Author Archives: Rachel Smith

Great news for coffee connoisseurs

We are proud to announce that the Orangery is now serving Lonton Coffee – a small batch Artisan Coffee roastery from Teesdale, that hand roasts speciality grade beans at its picturesque premises.

Having had the coffee machine serviced, the team are ready to pour you a fresh cuppa – to take away for the time being.

Lonton’s ‘Good Times’ Blend, which will be served as the house pour, is made up of:

50% Brazil for weight & body

30% El Salvador for caramel smooth taste and

20% Sumatra for a dark chocolate after taste

The Stables Shop will also be stocking Lonton’s products for sale for residents to taste at home with a choice of Brazilian, Columbian or El Salvador beans.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, Lonton guarantees that all its produce is ABOVE Fairtrade and they can trace all their beans back to specific farms across the globe.

Creative Christmas crafters

Some more creative entries for our 2020 virtual Village Show – this time with a festive twist!

These delightfully festive designs were submitted as part of our call-out for home-made Christmas decorations and cards.

Get on board an amazing model railway!

One of our independent residents, David Gaskell, has shared an exclusive tour of his stunning model railway.

He explained: “The model railway is an ongoing project started about five years ago and certainly keeps me out of mischief during periods of lockdown!”

He added: “I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in its preparation.”

The video tour is below but here are some sights to spot along the way!

Here’s the video – make sure you have your sound on… Bon voyage!


Talented grandchildren and great grandchildren!

We have lots of very proud grandparents and great grandparents at Middleton Hall!

We’re delighted to share the fabulous entries some of them have sent us for the ‘Talented Grandchildren (and Great Grandchildren)’ week as part of this year’s ongoing (virtual) Middleton Hall Village Show.

Entries included some very impressive video tutorials on how to make a delicious flourless chocolate cake and some squishy slime, a knock-out Frozen singalong, photos of some amazing talent in action and a light-hearted sequence featuring lockdown’s most sought-after item – the loo roll!

We really appreciated the message at the end of this very jolly sequence!

Ceramic artwork created to mark 120 years of Middleton Hall

A unique hand-made ceramic plaque commemorating Middleton Hall’s 120th year was handed over to Managing Director Jeremy Walford and fellow director Lesley Henderson at the beginning of October.

The beautiful artwork was created to mark the anniversary by Waterside resident and ceramicist, Les Simpson.

Les Simpson with the plaque he created with fellow residents and Middleton Hall directors

Les Simpson, holding the plaque he created, at the presentation ceremony

At a socially-distanced event held to present the plaque Les explained: “The design features silver and gold lusters to represent the Hall’s awards and a crackle effect to symbolise its age.”

Adding: “Our pottery studio and the classes that I run there have been going from strength to strength since they started three years ago and professional ceramicists that I speak to are envious about the facilities we have here.

“It has made an incredible difference to the residents who use the facility, and I can’t wait to be back in and teaching again.”

Jeremy Walford said: “Creating this beautiful work of art to mark our anniversary was such a wonderful gesture by Les. It will be displayed with huge pride for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

“I’m hugely proud of the talents and creativity that are able to flourish at Middleton Hall. Last year’s Arts Festival was also a fantastic sign of what we can do and clearly showed the benefits and success of living in a retirement village community.”

The plaque will go on permanent display in The Orangery.

Creative masks!

As part of Middleton Hall’s socially-distanced 2020 Village Show our Living Well and Hospitality team threw down a challenge to residents and Co-owners very much in the spirit of the times – to create submissions for the best decorated face mask.

As the video below of entries shows, everybody certainly let their creative juices run wild!

The decision of our judging panel will be announced shortly …


Plant poppies to mark Remembrance Day

Our hospitality team has suggested the following eco-friendly idea to help mark Remembrance Day on 11th November.

Why not purchase some poppy seed paper and creatively craft your own poppies or remembrance tokens from it and plant it up in a pot at home? Make sure to send us a picture of your efforts and the results!

Follow the link to find out more about how to purchase this paper or phone the company direct on: 01227 733487

Further information about remote and socially distanced Remembrance events and details of how to donate to the Royal British Legion can be found at 

Bulbs away!

Residents and visitors are set to enjoy a floral treat next Spring when 30,000 flowers are set to bloom!

This follows the planting of 2000 bluebell bulbs in October when residents from Middleton Woods and The Waterside joined the Estates team to undertake the task, as pictured below.

The bulbs will extend the work of last year’s extensive bulb planting when 15,000 daffodils bloomed throughout the grounds. If any residents still want to donate any more bulbs for the grounds the Estates team will be more than happy to plant them.