Hambleton Hall is a Hotel break that will steal a piece of your heart and keep it safe for when you return…
What is it: Country Town House Hotel
Where is it: Oakham LE15 8TH
Restaurant: Hambelton Hall has the longest retained Michelin Star in the UK (it’s held it since 1982.)
Bedrooms: 15 rooms and 2 suites
Ideal for: A romantic getaway, a place to relax
Sometimes a Hotel is so quintessentially charming, so unique and special that it just captures your heart and becomes a part of you. A part of you that you never want to forget and that makes you feel as though that tiny part of you will always be held there. It’s a part which makes you wish to never leave and when you do, instantly plan to come back. Hambleton Hall is one such establishment and buried deep between its stone walls is an interior which is cosy and comforting, warm and inviting and undeniably beautiful.
Set in the brooding Rutland countryside surrounded by a myriad of walking routes, farmland, forestry and a large lake it’s a location for utter tranquillity and the chance to be at one with nature with a comfortable bed and cosy home to return to for the evenings.
We visited in Autumn and a carpet of burning-coloured leaves littered the floor to the front courtyard it only added to the charm. The Hotel itself is an elegant country house dating back to 1881 and as you step inside you really do feel like you have stepped into a bygone era. The staff are quick to greet us and take our bags to our room, leading us to their main lounge for a cup of tea and some lunch away from the cold. A deep red fire burns in an elegant period-style fireplace, its flames licking the hearth and sending a cosy glow throughout. Soft autumn light seeps languidly through large windows revealing the tumbling gardens beyond and gentle classical music plays.
We indulge in a lunch of toasted sandwiches which we eat by the fire and a cup of tea (with fresh tea leaves of course) before heading upstairs to check out the room. The hotel holds just 15 bedrooms and two suite rooms- each distinctively styled – and each with their own personal touches and beautiful views. The room exudes a historic grandeur yet in no way feels dated. It encapsulates the charm of the past and creates a haven of tranquillity and a space to truly relax and rejuvenate. The bed is plush and comfortable, the head sinks effortlessly into soft pillows and the duvet wraps around you like a giant hug. The bathroom continues the theme and is modern with classical touches and indulgent toiletries. A nice deep bath and his and hers sinks make for ideal finishing touches.
Dining at Hambleton Hall is an experience in itself and if you can’t make the overnight stay it is well worth it as a gastronomical treat. The setting is elegant and indulgent, with flickering candles, flowers in vases and stunning views of the gardens. Michelin star chef Aaron Patterson and his highly skilled team work with a range of exceptional ingredients which are locally sourced where possible and the dishes change over the seasons.
This is a menu which is as beautifully presented as it is tasting. Lightly smoked fish, beautifully seasoned chicken, gently charred vegetables, sprinklings of cracked pepper, fresh sea salt and garlic. Flavours are evident in each and every dish, a gentle marrying of utter deliciousness which teases the tastebuds and leaves you wondering just how anyone can create such culinary perfection.
From the starters to the main to the desserts, each and every course is perfectly thought out. A highlight of the meal was the chef’s famous Hambleton apple dessert – a combination of apple and blackberry compotes, laced with Calvados and crème de mure and paired with apple sorbet and a golden crumb. The sugar dome centre piece is breathtaking (and almost too good to eat!)
The service at Hambleton Hall is second to none. The waiting staff are attentive, helpful and friendly and the wine connoisseur exemplary in his knowledge of the bottles of offer. Dining at Hambleton Hall is an experience to never forget and one you will find it impossible to. You’re left feeling full, content and wishing the experience could continue for hours to come.
It’s well worth taking a walk to the lake and through the forest – the Hotel offers wellington boots for you to borrow if the weather is bad and bikes to hire. Ask reception for a map and they can point out some of the best routes for you to explore.
When it comes to hotelling Hambelton hall is one you cannot miss. It encapsulates all you could want in a break away and so much more. Aspects you never quite realised were missing in other hotels are all evident here. You know instantly you are somewhere special and somewhere made for relaxing where you will be taken care of from the moment you arrive to the moment you have to leave. For your next anniversary, birthday or weekend away look no further. You won’t be disappointed.
Seen in the City was hosted by Hambleton Hall, a member of Pride of Britain Hotels, a memberof Pride of Britain Hotels’ collection (never more than 50 hotels, to guarantee quality and exclusivity). Overlooking Rutland Water, the Victorian country house hotel has 17 individually-decorated bedrooms, a restaurant led by Michelin-starred chef Aaron Patterson and its own bakery. An overnight stay costs from £290 per room (two sharing) including use of the outdoor pool (April to September) and a morning newspaper.