Middlethorpe Hall – York, North Yorkshire
If the exterior of this gorgeous, mellow red brick 1699 house looks straight from a Jane Austen novel, the interior is no disappointment. You’ll find a magnificent oak staircase, quaint sitting rooms (each with a roaring fire) and views of the ha-ha. The atmosphere is serene and there’s a tranquil spa across the road. Expect classic country house style bedrooms, floral bedspreads, homemade shortbread and kind attention from the staff. For dinner, try the catch of the day: perhaps plaice or halibut landed at Whitby, followed by Yorkshire poached rhubarb crumble soufflé with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate. A hotel that’s as alluring in winter – all cosy and snug – as it is in summer, when you can stroll through the grounds and make friends with the resident deer. In 1878, Fanny Rollo Wilkinson – one of the first women to make a professional career as a landscape gardener – moved here. This is where she began to devote her life to gardening, and the historic gardens are well worth a visit. It also makes the perfect base for visiting York. Rescued from decay in the 1980s, Middlethorpe Hall is a National Trust-owned Historic House Hotel.
Doubles from £230
+44 (0)1904 641241; middlethorpe.com