A three night break to the SUBLIME Millgate House in Richmond.
I had seen this amazing B&B on the TV earlier in the year as it was featured in the Top 5 Gardens in the UK and SELECTED BY THE TELEGRAPH MAR 2015 AS ONE OF THE TOP 25 HOTELS TO STAY IN SPRING LIST . The garden at Millgate House came first out of 3200 entries in the National RHS Garden competition.
It is run by Tim and Austin and is their much loved home. The garden and house are stunning. Timing our stay for late May was deliberate – the garden would be flush with spring. The house is Georgian and right in the middle of Richmond. The interior is stuffed full of fabulous antiques, art, books and curios. It is quite expensive (!) but was worth saving for.
We were warmly greeted and as we went up to our room we were offered a glass of wine – and it arrived in a crystal antique glass. Room 1 is the largest there and full of lovely art and furnishings. The views are out over the garden and you can see the river falls just below and the hills beyond. From two side windows we had a view to the castle keep. There was even a little crystal decanter of whiskey and two glasses. The bathroom was large with a big deep bath. I had a long sudsy soak every day we were there gazing out of the high windows to the castle walls.
After unpacking a bit we walked down through the garden and I was in heaven. It was as stunning as I had heard. Gorgeous. We left the garden through the bottom gate and were quickly at the river in late afternoon sunshine and could wander around the rocks and by the falls. I practiced some trick panorama photos – capturing Hector twice or more on the same photo.
On our first evening we ate in town, walking up through the cobbled market place.
The first full day was bright and sunny. After a superb breakfast in the exquisite dining room we walked just a few yards to the castle. A nice few hours up and down the towers and in and and out of the little ruined rooms. A quick coffee and cake at lunch time and we retrieved the car and had a drive out through the Dales to have a walk at Aysgarth Falls. Peaty stained river falls crashing through a lovely valley.
In the evening we got some fish and chips and ate them in the garden. It felt a bit like lowering the tone – but very pleasant!
On our second full day we went the whole hog and had a cooked breakfast. We needed an hour or so before we headed out though. We set out for Ripon. The town seemed ””shut”” so we walked to the Cathedral. We arrived just as a Sunday service was ending but were shown into the back near the big glass doors and given service sheets. It was beautiful – the choir singing in latin, the organist playing Bach. Really beautiful. When the service had ended we explored a bit and went down into the crypt. The choir stalls are especially lovely – candlelit and full of interesting carvings and plaques. Realising we were so close to Fountains Abbey and Studley Gardens we went there next. Some years ago we visited the Abbey and this time we wandered around the ruins a while before making the half mile walk to the Water Gardens. A lovely walk. A cup of tea and an eclair at the cafe was a nice break before we walked up through the deer park – sadly no deer to be seen – and the fabulous rather OTT church St Michaels, on the top of the hill by the road. It is dripping in marble. A Victorian Earl of Ripon was keen on marble apparently! It was another half mile or so along a path back to the car park.
Tim and Austin had made a reservation for us on our last evening at a French restaurant they recommended in town. I hadn””t had a French meal for SUCHJ a long time. What a treat and the service was very very good. Hector had Boeuf bourguignon and I had chicken in lemon butter sauce. The wine was good and we each had all three courses.
I was rather reluctant to leave to come home. It is a must to go back some time. DEFINITELY!
Everybody deserves a stay at Millgate!