Category Archives: News

What is the Kitchen Cooking Up Now?

The kitchen has been a hive of activity since it moved into its new, expanded home in late 2017.

Following a successful festive season, the Kitchen-Front of House team launched three new initiatives, a new Orangery menu and some Kitchen workshops for residents to hone their skills and learn new ones.

Firstly, visitors to The Orangery are invited to enjoy Coffee and a Slice. Choose a tray baked slice of cake and a cup of coffee or tea for just £3.00.

Saturday mornings will be enlivened by the Saturday Breakfast Club. Tuck into a full English breakfast with toast, juice, tea or coffee at a price of £6.95. Booking is required (01325 331444).

Fish Shop Friday began on the first Friday in January, giving a buzz to the regular fish and chips menu. Guests are offered the BEST haddock or cod, fresh cut chips and homemade tartar sauce. A standard portion costs £11.00, with larger portions and lots of extras also offered for the mighty appetites.

The new Orangery menu is launched, with plenty of new dishes to try (and old favourites of course!).

Finally, the Cookery Workshops are proving very popular. Fully booked, they are a sociable affair and have some impressive results to show.



A Special Visitor to the Current Affairs Group

Several people have been keeping the regular Current Affairs host MD Jeremy’s seat warm whilst he is away for two months. This week we were delighted to welcome Chris Lloyd, Chief Features Writer at the Northern Echo and Darlington & Stockton Times.

In weekly discussions about the topics of the day, talk very often turns to the subject of the press. Who can we trust to tell us the facts? Who reports the news – is it those with ‘the authority’ to do so or is it increasingly everyman with their trusty smart phones? What can we do about fake news? How can the print press survive in modern times when ‘free’ digital news is so popular?

We therefore invited a contact from the world of the press so that we could hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Chris was a great speaker and his experience gave depth to the answers to our questions. In particular, he has a passionate interest in local politics and history. It was fascinating to hear about reporting in the days of Tony Blair, Mo Mowlem, Peter Mendelson and Alan Milburn.

He was also clear about the challenges that the print press face and the possible solutions.

We were still listening intently when the hour was up! Thank you very much, Chris.

Next week, we look forward to the Mayor and Mayoress of Darlington 2016-17 Brian and Doris Jones joining the group.

Happy 80th Birthday Ellen!

Congratulations to Ellen Muldowney, Hostess in Middleton Court, who celebrated her 80th birthday!

We consider it a privilege that Ellen is happy to continue in her role here at Middleton Hall. For 14 years, she has been a wonderful support to residents and a cheerful part of the team. Typically, Ellen didn’t want a fuss, but nonetheless, colleagues and residents showed their appreciation for her fantastic commitment. She is an example to us all.


Care Services Open Day

Saturday 13th January 2018

11.00am – 3.00pm

An Open Day will be held for all those wishing to know more about the care that Middleton Hall can provide. You may be looking for yourself for now or for the future, or for a family member or friend. We understand that people are interested to know more for all kinds of reasons. All are welcome.

We offer a range of care services as we understand that people’s needs vary greatly. Some may require some care but essentially wish to remain as independent as possible – Supported Living with Care may be the best option in this case. Some may enjoy the benefits of Hotel Living with Care. Others may decide that small group living or nursing care is most appropriate.

Just come along and have a chat with residents and staff. View the facilities and enjoy some refreshments.

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The Brownies Carol Concert – An Annual Delight

Residents were treated once more to the annual carol concert by Middleton St George Brownies and Guides.

They performed all our festive favourites. Not only did they sing delightfully but had taken the time to make little hand-tied gift bags with personally decorated tags. A lovely gesture.

As someone commented afterwards;

“Ah! Now that the Brownies have been, it’s properly Christmas!”

A ‘Make a Wish’ Festive Coffee Morning

Pupils of St George’s Church of England Academy gave us the honour of their presence at a festive coffee morning. It really was a delightful morning for all ages.

The children were complete naturals at socialising with their older companions. There was a very buzzy atmosphere – especially when Santa made an appearance. We were also treated to an impromptu performance of Jingle Bells – twice, so that residents could join in too.

A theme of the coffee morning was ‘Make a Wish’. The idea is that staff can learn more about residents’ hopes and dreams, so that they can make them come true in the coming year! It was heart warming to read the wishes that the children also wrote down and ‘posted’ on the tree. Not one wished for anything material or commercial. In fact, they hoped to visit again, to show the residents their own school and that residents might see loved ones on Christmas Day.

A big Christmassy thank you to the children, their teachers … and Santa. You really made our day.

An Ordinary Extraordinary Living Well Meeting


What is a Living Well meeting? you may ask ……

Every month, a representative from each care service as well as the front of house, admin, gardening and maintenance teams meet to discuss how best we can make a positive difference to how ‘well’ residents may live at Middleton Hall.

We hear how other teams have planned and delivered activities. We rollout village-wide programmes such as preparing for Fun Days or coffee mornings. We share and reflect on best practice both within Middleton Hall and in other care and retirement settings. We also think how we could have done things differently and in some cases better or for more people. The benefits aren’t limited to residents – the mental and physical health of staff members is just as important. See our Life at Middleton Hall pages for details of what goes on.

Living Well meetings are always extraordinary and throw up unexpected gems. Often, it is the small gestures and one-to-one times that make the biggest difference.

The fabulous new workshop at Middleton Oaks set the unusual, one-off scene for the final Living Well meeting of 2017, It embodied all the great ‘can do’ attitude displayed by staff. Yes it was cold! Yes the chickens came wandering in! Yes, a resident joined us unexpectedly for a while! But the ‘Lucky Thirteen’ came along, tucked into mince pies and warm drinks, shared and planned for 2018. Bring it on!

Middleton Gardens Kicks off the Party Season


Middleton Gardens is the first of the four care services to host it’s Christmas party.

Invited relatives and friends joined residents for the annual event. Spirits were high and all enjoyed the three course lunch, followed by entertainment.

Each of the other three care services will have their own chance to kick their heels up over the next three weeks. We can’t wait!

Christmas Fair Welcomes Santa to Middleton Hall

The day dawned clear and bright for an energetic start to the Middleton Hall Christmas Fair.

Stallholders bustled around setting up their displays, and the kitchen team put the finishing touches to the batches of festive breads and mince pies … and the mulled wine!

Residents and families toured the halls, making a determined start to their Christmas shopping. There was plenty to see, and lots of people to stop and chat to. Much money was raised through the raffle and the tombola. Even Santa made an appearance. It was a very sociable event and a lovely way to start the festive season.

Channel 4 Discussions …


You may have seen the recent documentary ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’. Broadcast on Channel 4 in July 2017, the two-part series followed a group of nursery school children as they spent regular time with some older residents of a retirement village – St Monica’s Trust in Bristol. The results were engaging and positive.

The production company CPL Productions has approached Middleton Hall as a potential site for a further series. Producers are to visit on Wednesday 15th November to continue discussions and meet some residents.

The series is available to view on catch up via the following link click here to watch

We are keen to hear people’s thoughts about the prospect of filming here. Please let us know! Speak to reception!