Secrets from the Garden

At the very top of the Kitchen Garden is an area planted and cared for by a local Dales girl, Anna Burton.

Anna has always loved the outdoors and being creative, so she decided to study horticulture after school and has been hooked ever since!

We wanted to find out more about Anna and what to expect from the produce being grown this season, so we caught up with her over a mug of fresh mint tea in the garden.

Did you always have a strong interest in gardening? And was it something you always wanted to do?

I’ve always thrived on being outside and being active. My direction was always art and design; eventually I realised I wanted to channel that into garden design. My love for it comes from my grandparents, who were keen gardeners. I think there’s something nostalgic about making jams and liqueurs from home grown produce like they used to.

Tell us your daily routine in the garden.

Our jobs can range from weeding and pruning, planting and harvesting to digging beds, grass cutting and much more! There’s always something to do in the gardens. No two days are the same, especially as it all depends on the weather and nature is so unpredictable, but I suppose that’s what keeps it interesting. We usually end the day head to toe in cuts, bruises and covered in mud but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Head Gardner Andrew, has replanted the Kitchen Garden, he has told us that you’re in change of the vegetable garden, what have you enjoyed most?

Without a doubt there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the first sign of a seedling popping up through the compost. Oh, and tucking into some of the goodies the chefs have created with the baskets of goodness we deliver to them each morning!

What’s the most unusual vegetable you’re growing now?

The artichokes are quite aesthetically unusual, and we have a plant called ‘Salad Burnett’, the leaves taste like cucumber. At the moment we’re setting up the Polytunnel, so we can become and little more experimental and exotic.

Three tips to growing vegetables?

Good ground preparation- Adding nutrients to the soil via manure and digging that in well.

Crop rotation- Rotating what we grow in each bed stops the soil getting over depleted.

Successional sowing- We replenish a lot of crops by sowing new seeds every three weeks.

We had a very white winter and super sunny spring and summer, how has the affected the produce?

I read somewhere that due to the extreme weather it has been a particularly good year for butterflies; this is amazing, except it means lots of hungry caterpillars are eating our Brassicas!

Are there any gardening methods you’ve introduced to make the garden more sustainable?

Sustainability is such an important part of my role here in the garden. On such a big estate there is a lot of garden waste and we utilise this the best we can. We compost materials and use this to enrich the soil. We avoid the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides and protect our crops with natural methods such as netting and hand weeding.

Tell us more about your role with FORGE?

The interaction between garden and kitchen adds another creative aspect to the job that I really enjoy. It’s so rewarding to see the whole process; from seed to plate and I can’t wait to see what Gareth produces. It’s been amazing to grow new produce and work together to make interesting dishes for the restaurant. The more things we can grow that end up on the menu the better.

Which is your favourite vegetable, and which is your favourite way to eat it?

My absolute favourite is beetroot, it’s easy to grow, it keeps for a very long time and it’s so versatile to cook with. My favourite has to be beetroot and goats cheese tart or a good old beetroot sarnie. Gareth’s Goat Cheese and Beetroot salad at the Coach House will always be my go-to dish.

What’s your favourite part of being a gardener?

I’m constantly discovering new things, it’s a feast for the senses. I’m always seeing, smelling and eating new things or discovering an insect that I’ve never seen before. It’s like being a child again!

And when you’re not gardening what are you normally doing?

Rock climbing. Swimming. Eating. Napping. Laughing. Chatting! Not always in that order!

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: 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