Arts & Culture
A relaxing escape at Middleton Lodge
June 16, 2023
We were kindly invited to visit the picturesque Middleton Lodge estate, to enjoy an overnight stay, dine in the award-winning Forge, and get a first look at the soon to be opened Forest Spa
Set amongst a 200-acre estate, in the North Yorkshire countryside, Middleton Lodge is a picturesque 59-bedroom hotel that has been recognised as one of the best in the UK, with two award-winning restaurants, a two-acre walled garden, event spaces and the new Forest Spa (opening June 17).
Over the past 20 years, James Allison has lovingly restored the 18th century estate’s original buildings, working alongside creative director Rebecca Tappin.
We were welcomed to Middleton Lodge by the team, who told us a little about the heritage of the estate, and what we could expect during our stay.
And after a tour of the spaces and the walled garden, we check in.
Set in the original dairy, our room was a cosy hideaway boasting views across the estate, the perfect place to disconnect from the outside world. Every room has a slightly different feel, but all sympathetic to the surroundings with a grounding to nature, with carefully considered antiques and artwork.
Some of the rooms at Middleton Lodge have giant tin bathtubs on private terraces, with views over the parkland. The perfect spot to soak away any stress!
We were lucky enough to try both restaurants during our stay, the Coach House and Forge.
The Coach House is set in the heart of the estate, and in the summer months has a courtyard with stretch tent for alfresco dining. Head chef Ross Forder serves plates from the land, garden and sea, offering delicious food with sustainability at the forefront. Pair your plates with a tipple form the handpicked wine menu or kitchen garden cocktail list.
We were invited to dine at Forge in the evening, lit up by the roaring firepit outside.
Opened in February 2023, The Forge is the second restaurant on the estate and headed up by chef Jake Jones, who with the team has created a unique dining experience, packing flavour into beautifully presented dishes.
We started our tasting menu with a Forge cocktail and snacks, before heading through to our table.
The menu appealed to every sense and was perfectly crafted to challenge your expectation of fine dining, with a heavy nod to the Yorkshire landscape and its ever-changing seasons, using ingredients grown on the estate or reared nearby.
And every dish was paired seamlessly with a wine pairing, curated in collaboration with barrique fine wines.
After a restful sleep, we awoke to the estate basking in the morning sun. The breakfast was served in the Coach House, and was a delicious fayre of Yorkshire-inspired hot and cold plates to suit every preference.
With an ethos to connecting guests to nature, the new Forest Spa promises an earthy and rustic setting.
In a serene spot in the estate’s original Old Farm, the development provides guests with somewhere to unwind.
Inspired by the concept of forest bathing, the Forest Spa has a heated outdoor pool, a pool house and a thermal spa. The thermal spa encompasses a sauna with panoramic views of the estate’s woodland, a tadelakt steam room and a plunge pool.
The six treatment huts dotted in the ancient woodland are surrounded by wildflowers and medicinal herbs. Two of the huts are also bathing huts, with tin bathtubs and log burning stoves for total relaxation. A menu of beauty treatments and massages are available for guest to enjoy and a forest spa menu has also been created with nourishing and balancing plates enjoy in the pool house.
Middleton Lodge is the perfect country escape, and has perfectly crafted every detail to provide an extraordinary experience.