The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Richard Hutton, was not a poor man. In 1620, he commissioned a magnificent residence in Goldsborough, on the outskirts of Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. This regal edifice served as the family home for many years and in 1750, it was significantly remodelled by the famous duo of Robert Adam and John Carr.
The house became famous in the 1920s when it became the home of HRH Princess Mary – an aunt to the Queen, after she married into the Lascelles family, of Harewood House fame. By the year 2005 however, the property had shamefully become virtually derelict. The village itself is now a lovely, up-market place to live and a little off the beaten track, surrounded by open countryside.
Mark and Clare Oglesby saw the property and were determined to restore it to it’s former eminence. This was achieved remarkably quickly at no little expense and as early as the following year, it became a popular wedding venue. Three huge, superbly decorated and furnished bedroom suites, together with a further four deluxe and luxury rooms for letting, were created. The rooms are AA 5 star gold rated. Twelve acres of grounds were also restored and the recent addition of a new 1,300sq.ft glasshouse added to the on-site produce that the kitchen garden affords. The restaurant has AA 2 star accreditation.
It was for the’ Royal Afternoon Tea’ that we visited on this occasion. On entering, we were soon greeted and given the option of a drink in the bar or to be taken straight through to our table. We were shown to a resplendent table in the large and airy orangery, complete with a fresh flower and a linen tablecloth. These teas are taken either in the orangery, the Jacobean library, the opulent Princess Mary drawing room or out on the terrace in warm weather, which we had looked forward to doing.
Such a pity then about the overcast, showery weather.
The treats were presented on a traditional three tier plated stand. The sandwiches consisted of free range egg and mustard, baked ham and mustard mayo, smoked salmon and lemon, together with cream cheese and cucumber. A home made sausage roll with a spot of BBQ sauce on top completed the savoury selection. I would not normally contemplate a sausage roll but these were meaty, herby and very tasty.
The sweet range comprised of two white chocolate and raspberry pistachio éclairs, small squares of exquisite carrot cake, and baked vanilla pots with a fruit compote base, topped with oats. The four scones, two each of plain and fruited, together with pots of Goldsborough Hall jam and clotted cream just about finished us off. What a spread fit for royalty, and so delicious.
Staff were friendly, attentive and very helpful throughout.
Staying, dining and eating here is not the cheapest of venues, but the whole experience exudes quality and there are deals to be had if you look online.
The tea includes a stroll around the grounds, gardens and glasshouse,
which are not normally open to the public.
We couldn’t help giving a royal wave or two as we did so.
On leaving the Hall, as the sun came out, we spotted the Bay Horse pub in the village. This dates back to 1600 and provided a further hour’s relaxation in the now sunny garden before heading home.
Another royal wave from the passenger side as we left, leaving locals much bemused. Maybe it was the tiara and elbow length white gloves that left them scratching their heads.
What a regal afternoon out.
For further details go to www.goldsboroughhall.com and to find it, get the footman to set the sat-nav on the royal carriage to HG5 8NR.