Looking down from high upon the majestic clifftops you may be forgiven for mistaking scenic Scarborough for the beautiful bay of Naples.
Ok, so Scarborough may not boast the scorching summer sunshine of its more famous Italian counterpart, but it is certainly a jewel in the crown of Yorkshire’s proud tourist industry.
It is a place of fabulous scenery, soothing serenity and a resort where lazy days on the beach gazing out to sea can create childhood memories for life.
For me, as a proud Yorkshireman, there is nothing I like more than to head up to the Yorkshire coast for a few days of much-needed rest and relaxation.
My base for my latest venture back to Gods Own County was the stunning Ox Pasture Hall, which offered the perfect base to experience Yorkshire’s charming countryside as well as all the pleasures an English seaside resort has to offer.
The charming hotel, which is set in seventeen acres of enchanting gardens and grounds in the beautiful North York Moors National Park, is one of today’s new breed of luxury country house hotels and offers something different, something fresh and something very romantic.
And from the moment you step through the door you are guaranteed a warm and welcoming reception with its friendly staff, high quality bedrooms and lounge areas and calming vistas guaranteed to wipe away the stresses of everyday life.
Our room was equally as impressive as the setting with its walk-in shower, large bathtub, his and her sinks and separate sitting area with comfy couch and large tv providing us with the perfect home away from home.
Shortly after our arrival we were treated to afternoon tea featuring lashings of tea and coffee and some of the finest cakes and sandwiches we could have wished for.
Ox Pasture Hall is the perfect setting for anyone who enjoys outdoor life and, with our bellies fit to burst, we headed out into the surrounding countryside to explore the lush woodlands and rolling fields.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet and some solitude where you and your special one can enjoy some quality alone time, then this is certainly the place to be.
The countryside then gently merges into the edge of Scarborough and, in turn, the picturesque North and South bays.
The North Bay has certainly come on a bit in recent years with a new holiday apartment block right on the beachfront, an outdoor theatre, crazy golf, military-themed adventure park and associated restaurants all helping to drag the bay into the modern era.
After a relaxing walk on the vast beach it was then time to head back to Ox Pasture Hall and sample some of its famous food.
The hotel’s award-winning Courtyard Restaurant is widely regarded as the best restaurant in the Scarborough area and offers fine dining, which will tantalise and tease your tastebuds.
I opted for Yorkshire Coast fish cakes nestled on a bed of mushy peas for starters, with a selection of pork chops stuffed with sage and apricot for main.
While we waited for our mains we were also treated to complimentary samples of homemade mushroom soup followed by homemade tomato soup.
The beauty of the Courtyard Restaurant for me was that the sublime food was perfectly complemented by the efficiency of the staff, the speed of service and the relaxed nature in which business was conducted.
Far too often fine dining comes with over-the-top service, which I always find rather off putting. Ox Pasture Hall is as easy going as it gets
After a stroll around the gardens, and some time playing with the hotel cat which roams the gardens, it was time to hit the sack.
And with a massive queen bed and cosy duvets on offer and no noise or street lights outside our windwow, the perfect nights sleep was assured.
We awoke to enjoy a hearty breafkast of a full English with a selection of toast, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurhts and plenty of tea and coffee to give us the perfect start to our day.
Sadly it was time to checkout. And, although we had only been there for an overnight stay, I could not help but feel a hint of regret and disappointment that we were leaving this picture postcard settting so soon.
Just like the thriving resort sitting on its doorstep, Ox Pasture Hall has a charm and magnetic pull that will makes you want to go back time and time again.
I know I will certainly be calling upon its doorstep again to enjoy Yorkshire at its very best.