Tucked away in the centre of the historic city lies one of York’s best kept secrets.

Middletons is  a haven of peace and tranquillity – it’s a hotel that is like no other. Situated within the ancient city walls its only minutes away from the riverside path and no more than a 10 minute walk to the Minster and The Shambles it’s the perfection location for just about everything.

There’s an air of solitude and seclusion that envelopes every part Middletons  – its hard to believe you are so near the bustling historic city.

Sitting in the sunshine on one of the many terraces was a haven of peace and beautiful stillness – I could have been a million miles away.

To say that Middletons is unique is an understatement. This award winning luxury hotel combines six Grade II listed buildings dating back to the early 1800’s. Each building is named after notable people and places of the city and one The Organ Factory acts as a function suite.

Everywhere in the hotel bears a sophisticated nod to the history of the city even the reception desk was created from what was originally the counter at a York haberdashers and still has the brass measuring rod on it.

So tucked away is the hotel, even as regular York visitors, we had difficulty in finding the entrance to the car park but a call to the hotel gave us a quick and easy route into the private parking area.

After a seamless check in we made our way to our room – which was actually a very impressive Home Suite in the Lady Anne House.

Lady Anne House dates back to 1659 and was a refuge funded by Dame Anne Middleton the wife of the Sheriff of York from whom the hotel has taken its name.

Sadly there’s only the figure in the niche above the door that dates back to 1659 as the building became derelict and was rebuild in 1869 as a home for widows. In 1973 it was turned into a hotel and in later years more adjacent listed buildings were added. Since 2017 when Daniel Thwaites, a renown family business itself dating back to 1807,  bought the hotel  a major restoration and renovation programme has turned it into an award winning hotel.

The other listed building buildings that make up Middletons,  all with their own style are The Sir Joseph Terry Cottages, 56 Skeldergate with its venetian windows, Cromwell House, originally an early 19th century sawmill and Chaplin House where the famous Charlie stayed which later entertained many famous guests such as Benjamin Britten, Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth to name but a few during the period from 1954 to 1966.

I gave Middleton’s top marks for its planning and ease of access for getting to bedrooms and suites. Lady Anne House has 18 rooms and as we made our way to our suite we passed through a glass roofed quiet lounge that had comfortable sinkable arm chairs in pastels and bright colours a great combination, a glass topped well and some original Roman Masonry


That says it all about the hotel with its eclectic and amazing mix of ancient and modern. We just loved it especially the welcome on my flat screen TV with my name on it. After decades of hotel reviewing and travel writing spanning the world this was a first for me – as we say in Yorkshire I was well chuffed.

Our suite was bright and cheery with a comfortable king size bed, a large desk and mirror and a wonderfully spacious bathroom with a powerful rainwater shower.

I loved the mix of vintage and modern décor the lounge had a very comfortable sofa and there were two T.V.’s so if one person wanted to watch the news or  a sci-fi film in bed the other could recline in the lounge with their choice of  soap or romcom. Wish more hotels were like this when placing T.V.’s!

There was a well stocked fridge with fresh milk, that saved me having to ask for it and copious amount of water. The coffee table had fruit and a selection of sweet treats from mini chocolate bars, delicious cake slices, fruit and boiled sweets all good quality brands plus the usual tea/coffee making things.

We spent the late afternoon savouring a cocktail in the terrace garden with its tables and umbrellas outside the restaurant and main building. It was just so quiet and surreal and so private and only the birds for company.

In the evening we were looking forward to sampling the new and exclusive menu of Yorkshire Tapas which rather mystified my partner who was born within the sound of Bow Bells so to speak but is now what I call and honorary Yorkshireman.

The central lounge has a pleasing and welcoming bar and the beamed ceiling was built from reclaimed timber and is clad with glass to create a bright area with an area that links to Cromwell House – the ideal place for a pre-dinner drink.

The semi-circular Conservatory Restaurant is bright and spacious with views over the garden and is adjacent to the bar. The restaurant was pleasantly busy with patrons including some guests from the Antipodes who found the menu rather confusing. However the friendly staff were eager to help and advise in a pleasant and informed way and the guests were delighted with their choice.

Yorkshire Tapas is served in the same way as the Spanish one. The dishes are prepared as soon as the order reaches the kitchen so they are served when ready.

Its recommended that 3 to 4 dishes per person are ordered as a starting point and the menu is divided into nibbles, meats, fish vegetables and desserts.

We decided to start with the Yorkshire Charcuterie Board which was a meal in itself and had just about everything on it from a local supplier – cured meats, fine Yorkshire cheese, service with real ale chutney, quince jelly, grapes, cornichons, honeycomb and delicious bread from a local bakery with of course Yorkshire salted butter.


Our tapas choice was varied but highlights were the Honey glazed pork belly with pistachio and herb crumb and Aspalls apple cyder reduction. The meat was tender and just melted in your mouth.

The Tempura prawns were succulent and tasty especially with the sticky-sweet chilli jam as an accompaniment.

Another tapas to be recommended was the Wensleydale cheese straws – great as a nibble or to finish with after desert served hot with a warn melted cheese.

Vegetable wise do try the grilled Padron peppers with Yorkshire Fettle cheese and toasted pinenuts – my partner said he could get addicted to them whilst I loved the crispy potato and onion rosti served with onion puree. For a taste of pure Yorkshire there’s Yorkshire Puddings with Yorkshire Ale Based Beef and Yorkshire Dama squeaky cheese with rhubarb compote – Yorkshire’s version of Humous.


When it came to desserts my partner opted for the Yorkshire rhubarb and custard frangipane – not a sweet lover he scoffed it all whilst I jested with my server that I would try the Yorkshire Parkin without the ice-cream to see if it was as good at I used to bake – when I lived in Australia and took to baking to relieve the boredom on my days off from radio and TV. !

Well I have to admit it Middleton’s pastry chef’s version was a thousand times better and that’s saying something as I won a prize for my particular rather delicious offering baked to my gran’s 100 year old recipe.

After dinner we moved into the lounge and enjoyed coffee and an aperitif before retiring to our room to watch TV on both sets.

Next morning we enjoyed a great leisurely Yorkshire breakfast in the restaurant with every ingredient on the plate from bacon, egg, black pudding, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes from local suppliers.

Late morning and it was time to leave the tranquillity, luxury and peace of Middleton’s but I had one question on my mind – why  hadn’t I discovered this place before? A question that will I am sure be on the lips of every guest who stays at Middletons.

Middletons, Skeldergate, York  YO1 6DU

Phone: 01904 611570. Email: reception@middletonsyork.co.uk

Website: www.middletonsyork.co.uk

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