Paul and I have always enjoyed a good weekend away in the UK, with past adventures varying from long weekends at Center Parcs to a few nights on the shores of Loch Lomond. Adventuring is something that we love to do, especially close to home.
One of the first places that Paul introduced me to many moons ago was the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby. I can remember driving along the promenade on the West Cliff for the first time and thinking how spectacular the North Sea looked as it glistened in the spring sun. That day we ate Fish and Chips at the Quayside, walked the 199 steps up to the Abbey and ate Ice Creams as we strolled back to the car.
Not much has changed over the years, apart from the fact that we now both work full time and mid-week, spontaneous jaunts to the coast are a thing of the past.
Hence, we much prefer weekends away to days out these days. Although somethings never change and North Yorkshire is still one of our favourite places in the world.
A few weeks ago, Paul and I both arranged to take Friday afternoon off work so that we could jump in the car and head off for a weekend of Prosecco, beaches and good food. Having booked a night at a Country Hotel in Yorkshire, first off we headed to the Roman city of York, a city that we both love thanks to its chilled atmosphere, cute shops and Riverside bars. As neither of us had had chance for lunch before we set off, we headed straight to the adorable (and well-hidden) Lendal Cellar for a quick bite to eat and a well-earned drink. It almost felt quite continental sitting outside, sipping on Prosecco and indulging in a sharing platter.
After a nice stroll around the shops, the museum gardens and the infamous cobbles of The Shambles, we headed back down to the Riverside (where I encountered ‘The Full Moo’ ice-cream boat) for another quick drink before jumping back in the car and making our way to our base for the night.
Winding our way through the Vale of York, it took around an hour to reach Ox Pasture Hall which is nestled away on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. I love the Vale of York for so many reasons; the fact that it always looks so lush and green, the abundance of uber straight Roman roads and because you can see for miles thanks to the agricultural flatland that fills it.
Ox Pasture Hall itself is a fantastic, serene country retreat set within acres of picturesque countryside just outside the resort town of Scarborough. An old farmhouse, I instantly felt right at home amongst the rose arbours and Yorkstone buildings. Checking in early evening, the hotel manager gave us a warm welcome, arranging for us to be shown to our suite for the evening and have a short tour of the facilities that the hotel had to offer.
Although the hotel looks small and quaint from the front, the outbuildings behind have been lovingly transformed into spacious guest rooms and the old house itself mainly houses The Courtyard Restaurant and Hotel Bar. Our suite was in the furthest building from the reception (although do not get me wrong, that meant it took about a minute to get to it at the most) and overlooked a paddock behind the hotel itself. It was so nice to have the window open in the room and to not hear the rumble of cars in the distance, the screech of sirens or dogs barking for a change!
After dropping our bags in the room, we decided to get a drink from the hotel bar and to go for a wander around the hotel gardens before changing for tea. The gardens offer guests plenty of space to sit and relax, giving Paul and I an opportunity to sit back and enjoy our surroundings and to watch the baby Goslings graze under the watchful eyes of their parents.
Our evening meal in The Courtyard Restaurant at Ox Pasture Hall seemed like the perfect occasion to take my new floral Boohoo dress for a whirl (teamed with my favourite Public Desire heels). Thankfully, our suite had a comfortable seating area so that Paul could relax and watch a little TV whilst he waited for little old me to make myself all pretty (although he was pretty hangry by the time I had successfully managed that)!
Whilst Paul chose to go maverick and order from the a la carte menu, I chose to try the six-course gourmet tasting menu and wine flight. The wine flight was a completely new concept to me, but meant that I was able to enjoy wines that complemented the dishes that I was eating. I know that some may find the thought of six courses a little daunting (to be honest, I know that I did) but the thing with tasting menus is that each course is perfectly portioned to ensure that come dessert you still have space and not outfaced. My favourite of the courses was the Beef soaked in Treacle; it was so tender that it melted in my mouth and tasted wonderfully rich paired with an Argentinian Malbec that reminded me of Port!
We sat in the restaurant, putting the world to rights for a couple of hours in total and were completely astounded at the fantastic service and how attentive the staff were, in all honesty they put the staff and service at some 5* hotels to shame they were that good. When it came to leaving the heavens had opened and the staff took pity on us, showing us a secret shortcut back to the room and saving us from the elements.
The next morning the skies had cleared and after enjoying a hot breakfast, a Jo Malone bath and packing our bags back up we bid farewell to the Filey Suite and Ox Pasture Hall, heading north towards our favourite place, Whitby, and looking out for new adventures on the Sat Nav. In the end we continued up past Whitby to the seaside village of Staithes, a picturesque landing point famous for being where Captain Cook gained his passion for the sea. Unfortunately, my new espadrilles were not made for walking and after a while, I abandoned them in favour of feeling the sand in between my toes!
After a stroll and an ice cream, we headed back to Runswick Bay, one of the most breathtakingly pretty destinations I have come across on the East Coast. With its white cottages and red tiled roofs, there is no mistaking where you are as you wander along the shoreline, paddling the (rather chilly) North Sea. Our day at the coast was blessed with clear blue skies and we both enjoyed soaking up the sun as we explored new places along the coastline.
The saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ has never been more accurate; by the time we parked up in Sandsend it was fast approaching tea time and so we made our way down the beach to Whitby and our favourite Fish and Chip restaurant, Quayside. It would be criminal not to end a day at the coast with Cod and Chips (with gravy of course) after all! The 40 minute walk back to the car was just enough to work off one or two chips and after dashing the sand from our feet we hit the road back home.
Our 24-hours in North Yorkshire was the ultimate mini staycation, but it turned out to be one of the best nights away that we have ever had and we can wait to do it all over again soon.
What has been your favourite staycation? Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.
This post was written in collaboration with Ox Pasture Hall, all views are (as always) my own x