Highfield House, East Yorkshire, review: ‘A design-driven addition to the capital of the Wolds’ | Travel
What is the story?
Built as a merchant’s house in 1864, and later a country club, the opulent Grade II listed Highfield House is reborn as a lavish boutique hotel (and wedding venue) with seven creatively decorated bedrooms and colorful in the main house (there are two more being renovated for 2023), and two apartments. Situated on the outskirts of the market town and ‘Capital of the Wolds’ Driffield, this is a proudly quirky, design-driven addition to the quiet East yorkshire. Classy cocktails and exceptional cuisine warrant a visit.
What do we like?
With an Elizabethan style exterior in white and black timbers, the striking home is a step back in time, the tall trees surrounding eight acres of grounds giving a peaceful and secluded feel. Inside, the owners and interior designers Andy and Lindsey Lampard balanced history with modern decor: a giant chandelier above a grand wooden staircase; county horse tapestries and paintings hung on vibrant, leafy wallpaper; hallways adorned with busts, grandfather clocks and a golden lobster, though stuffed animals (boar, fox, deer, owls) seem unnecessary.
Retro flamboyance reigns in the Think Pink Parlor restaurant, with high-backed rattan porter’s chairs, walnut tables and colorful feathers above the fireplace, while the modern cocktail bar features art prints avant-garde designs and an eye-catching chandelier of glass tubes in the shape of a pink star.
The spacious rooms are individually decorated. The Gramercy Room (inspired by the New York hotel where Andy proposed to Lindsey) has crimson curtains around a bed fit for royalty, a burgundy chaise longue, a free-standing clawfoot tub, and a bathroom with bathrobes. white marble style tiles; another room, Stitch, has embroidered pillows and panels, and a decorative Sri Lankan “love mask”. The owners have included playful touches, like a working model railway around the ceiling of a room called Yes Mallard, after the famous steam locomotive.
Chef Nathan Carlisle serves up stylish yet substantial seasonal dishes in a sleek restaurant with crisp white linens and a towering fireplace. Plates such as the comforting pea risotto starter I had, and mains (£15.50-£30) such as cod with lobster ravioli and lobster bisque, are full of flavour. The breakfasts are copious, including a vegetarian plate with eggs, halloumi and avocado. Tasty cocktails range from classics (a punchy old fashioned) to warming caramel martinis. The staff are genuine, friendly and helpful.
The hotel’s immediate surroundings, mostly houses, aren’t very attractive, but the gentle sweep of the nearby Wolds makes it an attractive country getaway. Driffield town center is half a mile away, although there’s not much to linger over. Sledmere House (£17.50, sledmerehouse.com), 12km away, is a fun family day out, with county horses, deer and extensive grounds. Beaches including Bridlington (14 miles), Filey (18 miles) and Scarborough (23 miles) are within driving distance, as is York (29 miles). The Wolds offer good hiking and biking, including the 44-mile Wold Rangers Way circular hiking trail (woldrangersway.org), which begins and ends in Driffield.
Graeme Green was a guest of Highfield House, which is dog-friendly and family-friendly, although the rooms are not wheelchair accessible. Doubles from £145 B&B (thehighfieldhouse.com)