Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel


Recently we were invited to stay at the luxury boutique Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, which is located in the North York Moors National Park near Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The idea of a relaxing break away, sans children was too much of a temptation to turn down and so we practically snapped off the hotel’s hand in an attempt to say yes!

Arriving in the dark (thanks to the pesky winter light) we didn't quite get the full impression of the country manor, saving that until the following day but we were very appreciative of our luxury suite which was delightfully warm and cosy after battling the freezing winds.


Our suite had a separate bedroom and lounge area, and a luxury bathroom as well. 



We also had a wonderful view out over the countryside from the bedroom window. It looked so inviting first thing in the morning but, unfortunately, it was bitterly cold outside!


Deciding to make the most of my childless time, I immediately sought out the bathroom, which was very lavish in appearance, with a walk-in shower, his and hers sinks and waterfall taps. I made the most of those, drawing myself a bath and spending a whole, peaceful hour soaking before dinner. Bliss!


We had arranged to have dinner at 8.30pm, so around 7.30pm we headed into the bar for a drink. There are two separate lounge areas connected to the bar which both have comfy sofas and inviting fires. James had popped out to reception and asked ahead for a bottle of wine and it was lovely to walk into the lounge and see our bottle and glasses just waiting there for us. Definitely something I could get used to.


We ate dinner in the Courtyard restaurant which offers a three course evening meal; whilst we enjoyed our wine we looked over the options and made our choices before being taken into the restaurant itself.

The food was absolutely delicious, but be warned: there is so much of it! In between each course the chef provided us with a palette cleanser/taster so in effect we actually ate around 6 courses each.

I’m not really complaining though as the food was very well cooked, very attractively presented and James said that his lamb was the best he’d eaten in a long time. Our waiter was also extremely attentive and we felt well looked after. On Sunday as we were leaving, a great number of people were heading into the restaurant and I can understand why; it’s probably a very popular place to get together with family and friends on a Sunday afternoon. I imagine the traditional Sunday lunch they offer is amazing.


On Sunday morning we enjoyed a cooked English breakfast before we headed out for a walk around the grounds, and the local area.





We didn't actually get too far as it was so very cold but it was nice and refreshing and before we headed off home we enjoyed a warm drink in the lounge and tried to regain the feeling in our fingers and toes. 


During our stay there were two weddings which took place, so I was unable to get a good look at the wedding facilities as they were occupied (I considered adding myself into one of the wedding parties for a sneaky peek but James told me it was rude!), but from the look of the grounds and the outside of the hotel I can understand why this is a favourite amongst brides. The 17 acres would provide plenty of picturesque opportunities to grab photographs and I had a quick flick through some wedding albums which were in the lounge and it really looks like the most amazing setting for a wedding.

So, in summary of our stay:

Overall what we liked:-

*Staff were very attentive and helpful.
*The hotel is a beautiful country house which has been carefully and attractively decorated and it made the perfect place to have a romantic break away.
*The food in the Courtyard Restaurant was divine.
*The surroundings are gorgeous, if you want a little hideaway in the countryside then this is the ideal place.

What we weren't so keen on:-

*We had a couple of issues, such as our shower being broken and not getting fixed until Sunday morning although we reported it on arrival on Saturday.  This didn't affect our stay particularly but it was a slight let down when otherwise we'd found staff couldn't do enough.

That's it!  

We really enjoyed our stay and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ox Pasture Hall Hotel to anyone looking to escape for a couple of nights for a bit of rest and relaxation and I would actually love to be able to come back in the summer as I imagine the grounds would be stunning and the hotel itself is located close to the coast which would be lovely to explore in the warmer weather.

Disclosure: I was invited to stay at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel and provide honest feedback about our experience.  All thoughts and words are my own.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Luck with Paddy Power

If you enjoy gaming, then you will no doubt be familiar with the various websites and apps which allow you to play online games such as bingo.  I've had a go myself once or twice but have to admit that I don't have the best luck.  I'm also one of those people who gets a small win and then throws it all away within minutes.  Perhaps in 2015 I need to work on my impulsiveness!

If you enjoy playing bingo then you may be interested in this infographic which has been produced by Paddy Power to show how you can potentially tip the scales in your favour when playing.  


I have to admit I am a particular fan of the fact that you are more likely to be bitten by Luis Suarez than a shark!  Who knew?!

If you want to give these new tips a try, then click here to visit Paddy Bingo and have a go yourself.

Disclosure: This infographic has been posted in collaboration with Paddy Power.