Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Happy Weekend Break: Dog Friendly Ox Pasture Hall Hotel*

A few weeks ago we were invited along to Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, a dog friendly hotel in North Yorkshire and this past weekend we finally paid them a visit. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to spend a weekend away in the countryside and by the sea, as well as getting Bailey out and about too.
Before we left, I excitedly spent time on the Ox Pasture Hall website, looking at the rooms, where to go in the local area and sneaking a peek at the sample menu. It’s fair to say I was a little excited! As always, I needed an itinerary to follow, so I made a quick plan before we left on Friday morning… but, more about that later!

The Hotel

The first thing I have to mention is that the hotel was really easy to find. We visited Scarborough’s North Bay before heading to the hotel and the journey only took us 10 minutes from the beach to the hotel.
Situated in a beautiful countryside location and set back from the road, Ox Pasture Hall has lots of parking, convenient as they were also hosting a wedding during our stay, and there was still plenty of parking left over.
We saw a pond and the beautiful grounds as we drove in (the road was lined with lavender!) and I knew I’d made the right decision to pay a visit. Having seen the images of the hotel on their website, we were expecting a stunning location and it certainly did not disappoint.  The hotel has 17 acres of grounds which we were keen to explore. Particularly Bailey of course!


First – check in! We wandered into the reception and could not have received a warmer welcome. Bailey was pretty exhausted at this point and normally I’d have worried about him jumping up and bothering people, but he was quiet and sat and waited whilst we received our keys and were shown to our room. He must have known this was a dog friendly hotel and was on his best behaviour!
The staff were all very polite and cheerful, this always makes a difference when you arrive at a hotel in my opinion.


We wandered across a well-established courtyard garden and into the newer part of the hotel, also set in a courtyard, with a beautiful little fountain in the centre. We were told that if we needed anything to just ask at reception… this was fortunate as I had to ask if we could have some toothpaste a little later in the evening…I always forget to pack something!
Once we were unpacked and settled into the room (after taking photos of how immaculate it was), we decided to take a walk around the grounds. Ox Pasture Hall is a really beautiful place, from the stone of the building, the red roof tiles to the roses and duck pond in the grounds.
The following morning when we went for a walk, the weather was glorious. Perfect for taking photos… I’ll let those speak for themselves.

Dining Options

I actually can’t wait wait to talk about the food that is on offer. We had the choice of dining in the Courtyard Restaurant or The Bistro. The Bistro is dog friendly, so we chose this option for both our evening meal and breakfast. Whilst we can trust Bailey on his own, it just didn’t seem fair to leave him.
The online reviews of Ox Pasture Hall’s food speak for themselves. They have been awarded two rosettes for culinary excellence and you can see (and taste) why!


For starters, I chose the mosaic of ham and duck liver with gingerbread, prune and coriander. The meat with gingerbread did seem like a strange combination, but it was delicious and I would definatley order this again if given the choice. Mr Mellifluous chose smoked salmon mousse with caviar, watercress and a caper dressing. I wish I could tell you what it was like, but I don’t eat fish, however, Mr M. said it was the best thing he’d ever tasted – A high commendation from him!

Main Course

Lamb is by far my favourite meat. If it’s on the menu, it’s generally my first choice. I was pleased to see the rump of dales lamb on the menu for the main course. This came with truffle gnocchi, broad beans, broccoli and mint jus. The lamb was so tender, it was melt-in-the-mouth delicious!
On this occasion, myself and Mr M. opted for the same meal (I was expecting him to order a fish dish), so I haven’t anything else to show you. I do know that if you aren’t partial to anything on the menu that the staff will try to accommodate any requests.


I have a sweet tooth, but by the time we had finished our starter and main courses, I was beginning to get a bit full. Fortunately, Ox Pasture Hall had a dessert for that! Enter the assiette of desserts. I believe it had; Lemon cheesecake; raspberry cheesecake; chocolate bark; chocolate mousse; raspberry sorbet and some sort of nutty brownie. Finished with different sauces.
A spectacular sight to behold for any dessert lover and we both finished this off in no time!
We also ordered a few drinks whilst we were in the bistro. I ordered a fantastic gin and tonic and Mr M. tried one of the local beers on offer. I should also thank the hotel for the bottle of prosecco they provided, it went down a treat and was very generous!


We dined in the bistro again for breakfast (after a quick morning walk around the grounds). There were plenty of options and we could help ourselves to juice, cereal etc. but we both wanted the Yorkshire breakfast, complete with choice of egg (fried, scrambled or poached). It was delicious, perfectly presented and just what we needed to set ourselves up for a day out.

The Room

The final thing I wanted to mention regarding the hotel is the beautiful room that we were allocated. The hotel room was made up of a large lounge, bedroom and bathroom.

The bathroom had two sinks (his and hers), large bath and walk-in, wet-room style, shower. We loved the tiles and the bath was beautiful. My personal favourite were the fittings on both the bath and sinks – waterfall taps! I need these in my house when we move. The bathroom also had soaps, shampoo/conditioner, bodywash and body lotion, as well as providing clean, white bath and face towels.

The lounge had the most wonderful sofa, it was so comfy and we literally sank into it on arrival. The room was certainly large enough for the two of us and Bailey and felt so homely! It was like we’d bought our own apartment in the hall. There were also tea (Yorkshire, of course) and coffee making facilities (hot chocolate was provided too!) and bottled water (sparkling and still). Much appreciated after playing on the beach all day!

