Introducing Head Gardener, Andrew Webb #ForgeFarmers

With the launch of FORGE just around the corner, and yes you guessed it… we’re not going to tell you exactly when! We’ve spent the last couple of months working closely with the estate gardeners and local farmers, planting, growing and rearing locally sourced produce to inspire head chef, Gareth Rayner and celebrate the ingredients growing on our doorstep!

With years of experience and passion for their produce we can’t wait to celebrate what they have grown at FORGE and we’re excited to taste the exciting dishes created by head chef, Gareth Rayner.

We’ve been super inspired by the #ForgeFarmers so much so we wanted to introduce them to you over the next couple of weeks!

Starting with our head gardener, Andrew Webb. Since leaving school he has always had a passion for horticulture. His interest over the years has grown along with the gardens he has created.

After a three-year apprenticeship, his first job was set in a private garden near Ilkley learning the intricate details and the key concepts of nurturing a Yorkshire garden. He then spent many years moving around the country working as a head gardener and estate manager. Ten years ago, Andrew decided to move back to his roots and focus on garden designing in North Yorkshire.

Back in 2012, he was tasked with designing the beautiful gardens surrounding the Main House and Coach House. Then in 2015, Andrew began the mammoth task of restoring the Kitchen Garden, designed by the renowned Tom Stuart-Smith.

Andrew and his team have cut, dug and planted Tom’s incredible design, creating one of the most magical Kitchen Garden’s we’ve ever seen! Filled with delicious produce to use in the busy kitchens, brimming borders and fresh fragrances, the garden blooms throughout the seasons, under Andrew’s watchful eye.

Andrew’s love for watching gardens grow has kept him in the industry for so long and he’s at his happiest during springtime, when everything begins to open and grow quickly. You can often find him in our Spring Garden - his favourite part of the Kitchen Garden.

Whether it’s in the blistering sunshine or a cold snap in winter, he’s always digging or planting somewhere on the estate, and when he’s not here he’s either tucking into a feast in his favourite Yorkshire pubs or exploring the dales on his motor-cycle.

Andrew has worked closely with head chef Gareth Rayner over the last couple of months and will continue to do so in the future, planting unusual ingredients for the restaurant and bringing him baskets of brimming foraged goods each morning!

If you’d like to be one of the first to make a reservation please email forge@middletonlodge or call us on 01325 377977.

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