THE HOTEL REVIEW: MIDDLETHORPE HALL, YORK, UK
Review: Mary Foulds
Built in 1699, Middlethorpe Hall was once the home of the famous diarist, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. This grand hotel bursting with traditional character and homely charm is set in 20 acres of manicured gardens and still only 2 miles from historic York centre. The hotels award winning restaurant has twice been awarded “Restaurant of the Year” in the Visit York awards and hold 2 AA rosettes. The spa is situated in its’ own grounds and welcomes hotel guests, day guests and Spa Club members with some great packages on offer each month.
On our arrival we were welcomes by polite staff and a homely real open fire warming the reception area. Following a swift, efficient check-in we escorted to our Main House room (No.1), which was at the top of the very elegant sweeping staircase. As expected from the traditional period décor in keeping with the hotels’ heritage, there was a grand four-poster bed, and bold, chintzy florals’ incorporated into the soft furnishings, gold frames oils and authentic antique furniture. There was a cosy sofa and welcoming tray of fruit, biscuits and petit fours. Bottled water was available but it was a call to reception for coffee/tea (not ideal for a caffeine addict). Large sash windows framed with festoon blinds he grand view of the impeccable gardens is very much the pride of Middlethorpe Hall. Our bathroom was small but very warm an well stocked with fluffy towels and a selection of Floris toiletries and vanity kits – all you need for a homely stay.
Prior to our evening dinner reservation we were shown to the grand drawing room and chose a cosy sofa and waiters promptly brought us drinks and dinner menus. There’s a good drink selection and the Rhubarb gin with Elderflower tonic was lovely. As we waited for drinks we were served a selection of canapés, (although the waiter was a little unsure of their content!) – they were delicious all the same.
The headwaiter talked us through the A La Carte and Autumn Seasonal menu, where dishes are made with fresh ingredients from the hotels own kitchen garden and he particularly recommended the Steak and Fish grills. We struggled to choose, as there were some great options, as we enjoyed our drinks, but finally I decided on Pumkin Panacotta and Roast Cod whilst my partner chose Smoked Pork Terrine and Forty Day Matured Ribeye Beef Teriyaki. We waited around 30 minutes before we were taken to the large oak panelled dining room, we sat adjacent to the amazing marble fireplace an our waiter immediately checked we were warm enough as fire had been turned off. It was a lovely relaxed informal dining room and staff were exceptionally attentive throughout our meal.
Our starters were tasty with a selection of flavours. The Panacotta was a little salty with strong flavours and the terrine was well received. Our main dishes were excellent and a lovely choice of ingredients and flavours complementing each other. Our choice of Ana Sauvignon Blanc Eradus Marlborough 2014, from the extensive wine list was a perfect accompaniment.We deliberated over dessert but quickly opted for a Chocolate and Praline dessert and Middlethorpe Apple and Caramel Parfait. Both were delightful and finished off our meal perfectly.
After relaxing night’s sleep, we returned to the dining room and were taken to our table by the friendly breakfast team, we chose a corner table with views over the stunning lawns. The breakfast menu included a ‘self serve’ selection of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurt, juices and pastries neatly laid out across the window sills. The waiter quickly arrived to take our tea/coffee/toast choices and our order from the hot breakfast selection. I ordered scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and my partner ordered the Yorkshire breakfast – filled with tasty local produce.
After breakfast it was time to visit the Spa which was situated in a quaint cottage across from the main hotel. On arrival you could immediately sense the aroma of the inviting spa waiting area. Reception staff were friendly and informative on the the range of treatments available. I was given a health questionnaire and asked to take a seat and offered ice water.
My treatment was the Vitamin Surge Facial and without delay I was taken upstairs to the treatment rooms where I received a detailed explanation on my treatment and Decleor products that would be used. I was given time to make myself comfortable before the treatment started. The facial was excellent, my skin was thoroughly cleansed, rejuvenated and hydrated. The treatment also included a relaxing back and scalp massage. Afterwards all the products used in the facial were explained and I was given a after care recommendation for Decleor Neroli Hydrating range to quench my thirsty complexion. I returned to the hotel feeling extremely relaxed and chilled,. This was absolutely the best facial I’ve had, so I must pass on huge compliments to my spa therapist.
Bishopthorpe Road | York | YO23 2G | England.