Grand old York!
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Grand old York!

Rachel Soffer went all 18th century on a weekend break at Middlethorpe Hall

The magnificent Middlethorpe Hall,
The magnificent Middlethorpe Hall,

Middlethorpe Hall & SPA is a step back in time, albeit the centre of York is a 20-minute drive away.

The Hall was built in the 18th century, when there were no cars on the road and buildings were all about grand architecture.

The National Trust Heritage site, with its vast 20 acre grounds, is tucked away behind some beautiful country roads in an accessible, yet relaxing part of Yorkshire.

There is something remarkably classy and elegant, yet extremely relaxing and quaint about Middlethorpe I’ve seldom seen elsewhere.

We stayed in the Duke of York Suite, where many of the Royals have stayed. It’s their flagship room, which comprises a large bedroom, ensuite bathroom and spacious lounge.

We particularly enjoyed the morning knock on the door, when we were greeted with a tray of fresh English Breakfast tea and a cafetière of coffee to enjoy before breakfast. Just another charming detail the hotel prides itself on.

An 18th century salon to recline within

Breakfast itself was a Continental affair: fresh juices, cereals, porridge, yoghurts, fruit, freshly baked pastries, toast and delicious jams.

A  full English, or a Yorkshire including smoked salmon and eggs, were the choices to follow.

All of this was served in the elegant panelled dining room overlooking the gardens.

The grounds at Middlethorpe are nothing short of wonderful. Those 20 acres of greenery are filled with orchards and immaculately maintained gardens, which contain swathes of apple and pear trees and various other delicious fruits and fresh herbs available for picking in season.

The Spring Garden boasts a very impressive Red Oak Tree, which adds to the grandeur of the grounds. We spent our time taking fresh summer’s day walks around the grounds, picking fruit to have later that day.

York itself has a plethora of historical sights and locations to visit and enjoy. Being able to walk around the medieval walls, which provide views of this historical city, is something everyone should undertake.

York’s Shambles

The city also has renowned museums, including the National Railway and York Castle Museums, which are very visitor friendly. York is also renowned for its churches and its rich, religious history, so for fans of historical architecture, there is no shortage of places to see and experience.

Clifford’s Tower, which stands on the site of the old wooden castle, is particularly interesting, and visitors there learn about what happened to the many Jews who were persecuted more than 800 years ago.

The locals in town these days are a friendlier bunch, and the vibe is tailored to the needs of tourists. When we went, there was a community fun day and races happening, and I was almost tempted to enter the egg  and spoon contest.

Returning to Middlethorpe Hall Hotel felt like home and what is a home without a superb spa in which to unwind and relax after a long day of walking and exploring? I went for the aromatherapy treatment in the spa, one of many treatments available – all of them tempting.

Middlethorpe is a perfect historic hideaway designed for unwinding. With morning tea.

Prices per night range from £128 to £300.  www.middlethorpe.com, Tel: 01904 641241

 

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