Think stately home, think the highest level of luxury, service, food and drink and then start to think again because, even your imagination will not prepare you for Grantley Hall.
Located only 4 miles from Ripon and 10 miles from Harrogate, this hidden jewel can be found in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, offering 47 exquisite bedrooms, four indulgent restaurants, including Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, and three stunning bars. However, Grantley Hall is not merely a stunning hotel, it is a destination, and we hope to give you an idea of why.
We had been invited to experience their new alfresco dining in the beautiful Norton Courtyard. We have been to Grantley Hall three times before, but this is one of those magical places that takes your breath away every time and this time was no exception.
Your Grantley Hall experience begins with a journey through stunning Yorkshire countryside, made even better for us that day as it was the hottest day of the year so far, it seemed the Gods were shining down on us, setting the tone for our visit.
Your journey continues with the drive through the hotel grounds. You are greeted by a fully liveried concierge who calls forward to announce your arrival before you continue towards the hotel, taking in the magnificent landscaping and unique features along the driveway. Make sure you drive slowly so that you can take everything in.
As Grantley Hall appears in view it is always an ‘Oh my God!’ moment. It really is a magnificent building and if we could bottle whatever customer care training they deliver to their employees, we would be very rich, very quickly! That said, this is just another thing that makes Grantley Hall stand head and shoulders above anywhere else you will visit in the UK.
We were booked into the Norton Courtyard and were shown to a table bathed completely in the Yorkshire sunshine. This, coupled with the surrounding beautifully manicured gardens and tranquil sounds of the River Skell, provide a stunning setting to enjoy catching up with friends and family over fantastic food and decadent drinks.
The Norton Courtyard is one of three alfresco dining areas, the others being the EightyEight Terrace and The Orchard. Located next to the enchanting Japanese garden and gentle sounds of its water features, the EightyEight Terrace makes for a beautiful setting to enjoy a unique fusion of far Eastern flavours and masterfully crafted, innovative cocktails. The third one, opening Friday 7th May, The Orchard is set within a stunning sailcloth marquee, creating a stylish, laid-back summer atmosphere where guests can enjoy all day drinking and dining.
We started with a glass of champagne! It had to be done, this was a wonderful occasion on a beautiful day and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Friday afternoon.
We looked over the (superb) menu and chose starters of Smoked Salmon and Whitby Crab (oak smoked salmon, fennel and dressed crab, dill lemon cream) and Roasted Scallops (apple, celeriac, hazelnuts). Each of these dishes was summer on a plate! Beautiful, clean, delicious flavours which paired perfectly with our Ca’ Tesore Pinot Grigiot.
For our main courses we opted for Herb Feb Chicken Breast, served with roasted roots, fries and dressed leaves and Waterford Farm Pork Fillet and Belly with sides of Tenderstem Broccoli with toasted almonds and Truffle Mash. The chicken was so moist and full of flavour and the pork simply melted in the mouth. We tried so hard to look for something that could be improved on but there was nothing. So far this was the perfect day in every way.
When it comes to desserts, there is nothing worse that being too full to enjoy one! For us, that is another positive point to dining at Grantley Hall. Each course is perfectly balanced in both flavour and portion size and we were able to indulge in desserts without feeling gluttons.
Enter into the frame, Isaphan Delice – fresh raspberries, lychee cremeux, raspberry and rosewater ganache and a Selection of Artisan Cheeses, served with quince, spiced fruit chutney and oat biscuits. Both plates were completely cleared. Once again this had been something very special, and it didn’t end there.
The sun had moved, so our waitress suggested coffee on the sun terrace around the corner where the sun had moved to. We obediently obliged and sadly realised it was time to leave. We didn’t want to, it had been perfect, simply perfect.
At this point, if you are not rushing to book your table for alfresco dining at Grantley Hall, there may be something wrong with you! We have already booked ours.
Once indoor dining is allowed again, we will also be booking a table at the Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, a new level in fine dining.
Grantley Hall is the epitome of our rich heritage blended with modern opulence and luxury – the difference is in the detail.