A luxury spa weekend in York

York is a beautiful city and I always enjoy a trip there. It is abundant in stunning architecture, picturesque cobbled streets with interesting and unique shops, great cafes, bars and restaurants, wonderful cultural venues and, of course, the spectacular York Minster.

Accommodation in York

York is a busy, exciting place and always has attractions and events to draw visitors in. As a result, there are several top-quality York hotels to choose from. On my most recent trip to the city, I had the pleasure of staying at the luxurious Middlethorpe Hall and Spa. It is only two miles from the city centre and so provided me with a convenient location from which to enjoy York but also to soak up a fantastic relaxing rural retreat in the grounds of Middlethorpe Hall. In fact, I think I now consider it the jewel in York’s crown and I may not want to stay anywhere else in future!

The house dates back to 1699 and has been a luxury hotel and spa since 1984. It is now owned by the National Trust and the detail involved in its restoration means that the period features are impressively historically accurate. You may not even notice you are in a hotel, so painstakingly and faithfully have the furnishings and artwork been restored to look like an 18th-century manor house. With 20 acres of gardens and parkland surrounding the house, I certainly got caught up in the romance of the place.

Top-class dining

Dining at Middlethorpe Hall is an experience not to be missed. Head chef Nicholas Evans has created delicious and exciting menus for everything from lunch to afternoon tea to dinner. In fact, the food was so good I nearly didn’t want to eat anywhere else during my stay. One too many afternoon teas in the gorgeous lounge and you will certainly need the exercise offered by the ample grounds and gardens. Breakfast in the Orangery is a delight and a great way to casually start your day. If you really want to treat yourself, try the Gourmet Dinner. It is a dining experience not to be forgotten and a standout menu compared to what is on offer at other restaurants around York.

Enjoy the spa

If you can drag yourself away from the tantalising menus, please try out the excellent spa on site, even if it is just for a swim in the 40×20-foot pool. There are plenty of treatments to choose from, including facials, massages, reflexology and the usual beauty treatments such as waxing, manicures and pedicures. There are even some excellent treatments for men. My other half enjoyed a back, neck and shoulder massage while I tried out the ESPA hot-stone treatment. I had never had one before and I can thoroughly recommend it. One piece of advice, though, the facilities and treatments in the spa fill up rapidly, so you might like to book in advance.

All in all, I would definitely stay at Middlethorpe House again. It’s more than a hotel – it feels like your very own stately home, with a wonderful atmosphere and excellent staff. What more could you want in a luxury break?

Tristan Seymour is Managing Director of Lodging World.

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