middlethorpe

Stay at Middlethorpe Hall and step inside your very own period drama

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

Spring has finally really sprung and with the worst of winter behind us and the daffodils poking their heads out out of the ground, it’s time to stop hibernating. One great way to make a gentle foray into new year travels is to sneak away for a quick minibreak. And North Yorkshire’s Middlethorpe Hall is a beautiful destination.

Located in in the depths of the North Yorkshire countryside, yet stay within reach of the city of York (and the fabulous McArthur Glenn outlet shopping, in case you’re in the mood for some bargains!), Middlethorpe Hall and Spa is quite simply stunning. A mere seconds off the A64, you feel like you’re driving onto the set of a BBC period drama, except the signs outside the beautiful period houses say things like “Spa” and “Dining Room.” Inside the main William III country house building, you could be on the set of Downton Abbey too. Huge roaring fires, endless mazes of drawing rooms, complete with writing desks, chaise longues and comfy sofas - the perfect location to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea or a pre-dinner tipple.

The sitting rooms are the perfect spot for afternoon tea

Dinner is something else which deserves its own mention. Chef Ashley Binder creates a delicious and delicate menu with something for every possible taste (and with plenty of flexibility for food intolerances). The dining area (also the venue for breakfast, which is similarly splendid) is small and intimate, but deceptively spacious, leading on from one room to another, each with the feel of dining room in a private house.

The spa makes the whole stay complete. Behind the terraced period property exterior sits a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and upstairs, a suite of treatment rooms. Guests are given the option of many different types of fabulous-smelling products, including Neom Organic, a totally natural brand which was our personal favourite.

The grounds include a walled garden and fruit orchard

The 20 acres of grounds are divine – with the walled garden and cleverly planted orchard creating a pleasant backdrop to a gentle afternoon stroll. The only distraction from the sounds of birds and the rustle of squirrels is the audible hum of the main road. But carrying on beyond the gardens for a more adventurous walk you quickly hit the banks of the river Ouse, and can wander aimlessly along the water for miles, totally undisturbed.

The 20 acres of land are spectacular

Rooms at Middlethorpe start at £199 per couple, for bed and breakfast. Visit middlethorpe.com for more details.

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