A Postcard From Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough.
As most dog lovers know, booking a holiday with your beloved pet can be fraught with difficulty, so when my dog George and I ( oh, and Tony the husband came too ) were invited to try out the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel near Scarborough we were delighted to accept an overnight stay in this dog friendly hotel in Yorkshire
The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is situated just a couple of miles away from Scarborough in North Yorkshire in the middle of stunning countryside and is set in seventeen acres of beautiful grounds. perfect for a relaxing break with enough space to let your dog have a run round.
We planned our stay on a Sunday night and after packing George’s favourite toys, food and blankets we set off on a beautiful sunny day, travelling through the stunning countryside of the North Yorkshire Moors heading towards Scarborough.
The hotel is situated down a country lane and approaching the hotel down a private drive way I was blown away by the location as it just exudes peace and tranquility. The hotel itself is a stunning, traditional country house hotel built in stone with the most perfect gardens wrapping around the front entrance.
I have to say I fell in love with it straight away, almost kicking myself for not visiting here before, even though I have visited the Scarborough area many times before. There are 32 bedrooms in total, all individually designed, ranging from classic rooms to luxury suites. If you are taking a dog it is best to call them to ensure you get the right room for you and your dog.
We were greeted by Jay who was so friendly and welcoming to us all with George throughly enjoying the fuss and attention. After a guided tour of the hotel and facilities Jay showed us to our room for the night. We were very kindly given a suite for the night which was situated in a beautiful courtyard just a few yards from the main hotel building. I noticed that each room was given a name from a North Yorkshire town and our suite happened to be called Richmond.
The suite itself was absolutely gorgeous and was unbelievably spacious. We had a large lounge with a big comfy sofa, a large TV, a coffee table with magazines and local information and the obligatory tea and coffee tray which also came with biscuits and two large bottles of water. George immediately made himself at home and it was nice having lots of space especially with a dog. I do sometimes find that certain ‘dog friendly’ hotels put you in the smallest room which can feel a little cramped with a dog who likes to move around a lot.
However, having the large lounge in our suite meant that we had plenty of room, in fact I commented that it felt like home, which is surely a great testimony to the hotel. Our suite was facing onto the grounds of the hotel and beyond that the stunning countryside so the views from the lounge window were just breathtaking. I did think that this hotel would make the most perfect wedding venue because of the stunning grounds and amazing backdrop and I did find out later that they do host many successful weddings throughout the year.
The bedroom was of equal large size and was decorated in a similar classic theme to the lounge with tartan accessories. The bed itself was huge and I think it was a super king and it was unbelievably comfortable with gorgeous luxurious linen. There were bedside tables and more than adequate drawer space and a useful desk/ dressing table all in the same coordinating solid wood.
Finally we had the most amazing, luxurious bathroom with twin sinks, a large bath and a large walk in wet room shower with a power shower head. The bathroom was beautifully tiled throughout and came with soft white fluffy towels and plenty of toiletries.
After a quick unpack we ventured outside into the hotel grounds so George could have a good run round. There was so much space for him and it was lovely to let him run round in a safe environment without feeling awkward about having a dog with us. After spending an hour in the grounds, just enjoying the sunshine, the open space, and the fabulous views we felt so relaxed, but not too relaxed that we couldn’t venture indoors for an a cream tea !
Going into the hotel gave us a chance for a good look round the rooms before our cream scones and tea arrived. The hotel is beautifully decorated with on trend decor and warm, cosy furnishings throughout. The hotel caters for dogs very well with lots of water bowls dotted about, which again is a welcome sign for dog lovers. It is little details like this that just add to the holiday, by making dog owners feel relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings.
