Nestled in the community of Malton, North Yorkshire is the lovely family owned hotel, The Talbot. I brought along my good friend Lisa Bennison; we’ve been on a few holidays together and always had a giggle so we couldn’t wait to enjoy The Talbot’s hospitality. Pulling in to the grounds I realised just how old this building actually is. Built in the early 17th Century I felt like I was going back in time and that my car would magically turn into a horse and carriage and I would be wearing a bustle and bonnet. I asked Lisa what she thought:
Just for a moment I thought I was Elizabeth Bennett about to swoon in Mr Darcy’s company… alas… I was more the kitchen maid being allowed to mingle with the gentry for the evening. This grand building appeared perfect for that era and made us totally giddy as we entered into the most wonderful hallway and I fell in love with the beautiful winding spiral staircase that led to our room.
Opening the door to the Talbot was like opening the door into your own home – warm and welcoming. Greeted by the friendly receptionist we were shown our room and given our key attached to the biggest key ring ever, I loved its massive tassel!
Staying at the Talbot
Our room overlooked the front of the hotel towards the fields and river beyond. I loved the grand proportions of the room and it had the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen in a bedroom. The en-suite was gorgeous with a marble topped basin unit and a sumptuous overhead shower to drown you in deliciously hot water.
Dining at the Talbot
We had reservations in the Hotel’s dining room, The Wentworth Restaurant, that evening so we unpacked and caught up on all our girly gossip before getting glammed up and heading down to the dining room.
The Wentworth Restaurant offers an A La Carte and a Tasting Menu but should you want something a little more relaxed, it has a Bistro (near the bar) offering hearty Yorkshire dishes and also a bar for those who wish to just drink the night away. I can imagine this attracts a lot of the locals.
Seated in the window it was the perfect romantic setting, sorry Lisa, you have me instead! The A La Carte menus were beautifully illustrated with interesting characters and kitchen utensils. The front of house staff seemed busy so we missed out on being informed of their new Tasting Menu. “Never mind” Lisa said; “just one more reason to return.”
There was enough tempting me on the A La Carte menu, I chose the beetroot starter (£8.95) and venison for my main (£25.95).
Our starters arrived and I was wowed as mine looked like a pretty painting. The accent of purple from the pansy flower heads were just delightful. The beetroot had been salt baked and pickled to give a sour tang on the tongue which perfectly complimented the creamy goats cheese mousse and sourdough crumb. One of the best and prettiest starters I’ve tasted.
Lisa was presented with some mighty King Scallops (£10.95). She said: “My Mum always said it takes just as long to hang your coat up as it does to throw it on the floor… the difference is the care taken…..This plate of food had been lovingly assembled with the utmost care and the flavour of the sweet scallops, cooked and seasoned to perfection, accompanied with tart apple puree, it was pure joy.”
For our mains, again it was very well executed. Clearly the chef loves what he does and executes every dish with great creativity and care. My choice of venison loin was packed full of flavour and arrived on a delicious bed of spelt risotto, with caramelised leeks and shallots.
Lisa chose the fillet of dry aged beef (25.95) and said “Any good Chef knows you first eat with your eyes” said Lisa. “and mine were popping out on storks. Every mouthful was rich and delicious. The quality of the beef was exquisite.”
We also ordered a bottle of the Fleurie Château de Bellevue, E. Loron et Fils, France (£35.00) and then proceeded to order another as it was so so good! They had a fantastic wine list so make sure you ask should you need some advice.
By this point we were just about beat, so we opted to share a Talbot garden apple tarte tatin (£8.50). We were slightly disappointed by the salted caramel, slightly caught which made a difference to the taste, but the apples were tasty as was the calvados crème fraiche and apple crisp.
The man behind this wonderful meal is Dan Graham. A Masterchef Professional finalist he has worked in some fantastic kitchens in his time. Dan came out to talk to us after the meal, we wanted to thank him for the wonderful starters and main courses. His flair for flavour and knowledge for locally sourced products means he has a great vision for the hotel and the direction they should be taking. I really hope he gets there. The Tasting Menu is just one brilliant idea I know can work. Just look at the tasting menu from Horto at Rudding Park.
