Goldsborough Hall’s Dining Room is now open for business, and if you’re looking for a sense of occasion, grandeur and history, this is the place. But does the food live up to it? Team Yorkshire Pudd went to find out.
One thing’s for sure; even in its restaurant infancy, Goldsborough Hall is playing with the big boys. It’s right at home with the North Yorkshire/Harrogate aristocratic alumni – literally. Once the home of various royals, earls and viscounts since its establishment in 1620, this stunning country pile lost its mojo when it was passed around over the centuries, finally becoming a nursing home in the 1980s before slowly slipping into disrepair.
That was then, but besides its blips for a few decades, this stately home is now back to its former glory, thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of the Oglesby family almost 10 years ago, who have successfully created a big-hit wedding venue and country escape with wonderful bespoke bedrooms and a handful of grand drawing rooms for guests to relax in downstairs.
This brings me to the Dining Room. While it’s been a working restaurant of-sorts since the B&B opened its doors, it only cooked for staying guests. Now, we’re happy to say, it has welcomed in the rest of us who fancy popping along to this lovely part of Yorkshire for a posh evening out and fine dining.
Head chef Paul Richardson-Mackie, previously at nearby Rudding Park, has taken the reins in the kitchen and he is dedicated to getting this restaurant up there with the rest. Chris and I went along with our respective spouses in tow to enjoy the luxurious surroundings that come with high living in North Yorkshire and sample the menu that Paul and his team cooked up for us.
We began our evening in the refined lounge, where log fires kept us toasty and champagne lulled us into the right mood for the evening. After a few delicious canapes we were shown into the decadent restaurant. Complete with grand piano as its centrepiece, it felt like a true dining room that harked back to those old days of splendour.
But did the food hit the spot too?
We feasted like royals on the a la carte menu choices of sweet potato tortellini, home-smoked duck, pigeon warm salad, poached sea trout, prawn and crayfish cannelloni, belly pork, pan-roasted beef with oxtail pudding, curried monkfish in Yorkshire pancetta, fennel-crusted salmon, herb potato gnocchi, sticky toffee pudding, brioche bread and butter pudding, hot chocolate and cherry fondant, and a selection of Yorkshire cheeses.
It’s fair to say that the sights Goldsborough are set on are obvious, and they’re not far off. I don’t want to nitpick about dishes because I must make allowances for the fact that this is a fairly new effort and that Chef Paul is trying his best to get to grips with a different endeavour altogether than simply feeding up B&B guests, and he’s aiming high.
What really matters is would I recommend you went along? And the answer is yes, certainly. This is intending to be a high class restaurants in its own right, and if a sauce was a little rich here or the plates were a little overly filled there, it doesn’t really matter. I get it, and I have no doubt that this food will soon be spot on once the teething is done.
It also must be said that the menu was fantastic value, even if a few management tweaks could be made, such as water being included in the bill, and the service could do with some fine tuning. However, on the whole, the food was excellent and Paul really knows what he’s doing with flavours and invention. Each dish was genuinely delicious. At Michelin star or Rosette standard… not quite yet, but watch this space. And if you fancy treating yourself to fine dining in an opulent setting, this is the place to try. We’re looking forward to seeing where Goldsborough’s Dining Room goes from here – duke or no duke, it’ll be fit for a king in no time.