We got chatting to two other families, both of whom were visiting with their dogs for the first time. They too commented on how dog friendly the hotel was, and how it helped them relax if they knew that their dog was welcome and catered for, without detriment to their own enjoyment. As we sat chatting in the cosy lounge area with the dogs playing happily together, I thought how other hotels were missing the boat by not catering for dog loving families. Everyone one of us stated that we would definitely return to Ox Pasture Hotel, as happy dog equals happy owners and return, repeat visitors to any hotel is surely what hotel owners aspire to.
During the afternoon we enjoyed the most amazing homemade cream scones with our afternoon pot of tea. We were served by Ryan, a friendly young man who fussed over George making us ( and George) feel very much at home. It was hard to believe that we had been there only two hours and we both commented that we were so relaxed, it felt like we had been at the hotel for days already. I think the fact that George was made to feel so welcome really helped to relax us. As some of you dog owners will know, taking dogs on holiday can sometimes be so stressful especially if your dog is treated like a ‘hinderance’ rather than part of the family. We honestly never felt that here at Ox Pasture Hall, in fact, it was just the opposite. George was made to feel like an important guest just as we were and for me that makes a true ‘dog friendly’ hotel.
After finishing our wonderful cream tea we headed back to our room across the vine covered courtyard which in itself was a wonderful place to stop and relax, with plentiful cosy seating and the relaxing sound of the fountain. We sat for a while just taking in our surroundings, while George pottered about taking in all the different smells and generally having a good time.
Heading back to our beautiful room, we kicked off our shoes and relaxed on the comfy sofas and watched TV while George had a little snooze dreaming about his new friends no doubt. After a relaxing bath in the beautiful bathroom we headed down to the restaurant for dinner. There are two restaurants in the hotel and we were welcome to take George into the Bistro Restaurant which was a cosy, beautifully decorated restaurant next to the bar and snug. It almost seemed dream like, sat in beautiful surroundings ordering dinner while George sat quietly under our table, perhaps anticipating any scraps of unwanted food. I felt just so relaxed and happy knowing that we could eat wonderful food with our dog and not be penalised by having to sit in a corner tucked away somewhere in the corner of a restaurant. The relaxing mood was probably helped by the lovely of bottle of Prosecco that was waiting for us at our table. Tony was especially pleased as I don’t drink alcohol and so he claimed the whole bottle.
The choices on both the A La Carte and the Bistro Menus were so varied and interesting that it was so hard to choose. We decided in the end to order different, so we could try a little sample of each others choice. Our lovely waiter for the evening was Ryan again, who was so helpful and courteous without been overbearing. We were given an entree which was a delicious Celeriac, Mushroom and Truffle Soup which was nicely presented in a rustic style bowl and served with a selection of home made breads. The cheese and chive bread was out of this world and I could have eaten it all night. I am still trying to find a recipe for it so I can make it at home, although I am not sure my baking skills are up to it.
For starters I opted for a Carrot & Coriander Soup which was so delicious and Tony opted for a Beetroot Cured Salmon dish which was also extremely tasty. In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have ordered the soup as I had already eaten soup and was starting to feel a little ( dare I say it ?) full.
After a little rest and to make sure my stomach could cope with what was to follow, our main courses arrived. My choice was fish and chips. I know, I know, it might seem a little boring but in my experience fish and chips by the sea are usually amazing and I wasn’t wrong. The fresh white fish was just so flaky and tasty and was the best fish I have eaten in many years. The chips were hand cut, beautifully cooked and the dish was served with a fresh tartare sauce. Tony chose the chef’s special which was Rack of Lamb served with vegetables. He enjoyed it so much he forgot to leave George some lamb for his supper. Poor Georgie.
For dessert we both opted for the sticky toffee pudding of which we are both huge fans. I was already feeling full to be honest, but I just wanted to at least have a sample taste of the pudding which came with a pot of butterscotch sauce and ice cream. Was it nice ? It was heaven ! Did I eat it all ? No ! I tried and failed, but I managed half of it before succumbing to crashing out on the sofa in the bar, full but happy.
