For anyone looking for somewhere to stay to the north of York, I’m adding to my periodic comments about interesting hostelries and places to stay by recommending Habton House Farm. This is an exquisite, hidden-away 200 year old Grade II listed farmhouse situated in the small hamlet of Little Habton just to the north-west of Malton, and not far from Castle Howard. It makes a great place from which to visit the North York Moors and the Vale of Pickering, with both York and Scarborough each being less than an hour away. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the quality of furnishings and services offered have been chosen with great care and are of a very high standard. I particularly liked the choice of bath oils and soaps (Bamboo from Bath House if I recall correctly) – as well, of course, as the teas!
However, above all this, what really makes the place is the friendly, welcoming hospitality of James and Lucy who have worked enormously hard to create this very special place to stay. They have a really magical touch of making guests feel very much at home, getting just right that difficult balance between being open and friendly, while at the same time giving space to guests who just want to escape and be alone.
The breakfasts are also really special! They offer a good range of delicious food – from bacon and eggs produced on their smallholding, to porridge, smoked salmon and home-made jams and marmalade; and, for the healthier minded, don’t forget the fresh fruit salads and fruit compote! All of the guests sit around one large breakfast table – which can be a bit daunting for some – but this offers a great opportunity for interesting conversation!
With only three double rooms, there are never many people staying, and there is plenty of room to relax. Guests have use of a lovely drawing room, which has a log fire in the winter, and for those who cannot escape being an appendage to a digital device there is good quality Wi-Fi, as well as a television in each room, and DVDs to borrow in the drawing room. Nearby are several good restaurants, and James and Lucy are always on hand to recommend somewhere interesting to explore. We certainly had a very pleasant pub dinner at The Grapes in Great Habton!
Their smallholding specialises in breeding and rearing rare-breed pedigree Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, and has pioneered the ultimate in food provenancing by enabling people to adopt a pig, and follow it throughout its life until the time comes to enjoy a wonderful porcine feast! Mind you, the bacon at breakfast is also very, very good!
All in all, if you are looking for a quiet, luxurious place to stay in Yorkshire, at very good value, and with really friendly young hosts, this is definitely somewhere you should get to know! I really hope that James and Lucy make a success of this venture – and that by encouraging others to come and stay I can express something of my gratitude to them for a really lovely weekend!