise, and arrived at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel at 14:45 as the sun was about to set. I don't know was it a particularly dark afternoon or if the evenings are closing in quicker than I had realised (I normally cycle Aaron home from school before dark, even when we're delayed), but it was dusky enough that the outside lights were on, and gave the building a glow, that said come inside, you've *finally* arrived safe and warm.

We were kindly shown the way to our suite, as we had a lot of luggage, so we were taken round the perimeter of the building to the courtyard, which would be our home for 24 hours (actually my tired body wishes it was 24 hours it was in actual fact more like 20). With hindsight, we all wanted to flop, but the adrenaline that sustained me through the journey (we had several changes, at Tottenham Hale, at Kings Cross, at East Midlands Parkway, at York, and then finally jumping in a taxi at Scarborough station) had to keep pumping, so that I could keep my boys alert and awake for "high tea" at 15:30. 

Bless my loyal Aaron, he lay on the bed watching TV and fought sleep. Such was his promise to come to tea, he stayed awake for 45 full minutes. I jumped in the shower, so that I'd be fresh to present myself at tea.

So despite arriving here (below) I couldn't settle too much, as it was literally "tea time" so I looked over my shoulder at this as we were on the move once again:
The second Aaron arrived at our table, he slept (he'd reached his finish line). He's wearing a jacket, as we took the same outdoor route back to the main building as that was the way we knew, having been shown, for ease with our luggage, on arrival. His sleeping was unfortunate, as he'd been hungry beforehand, and I said "wait for lunch" so now I had the parent guilt, that my boy was sleeping on an empty tummy, something I never ordinarily let him do, but lesson learned.
The tea, would be BLISSFUL if you were local and popping in for "afternoon tea" even more so, if you had it by the open fire - we were at the table seating next to the bar but the sofas near the fire would have been a better spot to chill and unwind after travelling all day - Aaron could have stretched out there too. It would also be a warming wholesome welcome after a long journey, had you travelled by car, but given our tiring journey, I think all we wanted to do was hop into bed, and after tea, that is exactly what my two "boys" did. 

I was offered a pot of tea or coffee and opted for the latter. I was asked whether I would like milk or cream and opted for milk. Once I saw the jug of cream was already next to me, I said "no that will do fine" and I am glad I did, as cream takes the bitterness of coffee away and makes it taste fabulous (so much so that I missed it at breakfast). Only disappointment was, originally my tea was booked for 14:30. At the outset of our journey I realised this time would not be possible and changed it to 15:30 by phone, saying that I would ring from York if we were delayed further (which wasn't necessary). We didn't hesitate at any of our onward destinations, with 15:30 as our goal, arriving at 14:45, and then hi-tailing it to the main building for the alloted 15:30. The coffee did arrive immediately upon being seated but I chased the pastries at 15:53, as I was anxious that my coffee was now cold. I subsequently asked for a second pot of coffee as I knew I wouldn't fully enjoy the experience otherwise. I later realised that the reason it takes a while is because the scones are baked to order, which was appreciated as warm scones with clotted cream and jam are one of the finest things on God's Earth in this green and pleasant land. A real Yorkshire Cream Tea!
My adrenaline wouldn't allow me to sleep or relax, so I investigated our suite instead, and couldn't resist the bath. I'd read about it in all of the reviews, so had duly packed a big bottle of bubble bath (Wilko's finest).
Complimentary toiletries were in that cute ornamental bath above, but I had packed everything but the kitchen sink (hence our tiredness at lugging it all hundreds of miles) - yes I needed every ml of that HUGE bath. I did that decadent thing of adding more hot water when it went cold too.

Despite over-packing I did not have a good book with me; nor did I have a kindle, so I hopped out and grabbed a Saturday paper with supplements (that I'd rescued from our carriage on the train), and got up to speed with the world, as the water washed/soothed away my aches and pains.

If you are reading this, about to go there, have the good sense to grab one of the fluffy robes from the wardrobe and have it near the bath - you'll find out why I in particular needed it, if you read on.

