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.

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An update from the Estate

Dear Friends & Family,
As part of our staged reopening on Thursday 23rd July, Middleton Lodge Estate will be implementing “contactless stays” in line with government social distancing guidelines.

It is looking absolutely beautiful here at the moment, and it’s a shame that we can’t allow you here yet - but by July it promises to be even better. We have space, we have fresh air, and sky, we have great food, the gardens are teaming with produce, we have gorgeous bedrooms to rest your weary heads in. We will be opening our restaurant (for residents only) at a safe distance - al fresco fine dining in a sprawling setting.

What is a contactless stay?

We have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can do this. Luckily one thing we have here in abundance is space - most of our bedrooms have their own private entrances straight into the gardens, so nobody will have to have to walk through communal areas.

Guests will be guided remotely through booking and check in prior to arrival. On arrival, all guests will have a temperature check at the new gatehouse, and be directed via a map to their private rooms. Each has it’s own private entrance and views of the gardens or parkland setting. Unwind in one of our fabulous roll top baths, with signature Noble Isle amenities proudly made in the British Isles. Order dinner in your room, or head over to our stretch tent in the Coach House courtyard for alfresco estate to plate at a distance. You might not see much of our staff, but rest assured they will be there, and available to help with anything that you might need.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, upgrades are available for rooms with hot tubs and wood burning stoves…

The great outdoors remains firmly open, and guests will have access to a selection of walking routes around the 200 acre estate and beyond. We also have our utterly beautiful Walled Gardens to explore (and are begging to be painted for any creative types - don’t forget your watercolours and easel!)

Click here to book now or you can buy as a voucher for a loved one to redeem later.

Our Mission

The Covid-19 outbreak continues to be a testing time for everyone, and we are delighted to be able to invite people back to our estate to share our beautiful Yorkshire countryside at a safe distance. The safety of all our staff and guests is paramount, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that people can come and feel safe and relaxed here.

Gift Vouchers

If you know someone who needs to get away from it all we do have vouchers available. You can boost the experience with dinner for two or a bottle of something delicious on arrival. Look out for special offers too on longer stays.

As always, Middleton Lodge Estate adheres to strict hygiene and safety guidelines. In addition to these we are taking extra precautions to limit interaction between staff and guests. We are also boosting deep cleaning practices. Though out of sight, the team will be available to assist guests with anything they might need during their stay via our new messaging service.

It should go without saying, but we do ask that any guests with any symptoms that could be attributable to Covid-19, or who may have been recently exposed to not come to the Estate. We also ask that you follow government guidelines for social distancing while you are here.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time, we have been so heartened with so many lovely messages from you all! We can’t wait to welcome you back.

Please take care and stay safe.

The Allison Family and Middleton Lodge Team x