Hankering after a bit of normality we decided to book a restaurant for dinner with my parents. But this booking was somewhat special as it was for the Norton Courtyard at Grantley Hall.
Al fresco dining at the Norton Bar & Courtyard
Having previously stayed at Grantley Hall when it first opened, both Niki and I were excited to go back. The hotel has three restaurants but currently, only the Norton Bar & Courtyard is open Friday to Sunday and booking is essential. We booked Sunday at 4pm hoping for good weather – and the Yorkshire sunshine certainly came out for us.
Arriving at the gatehouse, the gentleman wearing a mask asked us if we had a reservation. Upon telling our name the gates opened and we were able to proceed up the sweeping drive to the beautiful stately hall. It was lovely to see the grounds had bloomed since the opening a year ago.
Socially distanced dining at Grantley Hall
Before exploring the grounds we made our way to the entrance hall where a lady took our temperatures. Now if these were in the normal range you were allowed to proceed. However, if they were abnormally high then you’d be asked to sit in a room for an hour before another check was done. If this was high again then you will be asked to seek medical attention.
The safety measures didn’t stop there:
- Along with the temperature check, they took a contact name and number for track and trace.
- There was automatic hand sanitiser at the entrance and dotted around the place.
- A one ways system to the restaurant meant you’d never pass anyone.
- All staff wore masks.
- You were provided with your own mask should you wish to wear it.
- Menus were in envelopes and kept on the table, never touched by the waiting staff.
- Tables were spaced out by at least a metre but most were two or three metres apart.
- They have restricted numbers to four people in the toilets.
Grantley Hall Grounds
Before dinner, Niki and I showed my parents around the grounds of Grantley Hall. Something I’d recommend you make time for. Ask where the Japanese garden is as it’s a magical corner of the estate. If only we had a garden as beautiful as this!
Bistro menu at Grantley Hall
We were seated under the canopy in the prettiest of courtyards. Warmth from the Yorkshire sunshine, coupled with the surrounding beautifully manicured gardens and tranquil sounds of the River Skell, the Norton Courtyard really is a hidden gem in Yorkshire. The Norton Bar & Courtyard offers a bistro-style menu that will satisfy all tastes and dietary requirements.
After a warm welcome from the waiting staff they took our order and let us relax into the afternoon. Our table had a heat lamp above should we have needed it and cushions and rugs to keep things cosy.
We ordered all four starters. Dad had the Smoked Salmon & Whitby Crab (15.50), mum had the Prawn Cocktail, served with pink grapefruit GF (15.00), Niki went for the Burrata, a burrata cheese with tomatoes and basil GF, V (12.50) and I had the Duck Liver & Port Pate with toasted brioche (12.50). Each starter was delicious although I would have liked one more slice of that delicious brioche to go with the last few morsels of pate.
For drinks, I headed straight for the cocktail list knowing already how good the Norton Bar’s cocktails are. The Three Graces (15.00) made up of cherry liqueur, raspberry gin and pineapple rum was to die for – I highly recommend you try it!
For mains, Niki and I decided to share the Cote De Boeuf (68.00) and it really was a showstopper. Arriving at the table in a copper pan, the pre-sliced beef looked perfectly cooked. To accompany this both Niki and I received a separate tray of delights – chips, veggies, and red wine jus. The theatre of this dish and sharing it with Niki made it taste delicious. What I loved the most was how the leaks were cooked – a buttery soft leak which truly melted in the mouth – I need to find out how the chef cooked them. My mum chose the Fish and Chips (24.50), a flaky white fish with proper crispy Black Sheep Beer batter kept her very happy indeed while dad chose the Lobster Linguini (29.50) which he savored every mouthful.
It was the make or break question – would you like a dessert?
Silly question really, of course, we’d like a dessert. I wanted something light and fresh so ordered the Blackcurrent Sorbet (8.95) while mum lusted after the Creme Brulee (9.50) which was out of this world, vanillary with the perfect crunchy glazed topping. Niki went for a tangly yet creamy Lemon Tart (9.50). We also had a coffee apart from Dad who was still sipping on his wine.
Overall the meal came to around £70 per person for three courses, drinks and coffee.
Service at Grantley Hall
I can’t write a blog about Grantley Hall without mentioning the service. I love this place, why? Because the people genuinely care about your experience at Grantley Hall. They want you to have a relaxed time with your friends or family without worrying about the little things. Grantley Hall is on the expensive side but the value is in everything you see – beautiful surroundings, attentive staff, and great food. For this reason, I feel it’s really good value for money and it was so much to catch up with my parents over good food in a beautiful setting. Now I just need to save up and come for afternoon tea with friends.
Everything you need to know about booking your table
The epitome of Grantley Hall’s rich heritage; Norton Bar & Courtyard is a resident and non-resident bar, serving classic cocktails, tantalising spirits, and fine whiskies. Blending detailed oak panelling with modern opulence the intimate environment flawlessly recaptures the luxuriant lifestyle enjoyed in bygone days.
The Courtyard is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, 12pm – 11pm with last orders at 9:30pm. Booking is essential to avoid disappointment, please call 01765 620070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Thank you to Grantley Hall for having us back. Niki and I had complimentary food while we treated my parents.