Have you met Anna Whitehouse?

After designing and creating #100bottles100days, ceramic Artist Anna Whitehouse is now renowned for the most beautiful collection of naturally inspired bottles we really have ever seen…

Inspired by all areas of the natural word and named after something that happened that day, her collection is super inventive and interesting yet simple and stunning (fair to say we’re obsessed!), so much so that we’ve invited Anna to host a workshop in our Walled Garden.

After a tour of the garden we had a slice of freshly baked rhubarb cake with Anna (the sort that’s still a little bit warm from the oven…best kind!), and over a couple of mugs of tea we found out more about her, her love for pots and what she has in store for the spring workshop!

Anna, when did you first discover your love for pottery?

I first touched clay aged ten at school, when we were given a lump of the weird stuff and told to make an animal. I made a giraffe, which started to crack after a while (especially those legs!) and our teacher's response was to put a damp paper towel over it. Obviously, this just made an even bigger mess and it was still cracked, so for years I was convinced you couldn't make anything good out of clay.

Fast forward ten years and I’m in my first year of a 3D Design course at Manchester Metropolitan University, doing a six-week intro to ceramics. I was being taught by people who actually knew how to handle clay and had access to a glaze lab of free materials where you were encouraged to go mix up potions- my mind was blown, and I was instantly hooked.

How would you describe your work?

Ultimately, I aim to create intriguing objects that create a childlike sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural world.

If you had to choose one, which has been your favourite project to create and why?

Ask any Artist, it’s always the last thing they did. And even then, after a while they’ll start to criticize and see things they’d improve, that’s what pushes them to make the next piece!

What are you working on at the moment? Any behind the scenes exhibitions we should know of?

I just produced a demo and interview film for The Ceramics Congress, I was asked to take part along with 24 international ceramic artists, completely new skills to learn!

I am working on a large sculpture commission for The Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park at Grewelthorpe, in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

I have my project #100bottles100days in a solo exhibition at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery Leeds.

I’m also preparing for the much-anticipated return of North Yorkshire Open Studios, happening on the first two weekends in June, along with 100 other selected artists, you can get a free brochure if you visit their website; ww.nyos.org.uk.

If you’re stuck for inspiration where do you head to?

Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel- seriously, go do a quick internet search, you won’t regret it!

Who’s your favourite ceramic artist? And why?

That’s impossible! I have too many; Hitomi Hosono, Kate Malone, Sarah Rayner- best thing to do is go to my Instagram account @annawhitehouseceramics and see who I follow!.

You teach workshops weekly, what’s your favourite part of teaching?

Showing people simple techniques then seeing the excitement when they realise all the things they could create!

What do you have in store for us in the upcoming workshop?

We’re going to be learning simple, and actually quite meditative, hand building techniques to create a collection of miniature planters. These can then be personalised with carving, modelling, painting- whatever takes your fancy! The idea is to play and see where it takes you, a bit like my #100bottles100days project.

And finally, when you’re not sculpting where can you be found?

Either hiking in the Yorkshire Dales or flying along on my mountain bike!


Photo credit: David Lindsay

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.

We are finally able to welcome you back to the Coach House Restaurant! We will be opening the restaurant for limited sittings for non residents, PRE BOOKINGS ONLY for Friday evening, Saturday lunch and dinner, and Sunday lunch on the weekends of 10th-12th July and 17th-19th July. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for reservations. We are also able to offer Contactless stays for both weekends, and our hotel will be reopening full time from the 23rd July. Rooms can be booked here: https://middletonlodge.co.uk/stay Please be aware that going forward that ALL guests will need a reservation before coming onto the estate, and temperatures will be checked at the gate. It should go without saying but please do not come here if you have any symptoms or have been recently exposed, and please be mindful of other guests and staff. Table sizes and groups will of course be limited in line with current government guidelines.

What is a contactless stay?

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!)

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