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Goldsborough Hall Review, written by YFG’s Jonathan Harris.
Goldsborough Hall Review | A Culinary Escape to a Former Royal Residence
Built over 400 years ago, Goldsborough Hall has a colourful past before it’s current purpose. The stately hall, once home to HRH Princess Mary (The Queen’s Aunt) has been lovingly saved from extinction and restored to its former glory by owners Mark and Claire Oglesby. Now a 5 AA-Rated luxury guest accommodation with 2-AA-Rosette award-winning restaurant, and one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious and exclusive wedding venues.
Set in 12 acres of perfectly manicured gardens that surround the Grade II* 17th-century stately home, winning Goldsborough Hall the number one spot in The Times’ ‘top places to stay with great gardens‘.
Goldsborough Halls’s Location
Goldsborough Hall sits in the heart of the quintessential village of Goldsborough. Just a few miles from some of Yorkshire’s best-loved spa and market towns, Harrogate and Knaresborough, and an only 5-minute drive from the A1.
Guests looking to explore the region further are perfectly positioned. With the major towns and cities of York, Harrogate and Leeds all within close proximity. The village of Goldsborough sits between both the stunning Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors if it’s the natural wonders of Yorkshire you’re after.
Driving through the village’s grand gates, you know you’re in for something special. As you park your car and approach, get ready for your jaw to drop at the sight of the stunning hall and gardens. Beautiful autumn colours, sheep grazing and the magnificent stately home in all its glory and grandeur.
As you can expect from one of the regions finest stately homes, period features and artisan craftwork you can’t find anywhere else are abundant. From the 17th-century oak panelling of the Jacobean Library to the double aspect windows of The Princess Mary Drawing Room, or the huge open fireplace of the Dining Room. Alongside the mammoth chandeliers throughout the period property and the attention to detail in the restoration from owners Mark and Claire, to ensure guests have a real sense of opulence wherever they are at Goldsborough Hall.
It was the perfect time of year to visit. We stepped straight into the cosy and welcoming Library with its huge crackling open fire and couples sat relaxing with a book and drink in hand. Christmas had already begun at Goldsborough with owner Clare adding the finishing touches to the Hall’s many Christmas trees and grand garland dressed staircase.
As for the bedrooms, guests have an abundance of choice to suit everyone’s price range, all with the style and character from one of Yorkshire’s finest stately halls.
We had the absolute pleasure of a night in the Lascelles Suite. With an ornate four-poster super kingsize bed. Sunken bath overlooking the beautiful grounds and floor to ceiling projector for a bedtime movie (thoughts of why we didn’t book to stay another night). If you’re looking to follow in actual Royalty’s footsteps, this is the same room Prince Harry stayed in for a visit up north a few years back.
What’s on the menu?
Head Chef Chris O’Callaghan has worked in some of the finest 3-AA-Rosette and Michelin-Starred restaurants across the UK.
Chris has a passion for creating dishes focused on local producers, with a strong emphasis on sustainable and seasonal ingredients.
Their large on-site Kitchen Garden and glasshouse allow the kitchen team to make the most of their own natural larder. Growing fresh produce with the help of their four on-site gardeners, to create innovative dishes.
Head Chef Chris’s ethos shines through on every element of the range of menus available at Goldsborough Hall. Guests looking for a real culinary experience have the choice of either the a la carte menu, five-course tasting menu or the eight-course royal tasting menu, served in the beautifully ornate Dining room. Pre-dinner drinks and canapés can be taken in the adjacent Princess Mary drawing-room beside the open fire.
If it’s lunch or more relaxed dinner you’re after, the Orangery is the perfect space to enjoy more casual dining. The Orangery looks out over the private grounds of the hall together with a summer terrace when the weather permits.
You couldn’t get more quintessentially British than afternoon tea in a stately home and Goldsborough Hall is one of Yorkshire’s favourite places to enjoy the popular tradition. Served in either the Orangery, the oak-panelled Jacobean library or the Princess Mary Drawing Room, both with huge open fireplaces.
