After the last champagne cork pops on New Year’s Eve, we’ll want a winter break in a cosy boutique hotel where we can pig out on estate-to-plate cuisine and work off our Christmas excesses rambling o’er the Yorkshire Dales – bundled up in thermals, of course. And afterwards, we’d like to snuggle up in a room on a charming Georgian estate… luckily, The Coach House at Middleton Lodge in Richmond fits the bill nicely.
Why this week? Because who wants to make the start of the new year duller with dryathlons, guilt-induced exercise regimes and detoxes? We say take that leftover Christmas spirit and treat yourself to a weekend of chef Gareth Rayner’s trad-Brit dinners – pepped up with yuzu and wasabi – and a breakfast of comfort foods, including eggs Benedict and pancakes. With our two nights for the price of one offer, you get a gastronomic treat twice.
Our favourite bits Honey-hued stone walls and exposed beams make this the quintessential Austen-esque pad – you’d barely bat an eyelid if the dress code was bonnets or britches here. The black-panelled bar has a fireplace to dry your wellies by after touring the grounds and local real ales to sip as a restorative, and rooms are snug and stylish, with blanket-piled beds and deep tubs to soak in. It’ll be too cold for your Mr Darcy/Smith to even dip a toe in any nearby bodies of water; instead, gaze over the dales from the peak of Roseberry Topping as a twosome.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘It’s the kind of story us boutique-hotel-lovers are always a sucker for. The Allison family bought this Georgian estate in 1980 and, over the last three decade, have brought this Palladian beauty back to life. The main house is still a private home, with James Alison living there with his architect Mrs Smith, Becky, and their daughter Daisy. So generous are they in spirit, they love nothing more than to let folks borrow this award-winning venue for wedding parties and private events. The opening of the Coach House in autumn 2014 heralded an exciting stage in the estate’s restoration, with great eco plans afoot now for the rest of these green and pleasant lands.’ Read the full Coach House Hotel review.