24 September 2014

Afternoon Tea at Ox Pasture Hall, Scarborough

Ox Pasture Hall has been on my must-visit list for quite some time - from the sumptuous photos on the hotels website to the glowing reviews I've read on many a blog, I got the impression this place was something a bit special.
nice hotels yorkshire coast

Seeing as it is so close to the sea-side, it made sense to make the most the of the last remaining days of what could vaguely be described as summer and head on over for afternoon tea in Scarborough. After a couple of hours of playing in the arcades and eating ice cream on the beach with Sammie and Danniella we made our way to the Hotel (Which, for those without a car, is only a couple of miles from the train station, around £7 in a taxi).

scarborough hotel

First impressions of cosy little country retreat were astoundingly positive! The gorgeous place, tucked away in the glorious North York Moors National Park, is a delight to behold. Secluded (despite it's relative proximity to the town centre!), romantic and very pretty, it was off to a flying start and that was even before we spotted the little dozing kitty that resides at Ox Pasture Hall - one of a couple of on-site pets! (Things can only eve be improved by the addition of a kitty, I'm sure you'll agree!)

afternoon tea scarborough
We were there for afternoon tea though so had to drag ourselves away from the pretty gardens and into the Courtyard Restaurant where our table was waiting for us.
Because my expectations were so high, and because everything had been so lovely on first appearance, it really saddens me to say that the afternoon tea wasn't that cracking. The first problem we encountered was the cheese sandwiches. I do like a generously filled sandwich and as you can see they cheese ones here were definitely that, but unfortunately the cheese seemed to have been left out in a warm room for a while before it made it to our table - y'know when cheese gets all shiny? Not ideal, especially considering they made up 5 of our 9 sandwiches.

ox pasture hall

Unfortunately, the scones weren't great either - they looked fantastic (not big but that's fine when you have plates of cakes to go at!), and were served with very generous portions of clotted cream and a wide selection of jams, but they were a little hard and dry to be really enjoyed.

afternoon tea scarborough
Things were definitely looking up by the time we reached the cakes though, and I thought the inclusion of such a Yorkshire classic as Parkin was an inspired choice.

scarborough treats

I feel terrible complaining about the afternoon tea for a couple of reasons: firstly that the manager Lynsey who showed us around the hotel after we'd finished was utterly lovely, and secondly that we didn't actually air these grievances at the time which may have allowed them to be rectified. And I think the two issues were related - Lynsey was so sweet and accommodating that we didn't want to complain! Everyone else I've spoken to about the food at Ox Pasture Hall have raved about it too, so I don't expect our experience was a common one, just a bit of a shame on the day!

scarborough hotel gardens
I think it says a lot about the hotel though, that despite our slightly iffy experience I think the place is great. The suites we got to peek in look perfect for a romantic getaway (you should see the size of the beds!),  the hotel bar is just the thing for a cosy drink or three, and the grounds and gardens are stunning. There's so much here that's right that it's easy to imagine the things that were wrong were just details overlooked on a random occasion, as anyone running this places clearly has some idea what they are doing!
I'd definitely love to go back - just maybe not for afternoon tea!

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