Goldsborough Hall, Knaresborough
If you’ve ever come across Goldsborough Hall, a beautiful Jacobean manor house one mile east of Knaresborough, it’s likely to have been for a wedding or a function because Goldsborough has been primarily a private house, home to Mark and Clare Oglesby and not usually open to the public. The Oglesby’s bought it in 2005 and have been restoring it ever since and now it’s open for you and me.
The house was built in the 17th century by a prominant lawyer, Sir Richard Sutton and by the 18th century it belonged to the wealthy Lascelles family and became the first home of Henry Lascelles, (to become the 6th Earl of Harewood) and his wife Princess Mary. After the Earl’s death in 1947 the house was sold, and in the years that followed it was used as a school, a private house and a BUPA nursing home.
Now, after considerable restoration and the creation of six glamorous bedrooms, the house is open for dinner, bed and breakfast and pre-booked afternoon tea. This is how I found myself on a darkening wintery afternoon, cocooned in a leather Chesterfield, beside a huge log fire in the Goldsborough library.
You do feel like royalty when tea is brought by newly appointed GM James McDonnell on a tiered cake stand: sandwiches (crayfish tails, chicken, cheese and pickle, roast beef); scones with jam and clotted cream and a selection of cakes (sticky toffee ginger cake, apple pannacotta shortbread, mulled wine jelly, chocolate posset and mini mince pie). There’s a full tea and coffee menu and champagne for when you’re really splashing out.
Besides the chance to play Lady Bountiful, a bonus of being here is a chance to stroll the 12 acres of garden. They are open twice a year under the National Garden Scheme, (and 21/22 Feb Snowdrop Days) but book for lunch or tea and a garden stroll comes as standard. Highlights include the Lime Tree Walk, an avenue of 33 magnificent trees, the first one planted by Princess Mary in 1922 and by every royal visitor (the Queen has planted four) since. How’s that for one-upmanship. There is a daffodil display along the Lime Walk in spring and a magnificent 120 ft herbaceous border throughout the summer.
Afternoon tea £25 with champagne £35. To book: 01423 867321