All in all the food was just delicious, beautifully presented and served by thoughtful and attentive staff. To make the night even more relaxed was the fact that George sat under the table the whole time and never moved. He was probably tired from his long walk earlier, but it was such a relaxed atmosphere in the hotel that it really helped him be calm and chilled out. I have been in ‘dog friendly’ restaurants before and felt so uncomfortable that I think this reflects on the dog, which in turn makes them agitated. But the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel really does make all its guests feel welcome, even in the dining room, whether you have two legs or four !
After relaxing in the lounge we eventually made our way to our gorgeous suite and enjoyed a fabulous sleep in the comfiest bed I have ever slept in. I usually suffer from terrible bouts of insomnia from time to time, especially away from home and I cannot believe how well I slept.
We woke up the next morning to another warm sunny day and we took George for a walk and run round the grounds before heading into the Bistro dining room for a hearty breakfast. We were not disappointed at the breakfast selection which ranged from various continental style choices to the English cooked breakfast dishes. The buffet also had a selection of cereals, fresh fruit and juices as a prelude to the main breakfast.
We both ordered poached eggs on toast which was cooked perfectly and once again has left me wondering, why, after all these years am I still not able to poach a egg like they do in hotels ? Mine always come out over cooked and rubbery. Please comment below with any tips for me as I am getting desperate !
After breakfast we packed up and said farewell to the lovely staff at the hotel, armed with details of a great beach near Scarborough to walk George ( thanks to Lynsey ) and for us to walk off all the food we had consumed in the past two days. We were quite sad to leave the hotel as we wanted to hang on to the relaxed mood we were in but we vowed to return for another chance to re charge the batteries ( with George of course !)
Just a few miles from the hotel and still within the North Yorkshire Moors National Park is the beautiful Forge Valley, a wooded area which follows the River Derwent. There are numerous car parks along the valley and there are some lovely trails through the woodland walking right by the river. We did a short, two mile, easy going walk along the river which was so relaxing and cooling from the heat of the sun. The area is great for wildlife enthusiasts as the wood and river are teeming with fish, animals and plants of all kinds. Dogs are welcome but need to be kept on a lead to protect the wildlife.
We then headed to Cayton Bay Beach just outside Scarborough which was just a few miles from the hotel. We were advised by Lynsey that this was a great place to walk George as it was a dog friendly beach with no restrictions. Many beaches in the UK have dog walking restrictions especially during the summer months which is understandable.
Cayton Bay is a great dog friendly beach at all times of the year with a wide expanse of sandy beach so plenty of space for your dog to run round and burn off all that energy. We bought a ball for George at the beach cafe and he had a great time running round and taking a dip in the sea. After our beach fun we headed to Lucy’s Beach Shack cafe which is actually on the beach for a hot drink and a cake. Lucy even provided George with some dog treats !
And so, after another lovely day we reluctantly headed home feeling totally refreshed and ready to face the world again. George also seemed hesitant to get back into the car for the short journey home but we reassured him ( and ourselves ) that we would be returning soon.
There are so many other places to visit within a short distance from the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel and the hotel provides lots of information on local attractions and of course dog walking areas. The main seaside resort of Scarborough is only a few miles away and there are plenty of other seaside towns within driving distance such as Whitby, Filey and Robin Hood’s Bay. You don’t actually need to venture far from the hotel to find a good walk as the hotel itself has plenty of beautiful areas perfect for dog walking. One of my lasting memories of the hotel is how relaxed we were with our dog George. Most of the time he was off the lead, just happy to follow us round the hotel and grounds. The fact that he was made so welcome by all the staff absolutely made our holiday complete and we cannot wait to return.
If you have any questions about the hotel please leave a comment below and I will get back to you. What are your experiences of dog friendly hotels in general ? Do you think that it’s important to make dog owners feel relaxed when travelling with their dog ?
Until next time my dear friends,
*We were given a complimentary nights stay, including bed, breakfast and evening meal in return for a review. All opinions are my own and are honest.*