When I first met my partner eight years ago, we spent most of our time exploring exciting new places together. We’d spend our evenings in front of the telly, and when the weekend came around we’d throw our wellies and thick coats into the boot of his Nissan Micra and head off on another ‘adventure’. Still very much in the honeymoon phase, romantic weekends away were a must. He worked full-time as a mechanical engineer, and I was studying in college as well as working part-time as a visual merchandiser for Marks and Spencer. We cherished our weekends together, always doing our best to make the most of our spare time and hard-earned cash. We loved the Lake District in particular and tried to book at least one romantic night away every month.
Fast-forward five years though, and everything had changed. In December 2015, we collected the keys to our very first home together. Now, anybody who has lived with a partner will vouch for the fact it can be a real shock to the system. You visualise snug mornings in bed, lazing around with the telly on and a cuppa close to hand. You imagine decorating your shiny new home, chasing after each other with mucky paint brushes and collapsing in a fit of laughter when you successfully paint a stripe up your boyfriend’s face – or storming off in a full-blown rage because he’s successfully painted yours. What you never imagine though is the unbelievable strain homeownership can put on a relationship regardless of how strong you are. You forget the fact you’ll be an actual grown-up, responsible for your own bills, laundry and meals. You’ll even need to make your own doctors’ appointments. For the first time, you need to have your shit together. Who’d have thought it? And any disposable income you might have once splashed on a cheeky weekend away is suddenly thrown at a new set of towels or utensils – it’s not always fun.
So, when I opened up my emails to find an invitation to Scarborough’s Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, I was beyond excited. A weekend away with my partner was so long overdue that my bags were packed and in the car before i’d responded to the email.
As we made our way to the hotel, roughly three hours from our home on the outskirts of Liverpool, the passing scenery grew more and more beautiful. The entrance to the hotel’s grounds is lined with the most beautiful trees and flowers which stretch as far as the eye can see. The grounds are even home to some gorgeous visitors – we counted four stags on our first day!
And you better believe I took at least 1,000 pictures for Instagram.
On arrival, we were greeted by Leoni. She explained we had been allocated one of the hotel’s luxury suites for the duration of our stay before guiding us through the most beautiful little courtyard and up to our room. Our suite boasted its very own reception area, living room, double bathroom (complete with ever-so posh his and hers sinks and luxurious towelled bath robes), as well as a MASSIVE bedroom joined to a dressing room. I was well and truly in my element – it was interior design heaven.
Once we’d unpacked, I wasted no time in taking full advantage of the enormous bath. We had even been gifted a set of bubble bath, soaps, shampoos and body lotions so that we could really indulge and pamper ourselves, which was a really lovely touch. Once I’d spent a good half hour submerged beneath the blueberry and cinammon scented bubbles, we got ourselves dressed and headed downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner, where we were promptly greeted with a glass of fine champagne. Honestly, it was a dream.
The menu, whilst modest, presented an intriguing range of dishes from the more traditional options of rabbit and duck to a good old steak and even some lovely, Italian pasta dishes. Ox Pasture Hall has received two rosettes for its culinary offerings, as well as earning itself a recommendation in the Michelin Guide, so I was pretty excited to delve in.
To start, I opted for a classic prawn cocktail, which was perfect. Michael ordered pâté, and for the first time all day he was quiet – so I can only assume he enjoyed it. We both opted for rare steak served with thick cut chips and prosciutto for our main course, and it was delicious. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to my steak, but I was pleasantly surprised by how perfectly it had been prepared. For dessert, Michael played it safe and ordered cheesecake (his all time favourite) and I (after much deliberation) chose the crème brûlée, which was utterly incredible. I have since dreamt about that crème brûlée.
Once we’d finished our meal, we moved into the bar area where we sat in front of a beautiful, cosy log burner and chatted over a gin…or five.
The hotel’s views seemed only more idyllic after a good night’s sleep, and we couldn’t wait to explore the gardens before beginning our journey back to Liverpool. Before we set off exploring, we were once again invited to the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast. We were given the option of a full, traditional English breakfast, which we happily accepted, although a continental breakfast option was also available. The food was wholesome, hearty and delicious. With a smile on our faces – we’re always happier after food – we explored the beautiful gardens of Ox Pasture, and even had a sneaky peek inside the wedding venue (which by the way, is incredible). Since moving into our house, our wedding had become an increasingly popular point of discussion, and after spending the night at Ox Pasture Michael suggested the venue as a potential spot for our special day. We met with Lynsey, the hotel’s very own wedding planner/fairy godmother/all-round good egg, who talked us through the hotel’s wedding packages and explained how easily we could transform the venue to fit our theme, and pretty much promised us *THE* perfect wedding if we decided to book at Ox Pasture.
After a wonderfully relaxing weekend break, we returned home feeling not only pampered, but pretty excited too. Will we tie the knot at Ox Pasture? Who knows. What we do know is that we’ll definitely be paying the hotel a visit again soon.
Why not book yourself a stay at Ox Pasture Hall, and see how beautiful it is for yourself?
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Until next time