The most recent addition to the Wandering Wives Lust List is the exquisite Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, in York, England. We recently stayed in the National Trust owned property whilst visiting York Christmas Markets. Although, with the excellent facilities at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, we found it very difficult to drag ourselves away from the hotel to enjoy the festivities.
The stunning country mansion was built between 1699 and 1701 for Thomas Barlow, a prosperous master cutler wishing to establish himself as a country gentleman. Since then the property has been through several incarnations, including time as a school and even a night club. Thankfully, Middlethorpe Hall was eventually restored to its former glory, with the welcome addition of a spa, modern bathrooms and super-fast WiFi. The hotel now offers guests a fantastic opportunity to indulge their inner Lord or Lady by living the country high life.
The accommodation is split between the main house and converted stables and cottages on the estate. We stayed in room 1 of the main house, just a short walk up the impressive wooden staircase. The room was decorated in-keeping with the property, featuring traditional furniture and a luxurious king size four poster bed. The large sash windows looked out across the well maintained gardens of Middlethorpe Hall towards the countryside beyond. The gardens are a perfect place for an afternoon stroll, with the Lord or Lady of your choice. As serious Downton Abbey enthusiasts and having recently binge watched The Crown, we were in our element staying at such a grand hotel.
An unassuming cottage on the Middlethorpe estate has been converted into a spa, featuring a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. There is also a gym, which the staff would have happily shown us around had we not laughed in their faces at the mere suggestion of exercise whilst enjoying our mini-break. Hotel guests can use the spa facilities at any time and the usual treatments are available to book through reception. We spent a lovely morning at the spa, beginning with hot sauna and a few low energy laps of the pool, being careful not to burn any unnecessary calories. We also enjoyed some intense bubbles in the Jacuzzi before clearing our airways with good steam. We felt quite relaxed lounging around in our fluffy white robes before heading upstairs for a soothing back, neck and shoulder massage that really hit the spot.
Middlethorpe Hall has a beautiful lounge area dressed with period furniture and works of art, we found it to be the perfect place for pre-dinner drinks. We perused the decadent menu and a wine list the size of the New Testament at our leisure. Once we had ordered we remained in the comfortable lounge, sipping huge gin and tonics until shortly before our meal was ready.
During the restoration of Middlethorpe Hall, hundreds of years of paint were painstakingly removed from the wooden panels in the dining room, returning them to their former glory. This makes the small but perfectly formed room an excellent setting for any fine dining experience. Emily enjoyed grilled plaice to start with Sian opting for the ham-hock pressing, complete with a scotch quail egg. Being rather partial to any form of bread crumbed egg, she was delighted by the scotch quail egg and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. Our main courses were roast breast of Yorkshire chicken and pan fried fillet of east coast hake, both cooked to perfection and presented beautifully. To finish we indulged ourselves with Middlethorpe treacle tart served with blackberries, lemon curd and clotted cream. The service in the restaurant was excellent, with staff paying particular attention to the timing of each course and never allowing our wine glasses to run dry.
Full of tasty local produce we made our way to bed, thankful of the hotel turn down service. The large curtains had been drawn, lamps had been lit and we were more than happy to tuck ourselves in to the king size four poster bed. The following morning a tray of tea and coffee was brought up to us, we opened the curtains and enjoyed our morning beverages propped up in bed whilst looking out over the gardens. Breakfast at Middlethorpe is served in the dining room, guests can choose from porridge and pancakes, kippers, a full Yorkshire breakfast and other hot dishes made to order. Cereal, fruit, yoghurt, juices and pastries are available in abundance to whet the appetite whilst you wait and hot toast is delivered to your table as required.
Our stay at Middlethorpe Hall was an excellent experience, the hotel staff were welcoming and polite, going the extra mile to make our stay perfect. If you fancy a taste of the highlife in York, search for Middlethorpe Hall using our nifty yellow search box: