Just an hour down the A1, Middleton Lodge Estate is one of our favourite bolt holes when we just want to get away for a night or two.
This beautiful estate is described on its website as ‘A Georgian country retreat’ and that’s exactly what it feels like – a retreat and escape from the day-to-day – set in 200 acres of rural Yorkshire.
The main house on the estate is still home to the owners, the Allison family, and the rest of the estate is made up of restored sandstone stables and farmhouse buildings which make up the hotel rooms and suites which are dotted across various buildings, The Coach House restaurant and courtyard, The Treatment Rooms offering spa treatments and The Forge fine-dining restaurant and bar.
Whilst it’s only 10 minutes from Richmond, when we visit it is absolutely to switch-off and escape. We headed there in August to celebrate my birthday and try out the new outdoor dining.
There are 47 rooms and suites of various sizes across the estate, with options including the Potting Shed, Dairy and Farmhouse.
This time we stayed in one of the Farmhouse Suites which was right up in the top floor of the main Farmhouse building. The interior design fits perfectly with the rustic nature of the estate, with a high quality but down-to-earth feel. The history of the estate really comes through, as many of the rooms have left brickwork exposed which show where people have carved their names into the stone back in the 18th Century.
Gorgeous roll-top baths are a mainstay at Middleton Lodge so make sure you leave enough time to enjoy a bubble bath.
We were lucky enough to enjoy sunny weather when we first arrived which was fantastic as the courtyard at The Coach House is a real sun-trap. It was a great place to just sit and unwind with a glass of chilled rose and some G&Ts.
A few weeks ago, we covered the new outdoor dining experience available at Middleton Lodge, which saw a large stretch tent positioned over half of the courtyard so that restaurant and hotel guests can dine out in the open air for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Don’t worry about the temperature starting to drop as we head into September – there are plenty heaters dotted around. The outdoor candlelit dining experience was beautiful and a really different restaurant offering which we enjoyed a lot and would highly recommend.
There’s a real focus on fresh and local ingredients at Middleton Lodge Estate – many of which are grown on-site in the 2-acre kitchen garden.
The sourdough bread – which is also made on site – was served fast and warm with plenty of butter. Always a great start.
We started with a bruschetta of heritage tomatoes and mozzarella (£8.00) and I was happily surprised at the strong flavour of the fresh tomatoes which so often lacks, despite them being in season. We also tried the East Coast Fishcake with Curry Mayonaise (£8.00) which was delicious and a perfectly-sized portion. We were ready for more.
For mains, we went in opposite directions, trying the Grilled Market Fish (£20.00) which was simple but very well-cooked, and a Beef Ragu with Parpadelle (£19.00) which satisfied my craving for comfort food perfectly. Despite the fish coming with garden potatoes, a side of Skinny Fries (£4.00) was ideal to soak up every morsel of the remaining sauce.
Desserts were ordered more out of not wanting the experience to end than anything else. We dined late so by this point the resident hedgehog was out as the restaurant started to quieten down.
We tried the Chocolate Brownie Sundae (£8.00) and shared a Cheeseboard (£12.00) with two glasses of port to finish.
The menu is really fresh and many of the dishes can be made gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan too so very accomodating for diners. Click here to check out a sample dinner menu.
For me, I really associate Middleton Lodge Estate with switching off and feeling ‘away from it all’. That’s what I really value about my stays here and why I look forward to visiting so much.
This time, the outdoor dining experience really elevated that as it felt like such a unique setting that we could have been on holiday abroad.
Of course, we were blessed with beautiful weather to enjoy during the day, but this would have been a real treat whatever the weather. (NB: We’ve been before in absolutely driving rain and it just made the experience cosy – you can’t lose!)
Laura’s ideal experience:
Stay: Farmhouse Suite
Treat yourself: The best Indian Head Massage ever at The Treatment Rooms
Eat: Heritage Tomatoes, Grilled Sourdough, Mozarella, Basil, Olive Oil. (£8.00)
Parmesan Gnocchi, Peas, Broad Beans, Courgette, Black Garlic, Spring Onions. (£13.00)
Vanilla Pannacotta, Garden Fruits. (£7.50)
For breakfast: Full Yorkshire – every time.
Lunch, Monday – Saturday: 12noon-2:30pm
Lunch, Sunday: 12noon-3:30pm
Dinner, Monday – Saturday: 6.00pm-9.00pm
Dinner, Sunday: 6:30pm-9.00pm
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