Often, all you want from a stay at a country house hotel is some comfortable grown up luxury. Nothing too hipster – there’s enough of that in the big smoke. Somewhere not too far away, maybe with fine dining and a spa. Surely that’s not too much to ask for?
And this is where Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa comes in. One of the earlier Relais & Chateau properties, it’s an elegant AA 4 red star, 43 bedroomed manor house hotel in the Warwickshire Countryside, just outside Leamington Spa. Set in 10 acres of grounds, beautiful original mullion stone paned glass windows, overlooking a quintessentially English country garden with natural stream and rose garden. The perfect location to play Lord and Lady, if only for a night.
Generously proportioned, but not quite a suite, looking at the website I couldn’t actually tell you for sure which of the room hierarchy we had. Which I feel must be indicative of a consistent high standard. Being a coffee addict I’m always thrilled when I see a Nespresso machine in my room – although to be honest, I’m finding these days it pretty much comes as standard in luxury hotels. One thing that isn’t though, is complimentary soft drinks in the mini-bar. So often upon arrival you’re spoilt with a bottle of wine or champers (just me?!) yet you’ll be rinsed (pun intended) by the water. Which kind of stings a little when you’re a teetotaller like me who doesn’t take advantage of the gifted plonk. Anyway – here at Mallory Court Hotel & Spa, the soft drinks in the mini-bar are complimentary. A nice little touch I only learnt of as we checked out.
The rather, errr…jazzy red tiled bathroom in our room looked a little dated, but somehow kind of works. In an ironic way. As did the ‘vintage’ CD player with collection of easy listening CDs. Or you can always call reception to bring a box of DVDs to the room, Del Boy style, so you can select some nostalgic 90s viewing pleasure. Point Break anyone?
Another vintage bedroom worth checking out while you’re here is the Blenheim Suite. It’s not advertised, as the original layout from when Mallory Court was a family home means there isn’t a toilet in the ensuite. It’s a little along the corridor. And with original features such as exposed piping (not the trendy type), it feels a little like stepping back in time.
For more exploring, I encourage you to take a wander through the grounds to see a wealth of produce growing in the box hedged and wild kitchen gardens. From figs and soft fruits to herbs, salads, root vegetables and more exotic and hard to grow offerings such as artichokes and asparagus. Organically grown, seasonal produce which is evident in the menu lovinging created by Head Chef Paul Evans, who has been deservedly awarded 3 AA Rosettes. Almost inspiring me to start an allotment. (I said ‘almost’). For now though, I am happy to enjoy the fruits of the another’s labour…
In the cosy oak panelled restaurant guests chatter in hushed tones to the accompaniment of a pianist. A roaring fireplace, real silverware on crisp linen tablecloth. Creating a reverent atmosphere for a menus are bursting with fresh seasonal flavours and modern British flair. The stand out for me being the generously sized starter – a simultaneously rich velvety creamy and sweet pea soup. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can illicit much pleasure.
Back in the same room for breakfast, the mood is still hushed, for an impressively extensive offering for such an intimate (45 room) hotel. Including a posh fry up starring a nutty vegetarian black pudding from the menu. And from the buffet – a tart fresh berry compote which I enjoyed with a dollop of thick creamy Greek yoghurt.
The Elan Spa at Mallory Court was for 10 years, the first spa built in Warwickshire. Then to keep up with the Joneses, re-opened 16 months ago with state of the art facilities unrivalled by any other spa in the area. Tucked amongst the trees in Mallory’s grounds, we wandered across in robes, from the main hotel, to enjoy the hydro pool and salt rock sauna, before venturing outside to the ‘vitality’ hot tub and Finnish style sauna situated on the patio. Allowing for some thermal therapy while gazing over quintessential English gardens. What more can you want from a night away at a country house hotel?
Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa
Royal Leamington Spa
Photo credit | Paul Selvey | Instagram: @lovewanderlost