Wednesday 22 January 2020

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Home > Middlethorpe Hall PR by PR

MIDDLETHORPE HALL Personally Recommended by Pat Richardson

Middlethorpe Hall, tucked away on its own quiet lane, surrounded by peaceful parkland, is not immediately visible from the main road. So you’re never quite prepared for the impact of such a beautifully balanced building, of such timeless elegance and good-mannered grandeur. It’s hard to imagine anyone dashing in here without first pausing to give the exterior a long, admiring look.

Inside, it doesn’t disappoint. Mirrors sparkle, brass gleams, wood shines, flowers fill the rooms with fragrance – and on chilly days, fires bid you a warm welcome. Every room is perfectly put together, with a stylishness that makes you want to make yourself at home. This may be a National Trust property, but it doesn’t put on any ‘don’t touch’ airs. Sink-into-me sofas flank the fireplace in the drawing room – where better for traditional afternoon tea? An enticing array of books invite inspection in the library - my favourite room in the hotel, and just the place for pre-dinner drinks. And when your inner dinner-gong sounds, candlelit tables in the panelled dining rooms (with thankfully not a spotlight in sight) set the scene for dinner a deux.

Talking of dinner, you’ll find plenty to tempt you on the a la carte menu; but for a real treat, I recommend gourmet dining, Middlethorpe-Hall style: six courses including coffee, and the whole table has to partake. Maybe these little tasters will help you persuade them? Whipped Goat’s Cheese with pickled beetroot, apples, dandelions and cabernet sauvignon dressing; Three-hour Poached Duck-egg Yolk, with Yorkshire asparagus, truffles and morels. That’s just for starters...

And so to bed. Whether you find yours at the top of the ornately carved staircase that sweeps up from the marble-tiled hall, or in the restored 18th Century courtyard, bedrooms here are not in off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all mould. Each is decorated individually – and exquisitely. And, true to the golden rule of good hosts, they’ve thought of everything.

Because there’s an excellent spa here, too, because you’re just minutes from one of England’s most exciting cities, and because some of its most beautiful scenery is less than an hour’s drive away, you’ll never be short of something to do when you stay; but when I’m in this hotel, all I want to do is stay put! It gives me a very special ‘at home, minus the housework’ feeling; and the staff here make me feel thoroughly spoilt. And I’m not the only one – at the 2009 Conde Nast Johansens awards, Middlethorpe Hall won ‘Most Outstanding Service’ Award.

Wouldn’t you rather stay somewhere really special?