The spa town of Harrogate is renown for its old world grandeur that reflects the gracious living of the past. From its Edwardian architecture reflected in almost every street, its gardens and colonnades, hotels, restaurants and cafes it is full of elegance and charm.

But its Ambers a restaurant at   the Grade II listed  Cedar Court Hotel that has eclipsed all others with its amazing décor, sophisticated ambience and above all its cuisine.

Walk into Ambers and it feels like  you are  stepping back in time and entering an opulent grand salon of the early 1900’s. I really felt I should have donned my tiara, gloves and opera cape for my dining experience.

The exquisitely furnished Ambers is like no other in the area with its ornate detailing, pillars, artistic sculptured cornices and gold leaf ceiling adornment. Colours have been carefully chosen to fit the period whilst there’s an eclectic feel about the velvet upholstery that is unique and mood lighting that could have come from the gas lamp era.

Ambers menu is totally unique and offers a Yorkshire take on contemporary British cuisine a far cry from the usual hotel dining experience that most establishments offer.

It was a lovely warm and friendly greeting we received from our server as she showed us t our table. The tables in Ambers are very well choreographed to allow space and privacy with both upholstered bench and chair seating – the most comfortable restaurant chairs I have sat in for some time – and I have sat in a lot. Our table was by the large window adorned with heavy velvet curtains that all added to the vintage experience.

We ordered some olives whilst we perused the menu. My partner decided on the Chilli and Citrus Cured Salmon with roasted beetroot salad, baby watercress, crispy capers and was not disappointed as the capers and beetroot salad were an ideal accompaniment to the flavoursome chilli and citrus cured salmon.

I was more adventurous choosing the two soups in a bowl. This consisted of roasted plum tomato, courgette, baby spinach and came served with some delicious Ambers home made bread and basil butter. When it arrived I just didn’t want to consume this piece of art which tasted as good as it looked.

There was a good selection of main courses and I went for the Slow Cooked Rolled Easingwold Belly Pork. This came with an absolute feast of accompaniments – a potato and black pudding terrine, apple cider jelly, pan seared tenderstern broccoli and Arran mustard cream. The accompaniments were perfect as they took away any fat taste that usually comes with this cut of meat. It was soft and tender and I must say this is the best offering of this dish I have had since Belly Pork, once regarded as a poor relation of meats, became famous and was relegated from the cheap meal option  to fine dining restaurants.

My partner was less adventurous and went for the Ribeye Steak with a cracked peppercorn sauce. The steak was done exactly to his requested liking and was tender and succulent and had been sourced locally in West and North Yorkshire.This was served with roasted plum tomato, Portobelloe mushroom, dressed rocket and triple cooked chips that looked so delicious I just had to steal one or two!!!

For ‘Afters’ as they are called on the menu – I just loved that choice of wording  – my partner chose the classic Jam Roly Poly with double cream custard and was absolutely delighted with it saying it was the best he’d tasted since the ones his mum used to make. There was plenty of jam, copious custard and the pastry was the traditional suet type.

I decided to be a little more adventurous with the contemporary take on Rhubarb and Custard. The dish consisted of a pot of burnt English cream with a tarragon syrup and young Wakefield rhubarb with a lemon petticoat tail shortbread to complete the dessert. This was certainly another of my chosen ‘heaven on a plate’ afters.

As well as its food Ambers has another big plus – its staff. The staff are warm, attentive and genuinely friendly but above all take pride and know their product well. They contribute greatly to the ambience of the place for here everything is relaxed and un-rushed whilst the service is perfection

After a wonderful meal we headed back home but I know next time my partner is on shore leave we will be back.

Ambers Restaurant at The Cedar Court Hotel over looks the famous 200 acre stray parkland and dates back to 1671 and sits on the site of the towns first ever hotel The Queens

Open: Lunch – Mon-Sat 12.00 – 5.00pm; Dinner Mon-Sat 5.00pm – 9.15 (final sitting); Sunday Lunch 12.30 to 8.30 (final sitting)

Ambers Restaurant Park Parade Harrogate HG1 5AH

Tel: 01423 858585


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