Heading back to our room we took full advantage of the robes to lounge around in, although they could do with a little fabric softener. Lisa decided it was the perfect time to become a Martial Arts professional… I was poised with the camera as she had me rolling around laughing at her antics.. The room had a wonderful tea tray with a great selection of Taylors of Harrogate teas. There was also an iron and Ironing board in the room but strangely the only modern day niggle which Lisa picked up on, was there was no hair dryer in the room. As we were in the Yorkshire countryside, our morning walk in the wind did the job just fine on Lisa’s hair.
Breakfast at the Talbot
Breakfast was served in the dining room and as we were a little late arriving the offering wasn’t as full as it probably had been but there was some delicious fresh fruit, muesli and yummy coffee from a roasters across the road called ROOST.
There was also the option of a cooked breakfast. I chose the gorgeous Eggs Benedict with a tasty local ham, homemade hollandaise sauce and fresh muffins. Lisa had avocado and poached egg on toast. The bread was fresh from the local bakers, Yo Bakehouse but the avocado could have been a bit riper than it was.
Malton is a typical Yorkshire market town, located on the north of the River Derwent on the historic boundary between the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. On Sunday Lisa and I went to find out a little more about what the town had to offer.
Malton boasts a large number of excellent independent shops, including the wonderful Gin and Whisky shop called Mcmillan’s of Malton. It has a great selection of liqueurs including ones you won’t find in a supermarket.
We both felt Sunday in Malton was very quite but it did give us an opportunity to take in the country town feel and gaze at the beautiful shop windows and buildings. Lisa loved its mix of old and new, sympathetically keeping true to its market town heritage. She also admired the town for keeping Sunday as its a day of rest, but I wished there had been a few more shops open.
Malton Food Festival
As mentioned Malton has been dubbed Yorkshire’s food capital. So much so it hosts it’s own Food Lovers Festival is celebration of the finest Yorkshire produce and cooking.
This fabulous two day festival is being held on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th May 2017 and is set to be the biggest yet. Head over to Malton just for the day or treat yourself to a stay at The Talbot Hotel and delight in the local stalls, delicious street food, talks, tastings, celebrity chef demos and cookery lessons. Enjoy craft beer and cider at the festival bar, live music at the festival party and family entertainment for all!
Lisa: It’s only 50 minutes from Harrogate. Perfect to just take yourself away from every day life and pretend to be living another life. Also the Gin Shop … In such a world of hustle and bustle it’s so nice to hear someone passionate about their love of all things gin related… a man after my own heart.
Me: Spending time with my pal in a place where I felt so very relaxed. I really enjoyed getting away from it all and the Talbot delivered on that, especially with the delicious food!
Lisa: The Talbot is such a beautiful building with an outstanding passionate chef, it just needs a little more Front of House love.
Me: I would have to agree with Lisa. They have a fantastic chef with Dan but the Front of House doesn’t quite marry up with his amazing food.
The Talbot have some cracking deals this January, including Bed and Breakfast in one of their lovely Ryedale bedrooms, for just £38 per person! Book here. Or why not treat someone special to a romantic break in February!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my review, I have plenty more coming up so make sure you sign up to my blog to hear the latest news and reviews from me!
P.S. Thank you to The Talbot Hotel for a wonderful night away and dinner, with compliments. This was an honest review from Lisa and me.
Welcome to my life. Written and directed by Victoria Turner. Here, I bring you the latest lifestyle news from eating out and travel to health and beauty, oh and of course gin! Often based in Harrogate but loves an adventure or two. Views are my own and honest!
Welcome to the Harrogate Girl. A lifestyle blog which brings you the very best of what to do when visiting Harrogate. From great places to stay to the top restaurants in town. Plus if you're a Harrogate local the blog is a great resource for Harrogate life. Enjoy! xx