BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE MOORS
Tucked away in one of the Yorkshire Coast’s most beautiful locations lies the hidden gem that is Raithwaite Sandsend.
The journey to Raithwaite is wild and wonderful and takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park bordered by the sea until you finally arrive at Sandsend.
Sandsend is a beautiful quiet place that feels off the beaten track but is so close to Whitby. Raithwaite has an unrivalled location, near the long sweep of Sandsend’s beach with its white tops and sandy beach.
Set in 100 acres of woodland this place successfully combines sea, moors and luxury – but setting it totally apart from any other hotel is one word sustainability.
For Raithwaite is fully organic and is working towards zero waste by 2022 and leading the way are their food and drink offerings and the sustainability story stems through to housekeeping products and self sustaining gardens.
A short drive up the long and winding narrow road and we finally arrived at The Hall part of the hotel. As we parked our car it was only minutes before smiling staff greeted us and asked if we needed help with our luggage – something that made us feel special from the moment we arrived in the car parking area.
But this is the jewel in the hotel’s crown – a staff who are friendly, approachable and so eager to help in any way they can – it’s little wonder that since the hotel re-opened after Covid it has been very very busy as has its restaurant a firm favourite with locals.
After checking in and unpacking we decided to make our way down to the 1822 Bar for our long drive, that had taken twice as long as it should, had had more road works, diversions and road closures than the proverbial parson preached about.
The bar menu was full of a tempting array of cocktails with strong local flavours such as Captain Cooks Resolution, Old Tom’s Stairs, Yorkshire Old Fashioned with Filey Bay Whisky and Moor Margaritas. This is the ideal place for a light lunch or afternoon tea – the latter being one of the few hotels I have come across who offer four different styles of this must have now fashionable treat. Besides the usual cream tea there’s an indulgent sweet or savoury afternoon tea or for those watching their waistline a light version of the two.
We decided to pass on the afternoon teas and cocktails my partner enjoying an ice cold beer whilst I quaffed a glass of organic Rosado Tempranillo. There are around 37 different wines on the menu and all are organic.
The bar is candle-lit which makes it really romantic especially at dusk and if the weather would have been warmer and drier we would have been tempted to sit on the raised patio that is floodlit and does have heaters – but is not downpour resistant.
Our room was in the Hall part of the hotel and had great views of the garden.
It was spacious and I loved with bright coloured easy chairs, plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe and an ultra comfy king-size bed with crisp cotton sheets, lots of plus points and small tables and a foot stool. Similarly the bathroom did not disappoint – spacious and well lit it had complimentary organic toiletries on the shelves, thick white towels, robes and slippers.
In order to soothe tired muscles, after a long drive my partner decided to take advantage of the Spa and its L shaped heated pool, that overlooks the stream. He also indulged in the steam room and sauna. Raithwaite prides itself on its Spa, the only one in Whitby and has a range of treatments available which need to be pre-booked.
Although it was a mid-week evening the restaurant was busy. It’s a cheery place with local artists work on the walls amidst sparkling glass and silver. The menu follows Raithwaite’s ethos zero waste, organic and seasonal produce most sourced from a 30 mile radius.
There was a tempting array of starters and my Blue Cheese Bruschetta with Pickled Walnuts and Pear was a very tasty offering whilst my partners Beetroot Cured Halibut with pickled apple, celeriac, pikelet and sea herbs didn’t fail to disappoint.
For mains we were lost for choice. Crisp Pork Belly was my choice. It came with a red cabbage remoulade, apple and black pudding cooked in a crisp batter – the first time I have ever had it like that and me a Yorkshire lass. The meat was well cooked and just melted in your mouth with the tang of the accompanying apple just the right thing to bring out more flavour.
My partner plumped for the Rib Eye Steak, sourced by the hotel’s butcher from Malton market. The meat was tasty, tender and succulent and according to my partner a cut above what is usually served in the majority of restaurants. It was cooked to perfection and the accompanying garlic butter sauce was a delicious accompaniment.
For my heaven on a plate I chose the ginger parkin with a spiced syrup and celeriac ice cream – a real winter warmer whilst my partner opted for some ice-cream – locally produced of course.
After dinner we sat in the comfortable lounge bar with its sinkable sofas and lovely chesterfield chairs and enjoyed some after dinner drinks in a totally relaxing atmosphere chatting to other guests until the early hours.
Next morning it was time to sample one of the best breakfast menus I have tried for a long time. I just loved my mushrooms in cream with poached eggs on homemade toast whilst my partner indulged in a kipper on toast with poached eggs. The kipper came from Whitby’s famous smokehouse Fortune’s one of the oldest smoke houses in the country and I am told was absolutely delicious.
After breakfast it was time to bid farewell to Raithwaite and whilst I caught up in the lounge on my travel notes it was a lovely gesture by the staff to offer me a creamy cappuccino – great hospitality to the very end of our stay.
The view half way down the drive made me stop for a while and is one I will always remember – the sea framed by the trees – its times like this I wish I was a photographer rather than a writer.
It was sad to say goodbye to Raithwaite but I do know we will be back.
Tel: 01947 661661 www.raithwaitesandsend.co.uk
WHAT TO DO IN SANDSEND
Sandsend is so close to Whitby you can even walk there. It’s perfectly placed for walking, whether you want a gentle stroll around Sandsend and the beach, sit with a coffee or just take in the view.
It’s right on the Cleveland Way so if you are feeling energetic you can walk from Staithes to Sandsend or vice versa.
In warmer weather or summer the beach is tempting it’s a real bucket and spade place or somewhere to sit and relax with a good book.
For details of these walks, plus many more and additional information about the walks including maps, advice routes etc including maps and downloads visit: –
www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com with tourism bureau on 01723 383636
And don’t forget to visit Whitby whilst you are in the area and the original Spa town of Scarborough.
So much to see and do on our beautiful Yorkshire Coast.