A Place to Stay: The Talbot Hotel, Malton

The Talbot Hotel is set within spacious grounds a couple of minutes stroll from the centre of Malton, an attractive market town that has been described as ‘the food capital of Yorkshire’. The 26-room hotel offers luxury accommodation and hosts a bar, the fine-dining Wentworth Restaurant plus the Malton Brasserie.

Disclosure: Stuart Forster was invited to stay at The Talbot Hotel. The hotel did not review nor approve this article.

The premises date back into the 17th century, when it was a built as a hunting lodge, and have utilised as an inn since 1740. Back in those days coach journeys between Malton and London were measured in days rather than hours. Aspects of that history are touched upon in literature within rooms. Framed photos of racing horses and people in hunting attire decorate walls within The Talbot Hotel.

The Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire.
The Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire.

A base for exploring Yorkshire

Malton is 18 miles northeast of York, so this hotel offers a viable alternative to accommodation in and around the historic walled city. Ripon, meanwhile, is 36 miles westward, across the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty. The Talbot Hotel provides a comfortable base for walkers between outings in the North Yorks Moors National Park, 10 miles away. I spent the night at the hotel ahead of joining one of the Malton Food Tours, which provide insights into the artisanal food and drink made and sold in the town.

The gardens of the Talbot Hotel in Malton.
The gardens of the Talbot Hotel in Malton.

Arriving on a balmy Friday evening meant time to stroll in the gardens and enjoy views into the Derwent Valley. The Wentworth Restaurant has a fine reputation but as the weekend promised plenty of food tasting, I opted to dine in the informal Malton Brasserie.

The dining room at the Malton Brasserie.
The dining room at the Malton Brasserie.

As soon as I spotted fish and chips on the menu I knew what to order. Light floods into the atrium on light summer nights, making it a pleasant place to sit and chat.

Fish and chips served at the Malton Brasserie. Mushy peas and tartare sauce are on the plate, along with a grilled lime.
Fish and chips served at the Malton Brasserie. Mushy peas and tartare sauce are on the plate, along with a grilled lime.

Brass Castle and beyond

Beer from Malton’s Brass Castle Brewery is served in the hotel bar. If you enjoy good ale, it may be worth booking a weekend in Malton with mates to sample the beers served in the likes of The Spotted Cow, New Globe Inn and The New Malton.

Groups, no doubt, can have a grand time making use of the lounge, which has an open fireplace. I found the cosy room a pleasant place to sit and read before dinner.

Framed oil paintings at The Talbot Hotel.
Framed oil paintings at The Talbot Hotel.

If you’re into literature, you may already be aware that Charles Dickens spent time in Malton and drew inspiration for aspects of his novel Nicholas Nickleby from the region. Look carefully and you’ll see a first edition of the book locked in the display case in The Talbot Hotel’s lobby. A plaque on a building in Malton’s Chancery Lane celebrates the Dickens connection.

The lounge at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.
The lounge at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.

A large and cosy bedroom

I was allocated a sizable ground floor bedroom at the back of the hotel, with a sash window that opened onto the garden. The quiet location and heavy curtains ensured that even on a summer’s night I was able to sleep well. The décor of my room was classically English in pastel colours, with framed prints on the walls. The en suite bathroom was stocked with Penhaligon’s toiletries.

Penhaligon's toiletries at the Talbot Hotel.
Penhaligon’s toiletries at the Talbot Hotel.

When staying in a hotel, I’d normally choose a traditional English breakfast; a treat that I rarely cook at home. However, knowing that I was about to participate in a food tour meant I selected the Eggs Benedict, which set me up for the morning.

Bathroom at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.
Bathroom at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.

The Talbot Hotel proved a comfortable base and is ideally located for exploring Malton on foot.

Further information

The Talbot Hotel is at 43 Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire (tel. 01653 639096). See the hotel’s website for more information about rooms and to check their availability. Car parking is available at the hotel.

The Malton Brasserie opens for lunch and dinner, serving dishes including of Wensleydale and wild garlic soufflé, steamed mussels with skinny chips, plus sirloin steak with French fries and Béarnaise sauce. The selection of desserts includes scoops of ice cream from Groovy Moo, whose base is across the road in the Talbot Yard Food Court.

The Wentworth Restaurant serves dinner between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Starters such as king scallops prepared with pork belly, black pudding, carrot and blood orange and main course including assiette of Gressingham corn-fed chicken served with purple sprouting broccoli and girolles count among the dishes on the menu.

Afternoon teas are served between 3pm and 5pm from Monday to Saturday. The hotel also hosts conferences. It has a gun room for secure storage of hunting weapons and is dog friendly.

For more ideas about things to do and see in Malton, including the Malton Cookery School, see the Visit Malton and Welcome to Yorkshire websites.

Stuart Forster, the author of this article, is based in the north-east of England and has written hotel reviews for a number of publications, including The Telegraph and The Independent. Stuart is available for freelance commissions. He welcomes contact via this website or by calling +44 (0) 7947 587136.

Photographs illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.

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The back facade of a 18th-century building on the grounds of the Talbot Hotel.
The rear facade of a 18th-century building on the Talbot Hotel’s grounds.

 

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