Yorkshire Life Luncheon - Solberge Hall Hotel, Northallerton
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:24 26 October 2016
Guests joined us at a lunch that marked an anniversary and an exciting plan for the future
Head chef Mark Wilson spoiled us for choice when he and his team prepared lunch for Yorkshire Life guests at Solberge Hall, a lovely Grade II listed Georgian mansion house surrounded by acres of parkland. We gathered in the gardens where we feasted on substantial canapés of smoked chicken Caesar, fennel and coriander bhaji with raita, asparagus mimosa and wild mushroom and truffle arancini and tasted a wine called Dalesman, medium dry and sparkling from Ryedale Vineyards, Westow, near York.
This was just the beginning of a delicious lunch at the hall on the edge of Northallerton, North Yorkshire to celebrate not only its fine food but also its first year under the ownership of Classic Lodges, a group of individual hotels chosen for their distinct history and character.
James Thompson, general manager, talked enthusiastically about their plans for Solberge Hall especially as a classical, romantic wedding venue which is not only beautiful but versatile.
But first he enthused about head chef Mark Wilson and the food he was preparing for us that day. ‘The food we are having today is representative of what we serve guests everyday. Mark is a marvellous chef with a distinctive style – there is a precision to his food – I can read his menus and I know they are his, he has a specific style. All ingredients are fresh; we grow our own fruits, vegetables, herbs, he adds.
Mark emphasised too the importance to him of being able to use ingredients freshly picked from their own gardens. ‘It makes such a difference,’ he says appreciatively. He says too it’s important to have good relationships with local food suppliers, using Yorkshire produce is a given.
James looks out across the grounds as he talks about their plans to establish Solberge Hall as a destination wedding venue. ‘The hall is a wonderful backdrop to a traditional wedding, perfect for creating lasting memories of a wonderful day,’ he says. The hall is licensed for civil ceremonies enabling couples to choose from a selection of reception rooms to take their vows. And the hall’s Hambledon Suite with its own terrace and lawns is ideal for exclusivity and privacy.
And there is the opportunity to have a marriage ceremony in the hall’s garden pavilion with guests seated, watching from the beautifully kept lawns; just another option to consider.
Classic Lodges bought the hall a year ago and fits its portfolio of 16 hotels with history and individual character perfectly. The hall was built in 1824 by John Hutton, a local landowner, and remained in the family for 100 years until it was bought by Benjamin Talbot, steel company manager and inventor.
Solberge Hall Hotel luncheon
Anne Welford, Karen Earnshaw
Chilled lemon souffle for dessert
Elizabeth and Stuart Smith
Ian Ashton, Richard Smith, Alex Simmons
Jayne Potter, Nicola Bolden
Julia Clarke, Frank Abbott
Julian Rich, toby Cockcroft
Julie Smith, Julie Jones
Kate Green, Leslie Downie
Kelly Day, Justin Dugdale
Kelly Ford, Cara Allinson
Louise Hinchliffe, Anne Welford, Karen Earnshaw
Head chef Mark Wilson and his team
Pickled mackerel and cured salmon
Rump of lamb
The scene is set for lunch at Solberge Hall
The wine is poured
Canapes are served
Tomato and basil consumme
Head chef and his team in the kitchen
Dalesman dry sparkling wine
Today marks a new era for the hotel not only as wedding venue destination and a welcoming base to explore the North Yorkshire countryside but also developing as a comprehensive conference centre to meet the needs of business. Watch this space.
Solberge Hall Hotel, Newby Wiske, Northallerton DL7 9ER 01609 779191 classiclodges.co.uk/our-hotels/solberge-hall
From the menu
Pickled mackerel and cured salmon with beetroot, horseradish, watercress and squid ink wafer
Rump of lamb with new potato terrine, garden greens, mint pesto and red wine jus
Chilled lemon soufflé with lemon curd meringues