For more than three decades, Middleton Lodge, located in Richmond, North Yorkshire, has been the home of the Allison family, who dedicated their lives to restoring the Georgian country estate. James Allison grew up on the estate’s 200 acres, exploring the main house, carriage house and stables, secret garden, glasshouses, estate cottages and parkland.
After studying Engineering at Oxford University, James worked in the family construction business before buying the estate from his father in 2005, where he began the task of transforming the house into a successful and commercially viable business. In 2008, he opened the doors of Middleton Lodge to wedding parties and corporate events.
Throughout this time James has been restoring the estate. His first restoration project was transforming the former stables and carriage house into a boutique hotel and restaurant that launched as The Coach House at Middleton Lodge in October 2014.
The Coach House, including its nine bedrooms and restaurant, was designed by James’ partner and design director, Rebecca Tappin and since it first opened its doors the boutique hotel has expanded its offering several times.
First came the launch of The Treatment Rooms in June 2015, and then followed by the restoration of the Farmhouse, adding another five double bedrooms to hotel. Clearly making an impact on the hotel market, The Coach House was a finalist in the Outstanding New Hotel category at the Independent Hotel Show Awards 2015.
James continues to move the estate forward to enhance and expand its growing portfolio.
One of his main projects for 2016 is overseeing the construction and planting of the kitchen garden. He has collaborated with top landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, to create a garden made up of seasonal planting and vegetable patches that will grow produce all year round.
Set to launch in 2017, The Kitchen Garden takes The Coach House one-step closer to turning its ‘estate to plate’ goal into a reality.
Refusing to stand still, James Allison already has his eye on the estate’s next project.