The bedroom had a TV, full-length mirror and a king size bed. The bed was so comfy and by the time we fell into it after all the food that evening, it was straight to sleep for us. There was a thick duvet and top sheet and cover. We found the sheet and cover to be enough as it was quite a warm evening. I’ll admit I did not want to leave the comfort of the bed behind in the morning.

Dog Friendly

A big sticking point for me when we travel is whether we can take Bailey on our travels. If not, he gets left at home with my parents whilst we’re away and I always feel guilty.
When we were invited to visit Ox Pasture Hall, I was told the hotel was dog friendly. What I wasn’t expecting was how the dogs are treated during your stay. The staff understand that your dog is a part of your family and they treat them as such.
When we arrived, Bailey was greeted as well as us. Whilst we were dining, the waiter kept making a fuss of Bailey and even brought him some treats for being a good boy. I was so overwhelmed with how dogs are treated at Ox Pasture Hall and knowing that they create a safe and friendly environment for them to stay is an incredibly important factor for me.
Even as we were checking out, the lady on reception said goodbye to Bailey. I know Bailey doesn’t understand this, but as a dog-crazy-lady that treats her pets like people, it means a lot to me.

Dog Friendly Safety

17 acres of land is also a great adventure for any dog. Ox Pasture Hall ask that your dog is kept on a lead in the courtyard and in the communal areas of the hotel. This suited us just fine. When we decided to explore the rest of the grounds, we let Bailey off of the lead for a wander and he adored it. Certainly a much better experience for him than getting let out into our garden first thing in a morning.
Other guests of the hotel had also brought their dogs. My first concern is always the safety of my dog, but in this case that wasn’t a problem. The other owners were all responsible and as a result all of the dogs were having a great time, doing what dogs do and making new friends.

Dog Friendly Guests

One of the things that we all enjoyed was that Bailey was made a fuss of by other guests as well as the staff. It’s so refreshing to go somewhere and be treated with respect by other guests. Bailey particularly enjoyed the attention from the wedding guests, some of whom had also brought their dogs!
One of the ladies we spoke to said that she would definitely bring her dog on the next visit because she could see how chilled out Bailey had been. Quite the compliment from a dog-owner point of view!
As previously mentioned, you can’t take dogs in the Courtyard Restaurant, but this is the only area that dogs are limited to in the whole of the hotel. You can’t say fairer than that! And, as you have the option of dining in the Bistro with your dog, I think this is a suitable alternative. Actually, one that I would highly recommend if you aren’t comfortable with leaving your furry friend on their own.

Location, Location…

So, back to my itinerary… I saved a few postcodes into my phone so that we had different options of where to visit. Ox Pasture Hall is close to the North York Moors, Whitby, Scarborough, Bridlington and Filey to name a few, so we were spoilt for choice. However, when you’re travelling with a waggy-tailed companion, it’s best to do your research and find those dog friendly places before you travel!


Our first stop on our road trip was Scarborough. Whilst researching locations for a day out, I spotted that Scarborough’s North Beach was open to dogs. Well, part of it at least (it’s divided in two). We were able to park directly across the road from the beach and walked down the slipway to take Bailey for a walk.
It was the first time he’d ever been on the beach and he tried to drink from a rock pool! He didn’t catch on too quickly that all of the rock pools were going to be salt water, and it took him a few times to realise that I would need to get him a drink!
We also stopped for breakfast and a cup of tea at Waves Cafe on the seafront. The waitress even brought a jug of water out and a bowl for Bailey! We walked right to the far end (away from Scarborough Castle) of the beach, along the promenade and walked up the cliffs for spectacular views and then on to Old Scalby Mills, which is a dog-friendly pub.
I should mention this isn’t my first trip to Scarborough, I spent a lot of my childhood here as we have relatives in the area so I knew of the attractions such as the spa, the castle and the funicular lifts in the town. If you’re travelling with family I would recommend you visit the south bay as there is much more to do.

Robin Hood’s Bay

I’ve wanted to visit Robin Hood’s Bay for a long time. I’d heard stories of this smuggler’s cove and it captured the imagination of my inner child. So, after spending the night at Ox Pasture Hall, we paid a visit to this lovely seaside town. It is truly like no other I have ever seen.
We walked Bailey down to the beach (via a VERY steep hill) and, of-course I had already checked it’s dog friendly credentials before paying a visit. We had a frisbee from the RNLI team that we had met in Scarborough the previous day and took Bailey onto the beach for a game of fetch. This dog never tires.
We were going to do some crabbing, but honestly I think this beach is much better for rock pooling and there were lots of families around doing just that and enjoying the glorious weather.
We sat outside a cafe on the walk back up (Elle Estelles Cafe), and admired the chocolates and sweets in the shop next door. As a treat, we bought ice cream and orange juice from Fish Box (another dog friendly restaurant) when we made it back to the top of the hill.
I think if we were to go again we would have spent more time wandering in and out of the unique shops and exploring. Possibly even take a tour of the village and learn about its heritage. It’s certainly an interesting place to visit.


We had a fantastic stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel and enjoyed our trip to the Yorkshire coast too. I think we would also try to have a walk on the North York Moors and visit Whitby next time too, but we’ll save that for another day…
The team at the hotel are fantastic and we had a brilliant time. We’ll certainly consider and recommend Ox Pasture Hall Hotel to anyone looking for a dog friendly visit to the Yorkshire coast in the future.
I’ll leave you with some final images from my photo diary of our visit below.
Has anyone else visited Ox Pasture Hall or the North Yorkshire Coast/Moors? I’d love to hear your dog friendly tips or visitor recommendations in the comments below.
*Disclaimer; We were given a complimentary nights stay, including dinner and breakfast in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

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