Yan Tan Tethera Methera Pip. No, not some obscure yoga chant, but an old sheep – counting system, traditionally used by shepherds in the North of England. And also the names of the delightful garden rooms at Middleton Lodge Coach House which, appropriately, is surrounded by fields of sheep.
We were at The Coach House for a weekend break, and the weather was unseasonably good. The bijoux table and chairs in the pretty garden area outside our room, Methera, were bathed in sunlight when we arrived, switching us quickly into holiday mode. We were wowed by the gorgeous interior of our room.
The contemporary styling, seamlessly merging with the magnificent timber roof truss, was complimented by all the finishing touches that take luxury accommodation to another level.
The central courtyard, bordered by a variety of flower beds and overflowing with clusters of white tulips, was set out with tables and chairs. Guests were already making the most of the glorious weather. I headed to reception to book a spa treatment, whilst my other half went to investigate the bar and restaurant.
Little did I know that the reception area would be stocked with ranges of beautiful products and gifts, from organic, locally –
made spa products to scented candles. I am so easily tempted! Some time later, having booked a spa treatment for the next day, I went to find the husband.
Clearly he too had been tempted – by some impromptu wine tasting at the insistence, (so he claimed), of Lewis, the knowledgeable sommelier. Dragging ourselves away from the bar which, by now, was laden with wine-tasting glasses, we decided to make the most of the weather and take a walk through the stunning estate, with its vibrant blossoming gardens and surrounding woodland.
Middleton Lodge and its 200 acre estate, has, over the years, been owned by several local families, and has undergone many transformations. The current owners, The Allison Family, have worked hard to restore the estate, creatively converting The Main House into a magnificent venue for weddings and events, and The Coach House, into a luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant.
Rested and relaxed, it was time to head back to the bar for pre – dinner drinks. I was undecided about Gin & Jam, a house cocktail comprising gin, elderflower syrup, strawberry jam and lemon, so I opted instead for a safer Kir Royal, and hubby had a Lime Daiquiri.
Slightly tipsy, we moved to the restaurant. The exposed brick and plasterwork décor reminded us of a Tuscan villa, with light flooding through the arched windows and doors. The menu did not disappoint. Gareth Rayner, the chef, is passionate about sourcing local produce, some of which are grown on the estate.
Using seasonal ingredients he creates his own version of favourite British dishes. Normally I avoid the bread basket but the warm treacle and oat was irresistible – just as well we ordered the salad starters.
We both opted for mains of grilled hake, with wild garlic butter, monks beard, brown shrimps and toasted almonds – beautifully presented and mouth wateringly delicious. To finish we shared the scrumptious duck – egg custard tart with forced Yorkshire rhubarb sorbet.
The wine list is comprehensive and interesting, offering some unusual grape varieties worth trying. Thankfully, it wasn’t far to walk back to our room.
After a wholesome breakfast I enjoyed a relaxing spa treatment and then all too soon it was time to head home. It is not often you find somewhere as perfect as Middleton Lodge with such a welcoming friendly and professional team of staff. We had a wonderfully unwinding break and we will definitely be back for another, soon!
Middleton Lodge is an easy drive up the A1, located just off Scotch Corner. Worth visiting is the nearby market town of Richmond and there are plenty of activities and country walks easily accessible from the estate. A variety of events are held on the estate through the year.
For reservations and information visit: www.middletonlodge.co.uk
Middleton Lodge, Middleton Tyas, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 6NJ
T. 01325 377977