FORGE: Gareth Rayner


Our new Restaurant, FORGE will be opening very soon click here to be the first to know. We spoke to our Head Chef, Gareth Rayner to discover a little bit more about him and what we can expect from FORGE.

Where did you train to become a chef?

I started my career at Kirby College learning the basic skills needed to work in a busy Kitchen, I then began my first chef job in my local village. Shortly after this, I moved to Crathorne Hall where I worked alongside Peter Flemming, who taught me the importance of good ingredients and combining different flavours.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

It’s the challenge of creating something unexpected and delicious from something so simple. Every morning our focus is how can we make a single piece of produce into something wonderful. I just love waking up every day not knowing what I’ll be making that evening until I’ve seen what’s available on the estate.

You’ve been busy working on The Forge, how will this Restaurant differ from the Coach House?

The Coach House is a very relaxed Restaurant, serving a Mediterranean inspired Yorkshire garden menu, dishes are hearty and wholesome. Forge will focus on the finer details of the ingredients from its flavours, textures and senses. We’ll be creating a nine course tasting menu and a five course set menu using ingredients freshly foraged from the estate.

Can you tell us what can we expect from FORGE?

Each course will be unlike anything we’ve served before, the menu will change seasonally, and will all depend on what we’ve foraged in the morning. The open fires in the restaurant and those used to cook in the kitchen will create a ground, oaky scent, setting the scene for the fired, foraged tasting menu.

Apart from the Kitchen Garden where is your favourite foraging spot on the estate?

I discovered a large area of woodland with an abundance of wild garlic in spring, I used it to create oils and unusual preserves! I’ve made sure the Kitchen is brimming with herbs harvested from the garden, vegetables steeping in vinegar and endless amounts of elderberry and blackberry syrups ready for the launch of the new menu!

What are you most excited for in the launch of FORGE?

Working with James and Rebecca (Estate owners) and our head gardener, Andrew Webb, to create a menu unlike anything we’ve ever tried before has been the most amazing experience. The attention to detail on every part of FORGE really excites me. To have the chance to deliver such fresh, unique dishes that will change daily is something that will definitely put everything myself and the chef team have learnt to the test.

When you’re not cooking and foraging, what’s your favourite thing to do?

WI’m not one to sit still for a long time. My partner and I recently bought a house so any spare time I have is spent renovating, got to get the kitchen perfect!

FORGE will open this Autumn.

To be the first to know when reservations open, just click here and subscribe to our newsletter.

An update from the Estate

It has been a tough week for everyone, and it is with sad hearts that we are announcing the temporary closure of our hotel & restaurant. We are not waiting for an order that falls too late, so we have taken the difficult decision to close the hotel in its entirety. Our upmost priority is to protect our loyal guests, the Middleton Lodge team, and our families at home. Unfortunately we are cancelling all bookings until 1st June 2020.

To be clear: we have had no suspected cases of COVID-19, either from our guests or our team. This is a heartbreaking decision, but it is one that we have made by choice, to keep you safe during this unprecedented time. Our last working day will be Saturday 21st March and we are in contact with all event organisers helping them to transfer dates. Our thoughts are with the NHS at this time of national crisis.

What about my booking?

If you have a booking of any kind (hotel, spa or restaurant) due to take place before 1st June 2020 we will be in touch with you personally via telephone or email. If you would consider rescheduling rather than completely cancelling your booking, that would mean so much to us as an independent hotel. We promise to do everything we can to deal with this situation as swiftly as we can.We are deeply sorry for the disappointment this causes; it has been a tough decision to make, but ultimately the right one. We respectfully request that you do not need to contact us about your booking at this time, unless directly requested to do so. Our lovely team are dealing with this as quickly as possible, and we don't want to overwhelm them, or slow the process for you. This is a huge ordeal for all of us, but with a level-head, we all will get through it. And we can't wait to welcome you back when we do.

Gift Vouchers

The redemption period will be extended to allow for this unplanned closure. If you would like to purchase a voucher please email the team via our contact page.

What Next?

Behind the scenes, our dedicated team will keep working diligently to ensure that we re-open in a way that is better than ever. You will be given the first opportunity to reschedule your stay and, when the time comes, we'll offer a safe, restful escape from this global ordeal.Please take care and stay safe. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your support during this difficult time. We can't wait to welcome you back.

The Allison Family and Middleton Lodge Team x