Review: Fawsley Hall Hotel, Daventry
You are in for something special, says Simon Maurice
By Simon Maurice on 02 December 2011 in Travel Articles
You generally know, on arrival at a hotel that, when you check in and then your receptionist gets up and takes you personally to your room, you are in for something special and Fawsley Hall is just that.
Nestled in its own lush estate grounds, in the middle of the quiet Northants countryside, yet only an hour and a quarter outside of London, Fawsley Hall dates back to the seventh century.
The manor house was first built in Tudor times but, like many such country estates, has added various wings and buildings over the course of time. This could have resulted in a real architectural eyesore, but it has been well thought out, so its Georgian and Victorian sections - and even the recently built Spa complex - all blend in harmoniously.
Its 58 bedrooms vary in style from a quaint country style to modern rooms to almost Gothic-style.
Over the course of several visits, I have experienced most of its different types of rooms and they are all beautifully turned out – usually with some great little touches (I loved the rubber duck, perched on the rim of our bath on this most recent visit).
Fawsley's Great Hall justifies its name and is excellent for lounging around with a coffee after lunch or dinner - but is also one of the best places to experience afternoon tea. My wife is an afternoon tea aficionado and insists that Fawsley is worth a visit simply for that alone (she loved the fact that on the tea menu there is a special section "for our younger guests" which gives kids the sort of teatime selection they prefer).
The Hotel is pleasantly relaxed and informal, and dining requires no more than smart casual clothing at either of its restaurants. ‘Equilibrium' has AA Rosettes, yet still compares favourably to most city centre fine dining establishments in terms of the cost of dining. ‘Bess's Brasserie' has a wider menu – and a great selection of vegetarian options – the food sampled was excellent and well served.
In the last couple of years, Fawsley Hall has added another string to its bow, with the opening of a Spa complex under the auspices of renowned health spa, Grayshott, which can be accessed freely by all guests.
One of the great things about the hotel is its tranquil air. Because of the way it has evolved, the rooms are set in clusters, rather than long corridors on several floors, so there is little outside noise. The grounds are lovely and justify some time just to wander around them and experience the wonderful view through the meadows to the river. In summer there is also tennis on offer.
Fawsley Hall delivers very good value for money and to sample it in the most cost effective way, it's worth considering Fawsley's "Platinum Club" membership, which for under £200 offers a night's bed and breakfast stay for two Sunday-Friday including afternoon tea as well as discounted rates on food, drink, spa treatments and further stays, and room upgrades too.
Fawsley Hall: 01327 892000
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