The Coach House at Middleton Lodge

North Yorkshire, Northern England, United Kingdom Book from

Reviewed by Helen Pickles
Romantic rooms and a destination restaurant on a tranquil country estate near the Yorkshire Dales; ideal for restorative weekend breaks
This is the real country-squire deal: a Georgian estate with 200 acres of lush woodland, just outside the small village of Middleton Tyas and a few miles from the majestic scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. The ‘big house’, Middleton Lodge, has long been a popular wedding venue, and now its coach house, hayloft and stables have been transformed into 9 stylish rooms and an excellent restaurant. The old farmhouse, across a large lawn, houses another 5 rooms that can be booked individually or taken together as a self-catering rental for up to 10.

Grouped around a courtyard awash with lavender, the buildings are all soft grey stone, large arched doors and pleasing symmetries. Inside, the style is rustic-chic: exposed brickwork, wooden tables and battered Chesterfields in the dining room; pale hues, woollen throws and open beams in the bedrooms. Thanks to young and enthusiastic owners James and Becky, there are also some cool metropolitan touches that have seen the place likened to a northern Babington House: swish bathrooms, vintage trunks, and a clubby bar with tempting cocktails. As for the location, it’s weekend-break perfect: stroll around pretty Richmond, hike in the national park, or just hole up here and forget the outside world.

Highs

  • A beautiful setting, with woodland walks on the doorstep, bikes to borrow, and croquet and clay-pigeon shooting on site
  • Spoiling rooms, many with roll-top tubs or private patios
  • Wonderfully peaceful (a good night’s sleep is guaranteed), with treatment rooms to help you unwind
  • Atmospheric restaurant serving modern British cuisine with imaginative twists; meals here are a real treat
  • Only a short drive from bustling Richmond, the glorious Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors

Lows

  • Closed every Monday and Tuesday, except if taking the whole farmhouse for self-catering (Sat-Sat rentals only)
  • We didn't like the musak at breakfast, though that is personal preference

Best time to go

Providing you dress appropriately, all seasons have their magic. Perhaps most special are late spring, when the bluebells are in flower, and autumn, when you’ll catch the trees in their golden finery. Note the hotel is closed on Monday and Tuesday each week.

Our top tips

Check out what’s on at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal during your stay. It’s a gem: Britain’s oldest working theatre still in its original form.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 14 (+ self-catering house for 10)
  • Restaurant & bar (open Weds-Sun)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Clay-pigeon shooting
  • Croquet and boules
Room:

Rooms

The rooms are dotted around the Lodge’s outbuildings: 3 up a stone staircase in the old hayloft, one in the tack room, some in a single-storey building behind the main block, and 5 in the farmhouse across the lawn. All are generous in size and restrained in décor, with neutral walls and coffee-hued carpets offset by honeyed rafters. Cushions and throws add splashes of country colour - autumn gold, turquoise, bottle green - and the overall balance is uncluttered yet inviting.

The 5 Garden Rooms have a crisp feel, with modern oak furniture and pretty patios (though no view). The Hayloft Rooms have a little more character - perhaps a marble washstand beneath a sloping ceiling, or a quirky round window looking out over the grounds to the hills beyond. The Farmhouse Rooms are almost Provençal in style, with contemporary four-posters, elegant striped headboards or whitewashed furniture, plus parkland views in most; if you're booking them as a self-catering rental, you also get a lounge with an open fireplace. The Tack Room is the largest and its blue-and-white New England style, wood-burning stove and huge bathroom are worth the extra money.

All rooms have walk-in rainshowers, and most also come with indulgent roll-top tubs (sometimes in the bedroom).

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The restaurant is worth a visit for the atmosphere alone. Housed in the former stables, it somehow manages to be relaxed, smart, spacious and intimate all at the same time. The open beams and exposed brickwork make a soaring backdrop for rustic tongue-and-groove panelling and mis-matched tables, poshed up with slate floors and sparkling green glassware.

The food is just as good: modern British with fun tweaks and plenty of local ingredients (Swaledale lamb, game from the moors, wild garlic from the estate). I opted for silky-soft roast cod with potato risotto; other choices might include corn-fed chicken with asparagus and Ribblesdale goats’ cheese. Puddings are rich and delicious (my vanilla pannacotta with rhubarb, apple and ginger hit the spot), and there are interesting vegetarian options such as barbecued leeks with smoked mayonnaise.

For lunch (served in the courtyard if you wish), there’s a mix of dishes from light salads to heartier fish and chips. Breakfast is a selection of classics (eggs Benedict, the Full English), and afternoon tea is also available.

If you're booking the farmhouse as a rental, you get a full kitchen with a range cooker, plus a dining table seating 12. A private chef can be arranged if you're celebrating something special or just fancy a night off cooking.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Treatment Rooms

Activities

  • Explore the estate - the woods are waymarked, and a stroll through the trees will take you to the Palladian Lodge (ask to have a look around if there's no wedding)
  • Nearby Richmond could fill a day with its 11th-century castle (there are great views from the keep), museums and cobbled market place
  • Walkers have 2 national parks - the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors - within striking distance; if you prefer 2 wheels, there are bikes to borrow
  • Visit Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, a château-style mansion with sumptuous decorative-art collections, whose star attraction is an 18th-century silver swan automaton
  • If you fancy a foodie tour, head to the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham, the Wensleydale cheese creamery at Hawes, and the markets at Leyburn, Richmond and Ripon. And there are splendid afternoon teas at the famous Betty’s Café Tea Rooms in Northallerton
  • If you want to stay put, you’ll find tennis courts, croquet and clay-pigeon shooting for the active, and 2 treatment rooms offering facials, wraps and massages for the sybaritic

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Clay-pigeon shooting
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Tennis
  • Well being

Kids

Although the hotel is geared more towards couples, children are welcome. There’s a box of games and toys, and the large lawn can be used for boules and croquet (equipment provided). Older kids will enjoy the tennis courts, bicycles and clay-pigeon shooting, too.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Baby cots (free) and rollaway beds (extra charge) can be added to the Garden Rooms and the Tack Room. Taking the whole farmhouse as a rental is a good option for large families as it sleeps up to 10, though note that all rooms are doubles (no twins).

Babysitting:

Can be arranged on request.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Baby monitors

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Children are welcome in the restaurant (there’s a kids' menu with the likes of fish and chips, pasta, chicken goujons and ice cream), though they’re encouraged to eat early.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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