Enjoy a weekend city break at the only country house in the city of York
Middlethorpe Hall is an elegant country house located just outside the city of York, making it the perfect base for a city and country retreat. Built in 1699, this gorgeous William III country house stands in 20 acres of award-winning gardens and parkland. Crammed with character, it's charming but not too over-the-top posh.
Formally the home of the famous 18th century diarist Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the house has been restored and decorated in keeping with the period - think antiques, fireplaces, sumptuous carpets, gilt-framed portraits and the faint ticking of a grandfather clock, providing the perfect space to unwind while gazing out at the manicured gardens or settling in to a juicy page turner.
The classically paneled dining rooms with a garden view are the perfect setting to enjoy a contemporary take on traditional British food. The restaurant has been twice awarded "restaurant of the year" in the Visit York Awards and retains 2 AA Rosettes. Head chef Ashley Binder and pastry chef Paul Harrison have produced superb menus, working closely with local suppliers and the hotel's gardening team to ensure the menu is fresh and seasonal.
A tasting menu is available and the a la carte menu includes finely prepared dishes, from the Ham Hock Terrine with Pear Parsnip and Pancetta; to Wild Halibut with Crab Ravioli with Burnt Orange and Fennel to Yorkshire Rabbit. Dessert options of Passion Fruit Cheesecake or Chocolate and Clementine Tart round off the dining experience with a delicate sprinkling of sweet goodness.
The boutique spa with its blue-tiled pool is the perfect place to relax and recharge. The spa sits in a cosy Edwardian cottage opposite the hotel. Guests can don their bath robes and slippers and step into an atmosphere of blissful relaxation and enjoy the large swimming pool, spa bath, steam room and sauna.
Meals and snacks are serviced in the Club Room and if it's a little nippy outside, the open fireside and a pot of steaming tea with a selection of home made biscuits should melt away any winter chills. Treatments range from facials and manicures to detox reviverss, using Aromatherapy Associates, Shellac and Jessica products. The Detox Reviver was my preferred pick, an invigorating treatment that included a body brushing, exfoliation and a full body mud mask, all of which certainly did the trick.
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is a perfect destination for a relaxing weekend. Couples can enjoy the good life with a relaxed stay, fine cuisine and a possibility of city adventure, history and culture only a taxi ride away.
Bed and breakfast priced from £219.00 per night based on two sharing.
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Best bits: Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is the perfect destination for a country and city wellness retreat.
Worst bits: The maximalist period style decor can be a little busy on the eye for some.
Most suited for: Couples looking for a luxury weekend with good food and a bit of pampering.
*During my visit I was hosted by the team at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa. All opinions are my own. Photography courtesy of Middlethorpe Hotel & Spa.
Our experience overall:
The property: ★★★★
Food and drink: ★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★