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The Talbot, North Yorkshire

The sleepy market town of Malton has artfully rebranded itself as Yorkshire’s Capital of Food – and it is a title not without merit. In recent years, it has become home to a highstreet-full of delightful places to find food and drink. Surely enough to lure a Southerner over the North-South border. The Talbot, like Malton, has proved just as socially mobile. The hotel, like much of Malton, is owned by the Naylor-Leylands. It was done it up a couple of years ago, under the watchful, seasoned eye of Sam and Georgie Pearman who previously ran a boutique Cotswold hotel group. The Talbot has been transformed and is now a place of rich, warm hues; quirky, tasteful boxes of taxidermy and rustic oak floors that run the length of the hotel. It’s as dog-friendly as they come – with two hound sculptures that mark the entrance to the stately 17th-century riverside coaching inn. Perched on a hill, the train that runs from York to Malton rolls into the station and grants views up to the grand, light-stoned building. The dining room, like the best bedrooms (with their four-poster, richly patterened beds) is south-facing, offering bucolic views of Yorkshire. Food-wise, guests can indulge in the likes of the treacle-glazed braised ox cheek with smoked mash, roasted winter vegetable salad and the decadent ginger bread parfait. Sink back in the luxe furnishings and revel in the plentiful array of Yorkshire gins on offer – The Talbot is a British bolthole you’d be delighted to find yourself in.