Yorkshire Life Reader Event - Middlethorpe Hall, York

PUBLISHED: 11:09 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:09 26 June 2013

Banana Parfait

Banana Parfait


Our intrepid readers defied the inclement weather to enjoy an exclusive charity event at Middlethorpe Hall, York

Photographs by Elizabeth Savage

Storm clouds threatened as readers gathered for a special event at one of York’s most luxurious hotels. But they weren’t about to miss out on a tour of the award-winning gardens at Middlethorpe Hall Hotel & Spa, guided by head gardener David Barker.

David has nurtured the 20 acres of garden and parkland at Middlethorpe Hall for almost 30 years and overseen their reconstruction, restoration and development. One of David’s passions is to grow food for the kitchen and has created a vegetable garden with potatoes, cabbage, peas, beans and onions grown in a four bed system for crop rotation. The walled gardens at Middlethorpe have also been planted with fruit including apples, pears, plums, peaches and greengages, which are used in the hotel kitchens too.

And although rain did cut short the garden tour any disappoint was soon forgotten as readers sipped Pimms before being warmly welcomed into lunch by restaurant manager Andrew Ricketts.

The lunch, in support of St Leonard’s Hospice, York, was prepared by head chef Nicholas Evans who created an exclusive menu for the event. Nicholas is responsible for running the kitchens and designing menus for the fine dining restaurant, meetings and banqueting events.

His imaginative menus include fresh local produce as well as produce grown in Middlethorpe’s own gardens, whenever possible. It is Nicholas’s attention to detail and consistent standard of excellence that has earned the restaurant 2 AA Rosettes.

Readers donated part of the cost of their event tickets to St Leonard’s Hospice in York, a registered charity founded in 1985 to care for people with life-threatening illness, which is often – though not always – cancer. Their aim is to support not only patients but carers and families too in a setting which is as homely and informal as possible. The purpose built unit has just 20 beds but also offers care for patients and their families in their homes.

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