Middletons Hotel, York – Review
By Roger Crow, August 2023
It’s one of those overcast Monday nights with portentous storm clouds that eventually unleash a steady supply of rain. Thankfully Mrs C and I are basking in the lap of luxury thanks to an invite to Middletons in York, a charming hotel just five minutes’ walk from the river.
If you’re lucky and arrive early enough, you can get a space in the car park. However, as we arrived at 7pm, the area was full, but thankfully there’s on-street parking and because of the time, we didn’t break the bank.
Check-in was smooth and efficient thanks to the friendly and attentive staff, and it wasn’t long before I was soaking up the ambience of my room. It’s an exquisite, compact and beautifully elegant space with a double bed, posh coffee-maker, and the sort of shelf units and decor which looks like one of those home magazine spreads that many of us yearn to replicate. And they may be a little thing, but there’s several USB ports, so you can put your phones and tablets on charge without faffing around with extra plugs. Even with some of the world’s best hotels, it’s amazing how few have USB facilities.
The spotless bathroom is also compact but beautifully designed, with one of those double showers: waterfall, and standard shower heads, which makes freshening up a pleasure. There’s just about everything you need for obligatory ablutions, and if you fancy a cuppa after a long journey, a good old kettle and a fine selections of teas, hot chocolate, biscuits and cakes will recharge those batteries in no time.
My room was well-maintained, with comfortable amenities offering picturesque views of the courtyard. The hotel’s location is another advantage, as it is conveniently close to York’s major attractions, such as the Minster, Clifford’s Tower, and the Jorvik Viking Centre. An ideal base for exploring one of my favourite city’s rich history and cultural landmarks.
The bar area near the check-in desk provides a selection of drinks, or if you prefer, just head straight into dinner.
On the dining front, the restaurant is a cosy area which serves delicious and well-presented meals. Rachel and I shared a Baked Camembert with rosemary and garlic toasted focaccia (£13.50) which packed quite a punch.
As the world’s fussiest fish-eater, my culinary co-pilot was more than happy with her ‘comfort dish’ – Thwaites Original Battered Haddock with triple cooked chips (£18.95), and there were no complaints from me either from the mouthful I sampled. Deliciously light batter, mouthwatering flakes of fish, and phenomenal minty peas and tartare sauce.
My Middletons Burger was well done in more ways than one. No sign of gristle, which is always a bonus, and a terrific sourdough bun, with Cheddar cheese, burger sauce, Baby Gem lettuce, tomato, red onion and sea salted fries. I added bacon, so that’s £20.50, which obviously isn’t cheap, but was worth every penny.
All of which was more than filling, especially with a terrific pint of lager. But when there’s Chocolate Cremeux (£9.25) on the menu, with biscuit, raspberries and orange, it would be rude not to try it out; though there’s far too much, it definitely hits that sweet spot.
If there’s a weak link on the menu, it’s Rachel’s Lemon Tart (£9.00), which had a soggy bottom and though very tasty, almost cried out to be hot.
As ever, we eat too much, so it’s a case of posh coffee in the room and an hour of Corrie on the terrific TV before Rachel heads off home to feed the cat, and I spend a night in the super comfy bed. Admittedly I get up a couple of times to adjust the air con as it’s a warm night, but once I find that right spot, it’s sweet dreams. (There are handy air con instructions on the reverse of an A4 guide to the room, so it pays to give that a good look when you arrive).
“A real hidden gem”
Breakfast in the area to the right of the bar is beautifully handled. I grab a space by the window, and in next to no time there’s orange juice; fresh coffee; toast; cereal and a full English delivered to my table. Service is excellent, as is the choice of music.
I could opt for a session in the hostelry’s gym, but as there’s a three-mile walk ahead of me pottering round town then from the train station, that can wait for another time. Overall, the Middletons hotel offers a great stay with its mix of historical charm, attentive service, and handy location. It caters very well to travellers looking for a comfortable and authentic experience in one of the UK’s most beautiful cities.
Okay, it might be a little tucked away, but trust me: this is a real hidden gem in York’s hospitality crown, and I wouldn’t need much of an excuse to return one day.
Middletons Hotel, Skeldergate, York, YO1 6DU
Set inside York City Walls, Middletons is a quiet haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, whilst being only a stone’s throw away from the tapestry of attractions that historic York is famous for. From romantic walks along to River Ouse to shopping on the infamous Shambles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and Middletons is the ideal base from which to experience it all.