Yorkshire Life Luncheon - York House, Malton
- Credit: Archant
Guests join us at York House – a stunning new addition to Malton’s venue menu.
‘It’s a new venue in a beautiful old property that gives you the best of the town surrounded by a stunning rural landscape.’
As David Macdonald, general manager of the Talbot Hotel in Malton, explains the new addition to the Fitzwilliam Estate’s already weighty portfolio – York House – it becomes clear that this special occasion venue is special in its own right. Old and new, town and country – it really does offer something for everyone.
For those of you not familiar with this property yet, York House is a lovely 300-year-old house perched prettily by the River Derwent in the grounds of the equally impressive Talbot Hotel in Malton. It enjoys an elegant position on Yorkersgate, but the relative modesty of its frontage belies a stunning backdrop with meticulously landscaped grounds, terraced gardens and far-reaching views across the Derwent Valley.
York House and the Talbot are both 18th century, grade two listed gems that form the shiny heart of the Fitzwilliam Estate. After a £4m refurbishment, the Talbot reopened its doors in 2012, immediately winning over guests from near and far with its traditional charm and luxurious yet homely appeal. York House, which was empty for 20 years, has now undergone the same treatment, benefiting from a substantial investment to restore it to its former glory, complete with a mosaic stone floor and a magnificent oak staircase.
‘This building really is something special,’ said David, ‘and it needed – deserved even – a special concept to guarantee its future.’
That concept is as a separate yet connected occasion venue for the Talbot; a place for private parties, wedding celebrations and exclusive events away from the daily bustle of the hotel but just a few short steps away from all its facilities.
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‘We didn’t want guests at the hotel to feel like they were gate-crashing somebody’s big day, and we didn’t want event guests to miss out on all the hotel and Malton in general has to offer,’ said David. ‘This is a way of meeting everyone’s requirements and ensuring everyone can enjoy the same level of service and hospitality.’
York House has a semi-permanent marquee in its grounds that comfortably houses up to 150 guests for a wedding breakfast, dance or party. In effect, the venue is now an extension of the Talbot, enhancing its already impressive menu of facilities by offering a purpose-designed venue for events large and small, although weddings will, of course, play a major role in its success.
‘York House is the ideal venue for a unique wedding, filled with fun and laughter,’ said David. ‘Our menus offer good portions and relaxed dining – an interesting alternative to a more formal wedding breakfast.
‘This doesn’t mean, however, that we’re all about weddings. We are fast becoming the go-to place for christenings, children’s parties and family birthdays. Whatever the occasion, York House makes everyone feel right at home.’
The venue has already hosted numerous unusual events since it opened earlier this year, including a Disney Party, where children got to meet their favourite film characters, and a Doggy Grooming Day, which saw dogs and their owners enjoying tea and cakes together.
And now, of course, it’s hosted a lunch for our guests, starting with a welcome reception at York House, so we could fully appreciate the stunning craftsmanship and intricate detailing of the meticulously-planned refurbishment. Then it was a short walk back to the Talbot for what David described as ‘a casual lunch’ which, in this case, meant a warm, welcoming, fun affair with plenty of food, chat and laughter, especially when Jim McMillan turned up in his kilt to tempt us with a trio of terrific gins from his eponymous Malton shop.
The Talbot prides itself on creating menus with a distinctly Yorkshire flavour, focusing on traditional dishes cooked well. York House shares this ethos, while also adding sharing platters to the mix as a break from the usual, run-of-the-mill celebration fare.
All the events at York House are catered for by the Talbot team, with every delicious morsel of food designed and cooked by the talented hotel chefs. For our lunch, they brought us Yorkshire portions of beef, mashed potatoes and seasonal veg – a rare treat on a cold autumn day – followed by a cheese board that represented the county in the form of Yorkshire Blue, Yorkshire Fettle, Coverdale and Wensleydale.
‘Fine dining is wonderful but, more often than not, it’s so much more satisfying to have a good, honest plate of food, isn’t it?’ said David.
When it’s cooked to this vertiginous standard with such obvious care, dedication and skill, you’re not going to hear any arguments from us.