Celebrate Gardening at York’s Finest
27 Mar 2013
Featuring a Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden & Garden Ritual Spa Treatment
York is rich in 18th century houses of superlative quality, not least Middlethorpe Hall & Spa which was built for Thomas Barlow c.1699-1701. Today the 29 bedroom hotel showcases decoration in the manner of the 18th Century and is furnished with antiques and fine paintings whilst also looking out on 20 acres of stunning manicured gardens and parkland. Middlethorpe is also a plants man’s garden full of unusual and interesting treasures scattered throughout a maze of small gardens and it is here that visitors often spend hours on a journey of gardening discovery.
Features include a tall Deodar Cedar on the main lawn, a mature red oak in the spring garden, a Wellingtonia and a Turkey oak giving shade to the south east of the house and a line of beech trees on the west boundary as well as lime trees.
The foundation to the original garden wall at the end of the south lawn now acts as an interesting ha-ha planted with scented shrubs such as lavender and Trachelospermum. Part of the extensive Victorian walled kitchen garden has been retained and planted with a magnificent central double herbaceous border and box edged bed containing species of old fashioned roses.
The walled kitchen garden holds herb beds, fruit trees and a mellow brick dovecote, now used as a wine cellar, clothed is Azara micropphylla and Clematis cirrhosa. The walls themselves shelter peaches, pears, apples and plums. A potager containing heritage vegetables was recently recreated with the entire production being used in the hotel kitchen.
To the west of the kitchen garden is the rose garden noted for the wide stone path lined with lavender, the flowers of which almost touch in the centre, and for the tall razor sharp yew hedge that surrounds it. The white garden with its high holly hedge on one side and the kitchen garden wall on the other, is planted with white flowering plants such as Wisteria floribunda with Agapanthus campanulatus albus below, but also has blue Ceanothus as a contrast clipped to the wall. The walk leads to the spring garden where cherry and apple trees are planted in grass around a noble red oak.
If you know your trees, you’ll love Middlethorpe Hall- home to a vast selection including:
Deodar Cedar – Cedrus deodara, Turkey Oak – Quercus cerris, Variegated Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Variegatum’, Fruit Trees in the ‘Walled Garden’, Judas Tree – Cercis siliquastrum, The Bride’ – Exochorda x macrantha, Northern Red Oak – Quercus rubra, Ermans Birch – Betula ermanni ‘Grayswood Hill’, Dawn Redwood – Metasequoia glyptostroboides, River or Black Birch – Betula nigra, Tuliptree – Liriodendron tulipifera, Cedar-of-Lebanon – Cedrus libani, Wellingtonia – Sequoiadendron giganteum and English Oak – Quercus robur.
Gardening fans also have a vast selection of local gardens around Middlethorpe Hall to visit including the RHS Harlow Carr, Newby Hall & Gardens, Castle Howard and Harewood House.
Dining at Middlethorpe Hall is an experience in itself and head chef Nicholas Evans has created a selection of traditional British menus that have seen the restaurant receive 2 AA Rosettes. Dining here is resonant with the Yorkshire culinary revival.
For those seeking a relaxing spa treatment inspired by the garden, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa offer a unique Orange Blossom Garden Ritual. This treatment was designed by Decléor specialists after a walk in the award-winning gardens. The ritual begins with a back massage, which allows your therapist to ease any muscular tension. Using a powerful elixir of orange blossom, the face is revived and a youthful glow restored. Whilst the intense firming mask is taking effect, your therapist will continue to massage the legs, hands, feet and scalp. This treatment is priced £74 for 85 minutes.
Throughout 2013 Middlethorpe Hall will be hosting events with an emphasis on the gardens:
-Thursday 18th April – Royal Horticultural Society Garden Tour and Luncheon – Mid-spring Colour
An opportunity to tour Middlethorpe’s award-winning gardens with the head gardener for the past thirty years; David Barker. David will discuss the best positioning of plants for a stunning spring display before a sparkling wine reception and a three-course luncheon with wine. A change of shoes is recommended! 10.30 am – 3.00 pm £29 members of the RHS/£36 non-members
-Thursday 20th June – RHS Garden Tour and Luncheon – From Herbs to Desserts
Head gardener David Barker will lead a tour of Middlethorpe’s award-winning gardens paying particular attention to the herb garden. This will be followed with a demonstration by Middlethorpe’s pastry chef for the past 28 years, Paul (Harry) Harrison. Harry will demonstrate the use of herbs in ice-cream, biscuits and petit fours and will share some delicious recipes.
This will be followed by a three-course luncheon and wine. A change of shoes is recommended! 10:30 am – 3:00 pm £29 for RHS members/£36 per person
-Thursday 4th July – A Walk on the Wilde Side
Join the flamboyant Yorkshire florist Carl Wilde for a tour of Middlethorpe’s garden before he demonstrates the use of garden flowers in stunning arrangements. This will be followed by a delicious three-course luncheon and wine. A change of shoes is recommended! 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
£59 per person Morning coffee and homemade biscuits at 10:30 am
-Thursday 3rd October – Royal Horticultural Society Garden Tour and Luncheon – Festival of Fruit
Head gardener David Barker will take you on a tour of Middlethorpe’s walled garden whilst discussing the harvesting and storing of fruit and preserving fruit and vegetables for Christmas. This will be followed by a delicious three-course luncheon and wine. A change of shoes is recommended.
10.30 am – 3.00 pm £29 members of the RHS/ £36 non-members
Make York your next destination and stay at Middlethorpe Hall, York’s highest rated hotel and celebrate the great gardens of this stunning property.
Middlethorpe Hall, York, Yorkshire, YO23 2GB, Tel: +44 (1904) 641241