I'd notified reception, by phone (dial "0") that sleeping Aaron was as hot as a radiator, running a temperature (this only happened in bed, after tea), so twice during my bath, the door knocked; it was the Manageress who is also the Event Manager for Weddings (they have 100 a year). The first knock, to ask if I did indeed want Calpol, with the offer to procure it for us. The second, to deliver it. SO INCREDIBLY kind of them. The sort of service you get in a posh hotel with a Concierge Desk. When he was younger it was ALWAYS in the nappy bag, but he is rarely ill now, so I'd left home without it. It worked! So it was hugely appreciated! Given that we'd travelled by coach and train, we didn't have a car in the carpark to nip out and get some ourselves. Daddy wanted not just a break, but a break from driving. It would have worked well, had we not over-packed, but I'd think twice before covering that many hundreds of miles again, unless it was on a plane LOL!
My Sanctuary!
I loved that the bathroom had a shower and bath. I loved that the shower was "wet room" style, that the bath was so incredibly large, and that we had his and her's wash hand basins. I also adored the tiled marble look throughout, but if you travel with little one(s) don't let them run in there when the floor is wet. It is incredibly slippery. Having said that, the 3 radiators in the suite are so incredibly powerful that the floor dries incredibly quickly.

The sofa bed was not made up for Aaron upon arrival, but I am glad as it meant I got to see the suite as intended, and not looking like we've got guests over. As we're still co-sleeping I never did make it up so it wasn't a problem, but if you are going to arrive at bedtime with a tired child (or two), it might be worth checking that it's been made up.

Also, when we were given menus for dinner, we were given 3: two adult ones and a Wine Menu. I felt bad enough that we were having a la carte food brought to our room (due to Aaron's high temperature) so I popped over myself to the main building look at the Children's Menu and place his order. I wanted to go anyway to do a couple of pics on Instagram, given the lack of Wifi in our suite. 
While in the main building, I ended up staying there to have a beer and read local papers and magazines in front of the fire. I was glad, as it meant I had Wifi, which does not work down in the suites, despite there being a booster right outside our door. For 90% of the time we were there neither of us had phone reception either, to the degree that one time when my husband's phone did ring in our suite, it gave him such a fright LOL.

I lingered in the lounge to try and post a couple of Instagram pics. I felt duty bound to share my stunning surroundings, given I was there on review purposes.

A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

What I loved about my time by the fire was reading Living North which made me feel very festive and like I was indeed somewhere special UP NORTH:
Finally it was time to go back to the room and wake my boys so we'd be presentable for our "room service" at 21:15. When I got there, they were awake and had been wondering where I was, and couldn't ring me due to the limited mobile coverage.

I moved all of our luggage and bits and bobs (we do so like to spread out) so that the room would be presentable for the courses of dinner that would come.

Ox Pasture is full of beautiful doorways:

On the left is the external doorway I would walk through from our suite to reception; the last corner I would turn to get to the main entrance - beautiful huh? 

On the right is the double doorway to the master bedroom in the suite, which showcases the bed as you walk in, to give that wow effect! I was glad of the darkness; it meant we had an excuse to shut the curtains for some privacy LOL! Who wants nets to spoil that room-side view though!

So you want to know about dinner right? Ox Pasture Hall is renowned for its food! We might not have got the luxury of sitting in their restaurant (but we experienced that at breakfast anyhow) but we did get waitress service (sorry guys). The same Manageress who sourced our Calpol, delivered our food under silver covers, with Connor, who is just so lovely.
Connor asked if Aaron would like a glass of squash. I explained we still had the one from "tea" and he said he'd get him a fresh one. That was spot on as Aaron loved that his new one was cold. Later on delivering subsequent courses of our meal, he asked if Aaron might like a glass of milk. Such an incredibly thoughtful lad; thoughtfulness that took my mind off the guilt of having our meal delivered to our room (not food that is on the Room Service menu either). The small dinner you see above is the Cod, mine is the Beef. Yes Daddy did have dinner envy ha ha! But the beef was SO huge he got to finish it anyway. Aaron's cheese on toast is a starter from the children's menu, which is on the most heavenly bread I have EVER tasted!

