Short break - The Talbot Hotel, Malton
PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 September 2019
In foodie Malton the town’s showpiece Talbot Hotel brings a cool country interiors vibe to an historic building. Kathryn Armstrong is inspired
Always a knockout building with its honey-coloured stone and position at the gateway to the town, The Talbot Hotel's past as a 17th century coaching inn is reflected its grand and largely unchanged features.
You walk on slightly trembling floorboards and age-smoothed flagstones into rooms with a mix of grandeur and easy charm.
A tender revamp has given the hotel a bit of edge, opening it up to a new raft of visitors lured by the appeal of 'foodie' Malton, who might have once side-stepped its cosy afternoon tea reputation. It's still clearly a go-to for the locals, not least thanks to a ravishing new outside terrace with bountiful blooms, river views and bespoke seasonal cocktails to enjoy in the late afternoon sun. Lucky people.
The hotel's massage of a makeover came courtesy of Sam and Georgie Pearman who headed north after style success with The Lucky Onion group of hotels and inns in the Cotswolds.
They came with a bohemian sweep, replacing chintz with layers of texture from linens to velvets on mismatched furniture and indulgent sink-in sofas and chairs. There's bashed leather, the odd pew and salvaged oak stools in the bar.
Deep-painted walls in some areas offer up cosy comfort whilst elsewhere there's respect for the past with the restoration of wood panelling, fireplaces and all the lovely period detail you'd expect in a place like this.
Bathrooms with indulgent roll-top baths mix modern with period style and you're invited to bubble up with the Pearman's own 100 Acres toiletries collection.
The style of the building and separate spaces makes it easier to create rooms which fit different purposes; bright morning rooms for reading the papers, cosy cubby holes for a late night brandy or the so sociable light-filled bar with its glass roof and sofas.
The breakfast room, serviced by smiley staff in Breton tops is dominated by antique dressers laden with fresh buffet treats while you ponder the merits of a full Yorkshire vs avocado on sourdough from the bakery over the road in Malton's must-visit Talbot Food Court (you can book a three-hour tasting tour via the hotel).
Larger parties can really get a sense of the hotel's historic past dining in the Feasting Room at the back of the hotel. It's a grand, lavish high-ceilinged room dominated as you might expect, by a huge table that demands sociability. Feasting menus are all about sharing with the passing around of platters of blood-red beef, seasonal vegetables from the gardens, perky people-pleasing salads and then a pick of a selection of luscious desserts.