“A former 17th-century coaching inn transformed into a contemporary pub-with-rooms, flaunting Georgian good looks and exceptionally hearty food”
Still, it's the food that lies at the heart of this Yorkshire coaching inn, which has reinvented itself with pizazz as a 21st-century version of its 17th-century origins. From coolly retro bedrooms to bold and airy bars and dining rooms, the extensive facelift has been masterminded by hot hoteliers Sam and Georgie Pearman and Tom Naylor-Leyland, a passionate advocate of Malton's foodie credentials.
Expect robust meals – salt cod brandade with chorizo and a soft boiled duck egg, bone-in rib of Yorkshire beef with hand-cut chips and bone marrow – cracking wines and a relaxed stripped-back style accentuated with hints of subtle decadence. Floorboards are well-worn, tables and chairs are old-school and mismatched, walls are crammed with art, and ferns and pot-plants populate surfaces. The Talbot’s 26 rooms are spread over its higgledy-piggledy floors and staircases and each is decorated in bold colours and vintage pieces. The overall hue is soothing English green with bold splashes of teal, burnt orange and sexy velvets – to hint at fun.
Step outside into the jolly streets of Malton – Yorkshire’s food capital – where every other shop is seemingly aimed at your palate. Explore the Wolds, the North York Moors or nearby York, then return to fabulous grub and a convivial atmosphere (locals love it here just as much as visitors). It’s a friendly, attractive, classic retreat with a fresh and stylish new lease of life: perfect weekend break material.
- Incredible food with decent-sized portions and no holds barred on puddings
- Refreshingly simple bedrooms with good-size bathrooms, natural botanical soaps and lotions, big wardrobes and tables, and fuss-free bed furnishings
- Big and airy public rooms with plenty of space to find a quieter corner
- The Relaxed atmosphere created by the well-worn, scrubbed and solid furnishings, and a profusion of potted ferns and house-plants
- Locals’ and after-work drinks pub as much as a hotel
- First impressions are a little iffy - a slightly peeling and rather ordinary street-side stone frontage - but things perk up as soon as you approach the handsome facade
- The modish teal and bottle-green paint colours can make some bedrooms dark; fine for romance, not so fine for bedtime reading
- We found service to be a little variable, particularly in the restaurant, with some staff willing but lacking initiative
- Some bedrooms seem to have sacrificed practicality for style: mirrors not close to sockets for hairdryers, for example
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Pub with rooms
- Restaurant and bar open daily
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Spread over three floors, the 26 rooms are a mix of old-school simplicity and vintage fun. Sisal floors and chunky, scrubbed-wood furniture give a minimalist feel, while bold hues – perhaps a bottle-green wall, or cherry-red wardrobe, or mustard-yellow headboard - floral lampshades and inviting linen-covered armchairs add colour.
Homemade biscuits, coffee machines (fresh milk), glossy magazines and Roberts radios are nice touches. Bathrooms are generous – most with natural light; a rare joy – with a pleasing mix of old-fashioned marble, big basins and shiny-white metro tiling.
The bed in room 3 (Family Room) looks straight onto the garden and river; the bath in room 6 (Good Room) sits cheekily under the window; romantics may like tucked-away Excellent Room 11 (Excellent Room) with its four-poster bed and sultry colours. Light sleepers may want to avoid roadside rooms. Top-floor rooms are surprisingly big, if rather plain, with good views.
- Coffee / tea making
- Satellite TV
Breakfast tempts with bowls of poached fruits and bircher muesli and a handsome choice of cooked dishes including kippers, avocado and poached egg, or even devilled kidneys on toast (a Victorian classic) if you can stomach it.
Try not to graze too much during the day in Malton’s (very tempting) food-shops; the Talbot’s dinner menu is punchy and greed-inducing, and you’ll definitely want pudding. The kitchen takes classic dishes, pimps them with a little creativity, yet keeps them fuss-free and hearty - and with bags of Yorkshire ingredients. (The 24-seater private dining area is appropriately called The Feasting Room.)
Starters might include twice-baked local cheddar soufflé or homemade pork terrine with mustard fruits and could be followed by roasted lamb with pearl barley or their famous fish pie. My sea bream was nicely offset with roasted peppers and olives, and a side of Yorkshire new potatoes. Vegetarians might be a bit short-changed on their main-course selection. Puddings are unapologetically old-fashioned and wonderfully sinful: hot chocolate and peanut butter pudding, perhaps, or steamed ginger with butterscotch sauce and double cream!
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Potter around Malton, the self-styled food capital of Yorkshire, and discover artisan bakers, coffee-roasters, chocolatiers and a gin-maker; or time your visit for the food market on the second Saturday of the month
- To enjoy tastings on your way, take one of the hotel’s monthly Food Tours; if you’re inspired to improve your culinary skills, book a class at the hotel’s Cookery School
- Head for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering (13km), which puffs its way through moorland valleys for 37km to Whitby on the coast
- Marvel at the knock-out splendour of Castle Howard, one of the north’s ‘great houses’, a massive Baroque-Palladian mix, all glittering interiors and fabulous art, plus folly-strewn landscaped parkland
- Take the 25-minute train ride to York and soak up the city’s history and museums - including Minster, walls and National Railway Museum - before indulging in afternoon tea at Bettys Café Tea Rooms
- Walk off all the food with a stroll: either on the nearby Howardian Hills or the wilder North York Moors
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Private guided tours
- Scenic train rides
- Shopping / markets
Children are made welcome, though it's not especially geared to families. There are Family Rooms, cots and extra beds available (free of charge), kids' menus and lots of family-friendly activities in the area.
Family friendly accommodation:
There are four Family Rooms, each with a double sofabed for children, and there's no charge (except breakfast) for extra beds in rooms.
Baby cots and high chairs available to borrow.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The restaurant has a special children’s menu.
Kids Activities nearby:
- North Yorkshire Moors Railway
- Castle Howard
- Beaches in Scarborough and Whitby
- Cookery classes
Families Should Know:
The hotel has a higgledy-piggledy layout and there are lots of steps - keep an eye on toddlers.
- Airport: 80 minutes (Leeds Bradford / Durham Tees Valley)
- Shop: Five minutes walking
- Hospital: Two minutes
The Talbot is set in the foodie town of Malton, in North Yorkshire.
Fly into Leeds Bradford or Durham Tees Valley, then hire a car. The pub has a car park.
Malton station lies on the York to Scarborough Line. From York, there are regular trains to and from London Kings Cross, which take approximately two hours.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Leeds Bradford 83.0 km LBA
- Durham Tees Valley 84.0 km MME
- Beach 37.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km