Yorkshire Life Luncheon - Solberge Hall Hotel, Northallerton

Chilled lemon souffle for dessert

Chilled lemon souffle for dessert - Credit: Archant

Guests joined us at a lunch that marked an anniversary and an exciting plan for the future

Head chef and his team in the kitchen

Head chef and his team in the kitchen - Credit: Archant

Head chef Mark Wilson spoiled us for choice when he and his team prepared lunch for Yorkshire Life guests at Solberge Hall, a lovely Grade II listed Georgian mansion house surrounded by acres of parkland. We gathered in the gardens where we feasted on substantial canapés of smoked chicken Caesar, fennel and coriander bhaji with raita, asparagus mimosa and wild mushroom and truffle arancini and tasted a wine called Dalesman, medium dry and sparkling from Ryedale Vineyards, Westow, near York.

This was just the beginning of a delicious lunch at the hall on the edge of Northallerton, North Yorkshire to celebrate not only its fine food but also its first year under the ownership of Classic Lodges, a group of individual hotels chosen for their distinct history and character.

James Thompson, general manager, talked enthusiastically about their plans for Solberge Hall especially as a classical, romantic wedding venue which is not only beautiful but versatile.

But first he enthused about head chef Mark Wilson and the food he was preparing for us that day. ‘The food we are having today is representative of what we serve guests everyday. Mark is a marvellous chef with a distinctive style – there is a precision to his food – I can read his menus and I know they are his, he has a specific style. All ingredients are fresh; we grow our own fruits, vegetables, herbs, he adds.

Rachel Stead

Rachel Stead - Credit: Archant

Mark emphasised too the importance to him of being able to use ingredients freshly picked from their own gardens. ‘It makes such a difference,’ he says appreciatively. He says too it’s important to have good relationships with local food suppliers, using Yorkshire produce is a given.

James looks out across the grounds as he talks about their plans to establish Solberge Hall as a destination wedding venue. ‘The hall is a wonderful backdrop to a traditional wedding, perfect for creating lasting memories of a wonderful day,’ he says. The hall is licensed for civil ceremonies enabling couples to choose from a selection of reception rooms to take their vows. And the hall’s Hambledon Suite with its own terrace and lawns is ideal for exclusivity and privacy.

And there is the opportunity to have a marriage ceremony in the hall’s garden pavilion with guests seated, watching from the beautifully kept lawns; just another option to consider.

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Classic Lodges bought the hall a year ago and fits its portfolio of 16 hotels with history and individual character perfectly. The hall was built in 1824 by John Hutton, a local landowner, and remained in the family for 100 years until it was bought by Benjamin Talbot, steel company manager and inventor.

Today marks a new era for the hotel not only as wedding venue destination and a welcoming base to explore the North Yorkshire countryside but also developing as a comprehensive conference centre to meet the needs of business. Watch this space.

Solberge Hall Hotel, Newby Wiske, Northallerton DL7 9ER 01609 779191 classiclodges.co.uk/our-hotels/solberge-hall

From the menu

To start

Pickled mackerel and cured salmon with beetroot, horseradish, watercress and squid ink wafer

To continue

Rump of lamb with new potato terrine, garden greens, mint pesto and red wine jus

To finish

Chilled lemon soufflé with lemon curd meringues

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