If you have been keeping up with my blog lately you will have seen that recently I took a trip to Ox Pasture Hall in Scarborough. The weekend was amazing - beautiful weather and lot's of fun and the hotel was one of the most beautiful places I have had the fortune of visiting. One of the highlights of my visit to Ox Pasture Hall was the evening meal based in the Ox Pasture Hall Courtyard restaurant.
The Courtyard Restaurant at Ox Pasture Hall has a wonderful rustic charm, friendly service and above all great food. The restaurant boasts a stunning location and according to the website 'is the only restaurant in Scarborough to be awarded 2-rosettes for culinary excellence and has been mentioned in the Michelin guide'. With such raving reviews, I couldn't wait for my husband and I to sample their culinary treats.
When dining at the Courtyard Restaurant you are given two menu options - one is A La Carte and the other is a more traditional restaurant style menu. You have the option to choose which type of food you like and you are able to mix and match the items if you prefer something on the alternative menu. Both are similarly priced at around £8 for a starter, £13 - £25 for a main and £8 for dessert. These prices may seem a little bit steep, but for the quality of food it is definitely worth it.
The first course that arrived on our table was mushroom risotto appetizer to whet our appetite. The mushroom risotto had a melt in the mouth consistency and left you wanting more - it was gooey, mushroomy and full of flavour, yet surprisingly quite delicate. It was the perfect little dish to get us in a dining mood.
For starters I opted for the vegetarian option of Creamed Mushrooms with Toasted Bread and my husband chose the tomato and pepper soup. The creamed mushrooms were the perfect size for a starter and wasn't too rich on the stomach, despite tasting very creamy. The toast was crunchy and bode well the mushrooms. I loved the rustic presentation and the simplicity of this dish. The soup was packed full of flavour with the perfect balance of tomato and peppers. This came served with a selection of the Courtyard specialist breads which they made from scratch.
Next on the menu was a surprise strawberry sorbet palette cleanser. This sorbet has to be one of the yummiest sorbets I have ever eaten. It was fresh, juicy, tangy and moreish. If I came to the restaurant and just ate this dish, I would have been more than satisfied. It was beautiful.
After taking a break to beat the bloat after two impromptu courses and one amazing starter, our mains were served. My husband went for Slow Cooked Pork Belly which consisted of Tenderloin of Pork, Homemade Black Pudding, Savoy Cabbage and Sautéed Potato and I chose the vegetarian option of Open Lasagne, a Provencal of Vegetable, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese.
My husband loved his main course, I could tell this by how quiet he went and the length of time he took consuming it. Every now and then he would let out an 'mmm'. I had never seen him as content with a meal - he can be a rather fussy eater. The pork in his words was deliciously tender and the black pudding perfectly complemented the entire meal. The presentation was top notch, exceeding all expectations when the dish arrived.
My lasagne was beautiful, but a little bit too cheesy for my liking. The vegetables were all cooked beautifully, the tomato sauce wasn't too overpowering like some tomato based dishes and I loved surprise slightly pickled spinach and red cabbage layer hiding beneath all the pasta. This would have been better with a small salad to help distract from the abundance of cheese, but other than that it was probably up there with the best lasagnes I have had.
When we were asked for a dessert menu, my husband and I had doubts whether we could fit it our already overcrowded bellies, but neither of us wanted to pass up the opportunity to see whether the final course lived up to standards of all the rest. If it did, we both knew we would be in for a delight.
I went for the Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Tart ice-cream and my husband went for his usual choice of chocolate fudge cake. Both of which we agreed were the highlight of the entire meal. The cheesecake was light as a feather with a soft buttery biscuit base and a fine jellied layer on the top. The ice cream reminded me of lemon sorbet which fizzed subtly in my mouth and tingled my taste buds. The chocolate dessert was light and fluffy yet rich enough to leave you feeling full. It wasn't as sickly as most chocolate desserts and left my husband feeling very satisfied after such a large, but wonderful meal.
My dining experience was second to none at Ox Pasture Hall and the staff were more than accommodating and catered to our every needs. I couldn't wish for a better experience and I have been raving about the meal ever since I left. I hope that next time I visit Scarborough I can pop by again and introduce this hidden gem to my family. Ox Pasture Hall, you blew us away.
Have you been to Ox Pasture Hall Hotel?
*This meal was complimentary in exchange for an honest review