SECRET GARDEN: THE FIG HOUSE AT MIDDLETON LODGE

Elysia Agnew escapes to Middleton Lodge's 'secret garden' at The Fig House for an evening of seasonal sips, food and blooms.
SECRET GARDEN: THE FIG HOUSE AT MIDDLETON LODGE

If you go down to the gardens today you’re in for a big surprise – a gorgeous green one! The Kitchen Garden is an enchanting new space full of seasonal blooms and home-grown produce, feeding into the estate’s fantastic foodie offering. The plant to plate approach is in full swing at Middleton Lodge; we find out how this creative new concept has come together from project planning and garden know-how, to chef inspiration and inspiring interior design.

The neglected walled garden within the Middleton Lodge Estate has been expertly restored as the Grade II Listed Kitchen Garden. Tom Stuart-Smith is the brains behind the project, working closely with the estate’s head gardener, Andrew Webb.

This two-acre nature retreat will bloom and grow as the seasons change, so will remain a picture-perfect spot for events, celebrations and for guests to roam at their leisure.

On the opening of the Kitchen Garden, Tom Stuart-Smith, says:

“It’s wonderful to see the walled garden at Middleton Lodge brought back to life with such great commitment and vision from a brilliant team.

“It is intended to be a garden that has some interest throughout the year and a series of really magical moments from the first pear blossom in spring to the colouring of the autumn leaves in October.”

The garden is split into four sections, all created and planted to ensure they flourish from one season to the next. Each space has been finished with large arbours, built by the estate’s construction team.

James Allison, owner of Middleton Lodge Estate, says:

“It’s been a fantastic experience working with Tom over the past two years. Tom’s knowledge and passion for creating such beautiful and seasonal landscapes, alongside our head gardener Andrew’s dedication has helped to transformed our neglected walled garden, into a truly wonderful space that will not only be a stunning backdrop for our wedding, hotel and restaurant guests, but it is also a working food source for the entire estate.

“Andrew has worked closely with our two head chefs on which produce to plant, focusing on a combination of the essentials, alongside those niche vegetables and fruit that will make our dishes stand apart. We can’t wait to see how the garden evolves, grows and connects with nature over the next few years.”

Luxe join Tom Stuart-Smith at a Fig House feast, celebrating the launch of the whimsical walled garden at Middleton Lodge Estate.

The sun is shining, the champagne flowing and the garden is glowing as guests arrive for welcome drinks and canapés on the Fig House lawn. It’s the perfect opportunity to get lost in the glorious gardens and explore this special space as it boasts the best of the summer season.

Guests gather in the Boiler House Bar to hear from the guy behind the gardens. Tom delivers a proud presentation on his inspiration, his close relationship with the Middleton Lodge team, and his fondness of the estate and the North of England. A delicious dinner inspired by the garden goodies follows.

‘The Morning Fog Oaked Charonnay’ Californian white wine is poured as the starter of pan fried sea bream is brought out; served with green bean salsa, candied garden beetroot and bois boudran. A light and fluffy fish dish, perfectly pairing local produce with veggies straight from the garden.

The perfectly pink charred lamb rump follows; served with pink fir potatoes, pickled roast rosemary, parsley beets, garden vegetables and salsa verde. A fantastic fusion of fresh meat and home-grown garden treats.

The perfect compromise on a sweet and savoury dessert seals the deal. Chocolate peanut bar, scooped up with white chocolate ice cream. Pudding perfection!

The evening comes to a close with tea, coffee and a cheese course, shared over table chit-chat and a smooth, full-bodies glass of ‘The Scruffy Shiraz’ Australian red wine.

Following the £1.6 million investment, which includes the restoration of the Kitchen Garden, the estate’s owner and trained architect, Rebecca has restored the original Fig House. Once the working greenhouse for the estate, The Fig House has now been transformed into a rustic venue for weddings and private events, overlooking the beautifully designed Kitchen Garden.SECRET GARDEN: THE FIG HOUSE AT MIDDLETON LODGE

The Fig House is stunning open space, with floor to ceiling doors opening out onto the terrace, complete with roaring fire pits and seating. Inside, Rebecca has preserved original features such as the exposed brick wall, now crawling with figs trees, and the 18th century fireplaces in the adjoining Boiler House Bar. Styled with garden antiques, velvet greens and cosy soft furnishing, this beautiful botanical-inspired space can host up to 200 guests for private events.

Peeping through the walls either side of The Fig House are the three Potting Shed bedrooms. The restored bedrooms follow a similar style to that of The Fig House, with subtle tones and garden-inspired themes throughout.

This is the start of something new for the ever-evolving estate. A country-chic hideaway filled with home-grown produce and charming treasures found in every nook and cranny.


middletonlodge.co.uk

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