First Look: Cool Yorkshire gastro pub launches new boutique rooms
PUBLISHED: 13:08 19 October 2020
The Alice Hawthorn Inn in Nun Monkton channels ‘agri-chic’ in its 12 Scandi-style bedrooms
The Alice Hawthorn Inn has a name that leaves you asking questions, then a new look that tempts you to buy your own building plot and copy the clever Scandi homestead.
From the outside this smart coaching inn looks the part, overlooking the village green in Nun Monkton with its towering maypole, it is polished and welcoming with a long-standing reputation for good food and welcome. The name is that of a champion racehorse.
Once you head to the car park beyond, you enter a different, contemporary and somewhat unexpected world; one of pale timber, corrugated tin roofs and a sense of calm. It’s a lovely place to hole up.
Twelve new rooms have opened up – with four in the pub itself combining sensitive alterations to the existing Grade II listed pub, then in the courtyard a collection of contemporary structures, reimagined as a group of agricultural outbuildings. Eight garden rooms in the new buildings flank the beer garden, which is planted with new perennials and old roses and has an outside pizza oven and socially-distanced tables.
Bedrooms in the new courtyard are real cocoons. All timber, they feel cosy, smell fabulous and are styled in very stripped back Scandi style that creates instant relax.
I was lying in bed planning a room of one’s own just like this as the morning sunlight streaked through full-length windows with their own views over neighbouring fields to the river beyond. It was definitely a place of comfort. All of the bedrooms are beautifully styled with superking beds; crisp, white, high thread-count linen; freestanding bath tubs and/or walk-in rainfall showers and all the little luxuries you might need away from home, including good local guides to read and Noble Isle bathroom treats.
It’s a great base for a gastro weekend, just a few miles outside of York; you could do some city centre Christmas shopping then head here for a bit of calm.
Dinner is superb – distancing restrictions mean that there are a series of dining areas in different rooms of the pub, all of which feel very safe.
Menus ring with a strong Yorkshire provenance from a team of talent headed up by by John Topham, with fish straight from the Yorkshire coast and game from local shoots – venison from Holme Farm was exceptionally good as was the night’s halibut. Can image the Sunday roast being a humdinger – there was a steady stream of diners for it the next day.
There’s a classy wine list, and the breakfasts were a treat – full Yorkshire of course but a welcome grilled halloumi with avocado, harissa-roasted tomatoes, eggs and mushrooms, a veggie treat.
In these testing times for the hospitality world, business partners Claire and John Topham are doing their bit to make guest feel welcome and risk-free.
You’re perfectly placed for a ramble. The village is a hidden gem with river walks from the pub and a stroll to the beautiful Priory. The confluence of rivers Ouse and Nidd is here – and in non-pandemic times a ferry from the village takes you over to the Beningborough estate.
Prices for the rooms range from £120-£215 (Weds/Thurs) to £170 - £245 (Fri/Sat).Rates are for two people including breakfast.