British Travel Journal

6 BEST HOTEL

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MIDDLETHOR­PE HALL & SPA

Middlethor­pe Hall is one of the National Trust's Yorkshire gems, a sublime example of William and Mary architectu­re. It was constructe­d in expensive red brick in 1699 for Thomas Barlow, a wealthy Sheffield industrial­ist .Thomas sited it close to the main road into York so no one could fail to notice his wealth. When the Barlow family went on the Grand Tour in 1712 they let their house to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who had just eloped with her new husband Edward. He was soon appointed the British ambassador to Constantin­ople and after their departure she went on to be an eminent Georgian woman of letters.

Today the house and its chequered marble floors are furnished with eighteenth-century antiques and – delightful­ly – it doubles as a hotel run by the Historic House Hotels group. There are ten bedrooms in the house itself, 16 in the adjoining eighteenth-century stable block courtyard and three cottages in the grounds. The hotel's wood-panelled Oak Room is one of the most glamorous restaurant­s in the York area.

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