Spearheaded by landowner Tom Naylor-Leyland, the market town of Malton is now firmly on the map as the Food Capital of Yorkshire. His handsome 17th century coaching inn, The Talbot, needed an update to reflect the town’s new-found status and so he sensibly turned to hoteliers with eyes for design and hospitality as fresh and innovative as his own for food and produce. Georgie and Sam Pearman, who founded the Lucky Onion Group in the Cotswolds and have recently opened the Swan at Ascot-under-Wychwood (see page 000) have worked their magic and now its elegant drawing room, with two log fires, engaging pictures on the walls, velvet armchairs and low sofas, is a lovely boho-chic space in which to while away time. The restaurant has a wooden floor, country tables, pretty china and cutlery and a suitably informal feel for its suitably simple, locally sourced food, prepared with care. As for the bedrooms, they are all different: eclectic, homely and charming.
Castle Howard is one of Yorkshire’s best attractions. Not really a castle but a very, very big house, and only 15 minutes’ drive away from The Talbot. The hotel can organise personal tours of the house for you or just go and have a wander. It’s still a private residence, owned by the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years.
Why not combine your visit with one of the hotel’s regular food tours and munch your way around Malton’s charming streets, learning local history and tasting delicious Yorkshire food and famous local produce. With your friendly guide you’ll visit a varying selection of ‘Made in Malton’ producers and specialists shops sampling a range of seasonal delights that could include brownies, vegetarian pastries, homemade chorizo and scotch eggs, Yorkshire cheese, freshly ground coffee, championship beer, whisky, gin, macarons and gelato plus a surprise dish from the Talbot kitchens.
Directly opposite The Talbot is Talbot Yard, a food court bursting with artisan food and drink producers, many of which feature on The Talbot’s menus, and The Talbot’s regular Food Tours and Gin Tours. Visit Talbot Yard and buy some freshly roasted coffee from Roost, some delicious Macarons from Florian Poirot, or some home-baked bread from Bluebird Bakery.