In an age of mass-market branded hotels, it is great to enjoy accommodation that reflects and recalls the heritage of the city you are staying in.

Though owned by major hospitality and brewing company Daniel Thwaites, Middletons in Skeldergate, set within the city walls, delivers historical individuality, rather than corporate blandness.

The 56-bed 4-star Middletons has just carried out a £1M restoration of the Grade II-listed Lady Anne Middleton’s House built in 1829, featuring local artwork and interior designs from Rachel Wootton to give an added wow factor.

Since the hotel, which was Large Hotel of the Year in the 2023 Visit York Tourism Awards, is spread over six different buildings- Lady Anne House, Cromwell House, Chaplin House, Sir Joseph Terry Cottages, No.56 Skeldergate and The Organ Factory – Middletons was able to remain open throughout the 12-week restoration.

City of York Council approves refurb at Lady Anne Middletons Hotel

This latest project follows the refurb of Cromwell House, originally an old sawmill, plus the two Sir Joseph Terry Alms Cottages, and an upgrade to the Sawmill restaurant and the bar and lounge areas, all sensitively done since Thwaites bought the hotel in 2017.

Now, 18 more of the bedrooms have been luxuriously refurbished, with air con, smart tvs, better glazed windows and insulation. Key bedrooms have also been renamed after members of the Middleton family and other touches, including nesting boxes outside, reflect the birds and squirrels that habit the peaceful hotel grounds despite its central and accessible location.

On the day I stayed, the first guest in my executive room since the renovations, I was able to work peacefully on the desk in a warm and comfortable room on what was a bitter and wet April day.

It was all sparklingly clean and rather than corporate, reminded me of a rustic farmhouse. There was even fresh milk in the fridge.

Soon after, I explored the nearby area. Just minutes away are the delights of York, such as the pubs the city is famous for, including the Tank & Paddle sports/craft ale bar, the characterful Cock & Bottle and the community-run Golden Ball.

Middletons hotel, York - how it has changed over the years

However, the popular hotel does have its own bar with Thwaites Ales, cocktails, plus other tipples, and is also dog-friendly.

In the hotel restaurant, which has a focus on seasonal and local, I feasted on a tasty fishcake; the lamb chump, which was also a most generous portion and looked like a work-of-art; followed by a most delightful, rich and creamy Chocolate Sundae.

A couple of glasses of different and delicious red wines from an extensive wine list added to my enjoyment, again served promptly by friendly and efficient staff.

Back in my spacious room was a most comfortable bed and I slept soundly, waking up to birdsong. I also saw a squirrel.

Adam Wardale, of Middletons Hotel, is VisitEngland's unsung hero

You were spoilt for choice with breakfast, with options including waffles,  omelettes, a variety of eggs, teas and coffees. There’s even breakfast cocktails. I settled for a hearty Northern Breakfast and cleaned my plate.

Soon it was time to leave happily, recalling a much-loved hotel which superbly reflects its heritage, pays attention to detail, and delivers a perfect stay, you cannot fault. Its highly talented management are rightfully proud of their efforts and this latest phase in the Middletons long-term restoration plan.