Now if it’s a one or two-night stay, I guess you’re looking for maximum pleasure in minimum time. I’d definitely agree with this, so when deciding our evening dinner plans it had to be the royal tasting menu. Whichever you decide to opt for you’re in for a fabulous treat.
The Dining Experience
Starting the evening in style with a pre-dinner Slingsby G&T in the Princess Mary drawing-room by the huge open fire gave the night a regal touch.
As the aperitifs were going down well we were treated to two delicious canapés to commence the evening’s feast. We knew we were in for a very special evening. As a former royal residence, guests get a real sense of VIP treatment from all the staff at Goldsborough Hall.
One of the things that shone through during our visit to Goldsborough Hall was the friendliness of all their staff. For a place as grand as this, some may have the pre-conception of pretentiousness but it was the total opposite. From the reception team to the waiting staff and certainly that of Restaurant Manager Marius who made us feel welcomed and content thanks to his perfect wine pairings.
First up from the 8-course tasting menu. Crown prince pumpkin and garden squash from the Goldsborough Hall Kitchen Garden, with Scottish blue murder cheese and pumpkin seeds.
One of the evening’s standout dishes, a real hit of flavour. Smoked eel parfait topped with a rich chicken consomme jelly. Finished with shards of crispy chicken skin and cured egg yolk
Chef Chris Callaghan is a master of balancing taste and texture. Goats cheese mousse with artichoke crisp, dashi pear and a heady scattering of black truffle was so delicious.
I can’t resist beef tartare if it’s on the menu so was in my element seeing this. Salt aged Yorkshire beef, capers, pickled shallot, onion gel and mustard. The perfect balance of rich meaty flavours combined with, acid, and sweet. A stunning combination with the Spanish red Tempranillo wine as the pairing.
Now onto the fish course, pan-seared halibut fillet. Perfectly cooked pearlescent flesh with a crisp outer seared flesh. Served with celeriac remoulade, lardo chicken jus and sweet buttery pickled cockles.
Personally, the biggest highlight of the evening had to be the locally reared venison. I don’t think I’ve had a dish that’s been so in tune with the seasons. Mouth-wateringly tender roasted venison loin served with parsnip, black garlic, blackberry, hazelnut and mushrooms.
Last but most definitely not least. Super moist walnut cake, lemongrass, cardamom and pear – the perfect end to an exquisite tasting menu at Goldsborough Hall.
Tasting menus and fine dining can give the air of whispers to your dining partner or sometimes lacking atmosphere. Even the best restaurants can go too overboard so you feel like you can’t relax. Thankfully Goldsborough Hall is not the case. Restaurant manager Marius ensured everyone was having a great time, attentive service with such a warm and friendly atmosphere meant the dining room had a real buzz with all the guests having a fabulous evening.
And to drink?
The drinks selection at Goldsborough Hall is one of the most comprehensive in the region. One I’m told was painstakingly hand-selected to ensure the quality is second to none. A huge selection of wines to choose from, together with perfect pairings to complement the tasting menus.
As pairings go I feel it’s a way to see both the sommelier and chef working together to create a truly special experience however, 8 or 9 glasses might not be to everyone’s tastes. Thankfully Goldsborough Hall offers guests the choice of a 3, 5 or 7 glass wine pairing which is a welcome addition.
Goldsborough Hall Review: Overall thoughts
Goldsborough Hall perfectly balances the opulence and grandeur of a former royal residence come boutique hotel with the informality and warmth of staying at a close friend’s swanky country retreat. The Michelin Star quality of the food and wines didn’t come with the potential stuffiness or lack of atmosphere attached to fine dining. Instead, guests are truly looked after but made to feel perfectly relaxed. This is a place to leave your stress at the door and prepare to be pampered. If there’s one place you could wish to get snowed in for a week or two it’s here. With the fabulous grounds, exquisite interiors and the finest hospitality ensures Goldsborough Hall will be a firm favourite place for many years to come.
Goldsbrough Hall Review Photos courtesy of Goldsborough Hall and Head Chef Chris O’Callaghan
Goldsborough Hall, Church Street, Goldsborough, Harrogate, HG5 8NR – Visit their website to find out more
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