Goldsborough Hall Review | A Culinary Escape to a Former Royal Residence
Goldsborough Hall review written by YFG’s Lucinda Hurst
Pulling up to the grand stately home that is Goldsborough Hall, you can instantly see the appeal to hold a wedding here. But not only is it a beautiful venue, you can also book to dine, stay, and explore the stunning grounds.
We’re here with a reservation for dinner, so we head inside ready to experience the seven-course tasting menu on offer.
Canapés and cocktails in the library
As we walk through the doors, the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling are a preview of what you can expect from the grand venue. We arrive to an incredibly warm welcome before being led into the Jacobean Library for pre-dinner drinks and canapés.
Once the home of royalty, this 16th-century historic house has been incredibly well restored with care and attention to detail. Every inch of the place is perfectly kept, the roaring fire in the hearth filling the wood-panelled room with deliciously warm light.
We peruse the drinks menu and settle on a G&T for me and a rhubarb soda for my dinner guest. There’s a fine selection of spirits, and I plump for the locally distilled Slingsby Elderflower gin, from just down the road in Harrogate.
With the arrival of the drinks, we’re presented with the canapés; a savoury twist on macarons and churros. It’s the Beetroot Macarons that grab my attention. I’m always a fan of a well baked macaron, and these are no exception.
Crisp on the outside, brilliantly dense and chewy inside. It sandwiches a goats cheese filling which is perfectly balanced and never overpowering, the way goats cheese often is. For two people who aren’t the biggest goats cheese fans, we were absolutely won over.
After leisurely finishing our drinks, we’re led into a beautiful and intimate dining room. The walls are home to an array of classic art, washed in candlelight. Twinkling piano music is interspersed with soft jazz to create a glorious ambiance.
From the intricately carved dining chairs to the silver stag head napkin rings, nothing looks out of place. It’s all in keeping with the history of the regal venue, without feeling stuffy or pretentious; something delightfully different to the industrial feel of many Michelin-worthy venues.
The seven-course fine dining tasting menu begins
We’re introduced to our waiting staff for the evening, with smiles all around. The bread and butter arrives at our tables but there is nothing simple about it. It’s a 48-hour fermented sourdough with a glorious crust. The golden, cultured Bungay Butter is heavily salted, as it should be, and sits alongside a delightfully punchy Garden Herb Butter.
The menu is packed with local produce and it doesn’t get more local than herbs grown and picked by the chef from the garden of Goldsborough Hall, just before service.
Onto the first course, we’re introduced to the chef’s French influence that shows up throughout his menu, starting with the Alsace Bacon in the Jerusalem Artichoke Tart. Just looking at the tart you can tell the pastry is perfectly crisp and just so delicate. As we indulge, the creamy foamed artichoke gives way to generous bites of the bacon.
A sip of wine, and it’s clear a lot of thought (and tastings) have gone into curating a menu and wine pairing that are just meant to be together. The sweet hint of maple syrup in the tart brings out the acidity in the well paired Pinot Blanc, from Alsace, like the bacon.
The decadence is stepped up a gear with the next course… A mosaic of buttery Foie Gras and Pheasant. It’s served with a feast of supporting flavours and textures. The prune purée brings a sweet yet tart burst. The pickled mushroom is a treat.
The buttered brioche crumb is another fun addition. Each element brings a new texture to contrast the smooth, silky Foie Gras. But good lord, those flavours! A dish not to be missed. Alongside it, we sip a German Gewürztraminer with a hint of sweetness.
Onto another beautiful plate (there’s a real theme here), we have plump cod in a set scallop mousse. The sauce is familiar and comforting, without losing the refinement. The bold umami flavours from the sauce pair perfectly with the New Zealand Riesling.
Highland Venison is the highlight of the menu
Though every dish had been wonderful, the venison that arrives next really is the highlight of the night. If anyone wanted a memo on how to perfectly cook venison, they need only ask the chef. The meat is perfectly pink, and the outside crust carries so much flavour. Served with pickled elderberries, celeriac purée and kale, all treats to pair with the venison.
And just when you think there can’t be anymore praises to sing for this dish, I spot the miniature venison pie served alongside it. What a glorious course! Its paired with a light bodied Pinot Noir from Northern Italy that allows the plate to shine.
The cheese course is a Winslade; practically a cross between Camembert and Vacherin. It’s positively swimming in black truffle, one of the most generous helpings I’ve seen in a very long time. The plate is dressed with burnt apple purée and toasted pumpkin seeds.
We’re in for an extra surprise as we’re expecting a tawny port to drink with it, but thanks to supply chain issues (surely the first time someone has sincerely thanked them) we’re treated to an LBV. Sweet port, salty cheese… It’s a recipe for two very happy diners.
Onto the final course of the evening and it’s a chocolate pavé for dessert, paired with an Australian Muscat dessert wine. Pace yourself here; it’s a truly decadent dish. The coffee ice cream cuts through the rich chocolate, and the cep powder is a welcome umami addition to the dish.
Seven courses in, I can’t quite manage the entire dish but my dinner date doesn’t seem to struggle. We end the night on a delightfully sour note, with petit fours of a creamy fudge and a sugared sour jelly to accompany a round of espressos.
Goldsborough Hall Review: The perfect place for special occasion dinners
At £70 per head the tasting menu is incredible value for money, for the skill and quality of seasonal, local ingredients, plus a few special imports. The menu takes you on a journey through the best of what Yorkshire produce and a very talented chef have to offer.
There are clear highlights, but every dish makes its mark and earns its place. So much care and attention has gone into pairing the wines with the menu, it’d be a shame not to indulge, and at £50 for the 6-glass wine pairing, it’s a worthwhile investment.
If you’re looking for a day out, you can book a shorter 5-course tasting menu for lunch or afternoon tea, and explore the stunning grounds and kitchen garden, where you may spot the chef preparing for service. If it’s a night away you’re looking for, the luxurious suites and rooms all offer an elegant stay, combining period features with modern comforts.
Goldsborough Hall, Church Street, Goldsborough, Harrogate, HG5 8NR – Visit their website to find out more
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