Star turns at Yorkshire’s seaside hotels

The White Lodge Hotel ,Filey
The White Lodge Hotel ,Filey
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It was one of the grand residences of the Yorkshire coast at a time when the great and good wanted to live there, and tomorrow its menu will take on a flavour of those times.

The White Lodge at Filey was turned into a hotel in 1938, the same year as the county’s opening batsman, Sir Len Hutton, set a record for the highest individual Test innings and the Doncaster-built locomotive Mallard set another, for doing 126mph on the east coast main line.

Its current owners will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a Champagne reception and the dinner menu of a noted Yorkshire hotelier of the time.

Tom Laughton, who wrote a book called Pavilions by the Sea and bought the Royal Hotel in Scarborough, also in 1938, left behind instructions to prepare the four courses of pate with Madeira jelly, roast saddle of lamb and baked apple dumplings, with Welsh rarebit to follow.

His brother was the actor Charles Laughton, who went to Hollywood and made Mutiny on the Bounty and The Private Life of Henry VIII.

But it had been another theatrical family that had first fallen for the White Lodge.

The Shakespearean actress, Dame Madge Kendall bought it in the 1890s, when it had fallen into ruin, and retreated to Filey from the former St James Theatre in London, which she and her actor husband, William Hunter Kendal, managed.

Kim Hodgson, the current owner of the White Lodge, said: “It seems that Dame Madge left the property to an Austrian actress friend who, having no connections to Filey or the Yorkshire coast, immediately put the house up for sale.

“The purchaser must have seen its potential and converted it into a hotel.”

Her husband, James, a Filey native with whom she has restored the property, added: “Many of our elderly guests used to stay at the hotel when they were children, and we have had several in their 70s and 80s who used to work at here during their summer holidays. We had a lady to stay this week who has been coming to Filey for 80 years.”