These were the adult menus we chose dinner from:
The sleep after Afternoon Tea, and a spot of dinner, saw Aaron's radiant smile return. My Tia Maria coffee went down a treat too:
I finally got Aaron to sleep (which took quite some time given that he'd spent a long afternoon and early evening sleeping) but sleep he eventually did, and I enjoyed my well deserved wine with the hubby:
The grounds of Ox Pasture Hall are really rather lovely:
We just got a brief chance to enjoy Ox Pasture Hall's beautiful grounds quickly after breakfast and prior to tidying our room to check-out. Luckily we were allowed to extend our check-out from 11:00 to 11:30, which was much needed as breakfast finishes at 10 and we hadn't arrived in the restaurant long before. That still involved an 08:30 rise for the three of us to ensure we were all washed and dressed. I think midday would be a more appropriate checkout time, to allow for a leisurely morning.

Actually I think that pic of Aaron and I deserves to be full size :-) great to have Daddy with us to take it.
On to breakfast. By this point I was really missing my cappuccinos and lattes, so if they don't already, I would suggest that Ox Pasture invests in a barista style coffee machine, as I have noticed other reviewers also missing coffee. The coffee with breakfast was too bitter (without the cream of the day before).

The cooked breakfast was incredible, with divine poached eggs and the best bacon, black pudding and sausages I have ever tasted. That's saying something considering how good they are when I go to Ireland, which I normally do often (apart from 2014). However, you'll see in the photos that our sausages were not fully browned (didn't stop us eating them though), although when I later asked for one for Aaron it was PERFECT.
Ox Pasture Hall is a full 10 minute drive from Scarborough Train Station. It cost us 8 pounds each way in a taxi and we used 5 Star Taxi-Cabs (they even say pets welcome on their card, which is the same philosophy as the hotel!) They are on (area code) 815-815 or (area code) 810-810. I can't find them online though.
To book Ox Pasture Hall, it is best to do so directly. Actually when sourcing that link, I just looked at the booking page for booking a suite and the photos show fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit in the room. We had neither of those, so if you are a gentleman booking for a romantic weekend to impress the lady, then check those come as standard and are not optional extras.
Ox Pasture Hall is known locally as THE place to get married. It's a fabulous wedding venue with LOTS of nooks and scenery that make the perfect photo opportunity! You can't fail to notice the above at reception and when I was checking out a to-be Bride was there booking rooms for the days before and after her wedding. A lovely personal touch was that the Manageress let her go and pick the rooms, as each room is so incredibly unique. I thought that was lovely, and would really have appreciated the same when I got married. Given that we've been married 13 years our honeymoon suite was so dated compared to what is the norm now in hotels. I don't think we even had a TV or maybe I just didn't have time to watch it ;-)

This is my video tour of our room and some of the grounds:

I would recommend Ox Pasture Hall for a North Yorkshire break. I'd love to see it in Summer and go to the beach it is well known for. In fact, the break would have been just perfect as it was, with or without the beach, if it was for two-nights. One night would have been fine, had we not covered so much ground. No wonder we arrive tired, we covered a lot of miles:
We were provided with afternoon tea, dinner, our stay and breakfast, for the purposes of an honest review.


  1. How lovely is all this!
    As an Aussie reading this, I am drooling! It all looks so very English and swish. Just dying to visit the UK and sit by a fire with a champers as you have done here!

  2. Gosh what a thorough review! We were lucky enough to have afternoon tea by the fire and I can confirm it was divine!

  3. Seriously amazing review - must have taken you ages to put together and a video too! You have covered everything. Oh and you stayed in the same room as us.Shame Aaron was unwell but it looks like you had a good time and enjoyed that wonderful food anyway. Well done Liska

    1. Yep, about 15 hours........... A lot of us seemed to stay in that room :-) Thanks darling. Yours was a spectacular review worthy of the best travel blogger xxx


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