Weekend: Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich
An evening away from reality can work wonders for your inner peace.
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I left our home comforts in Essex in exchange for a Grade 2 listed boutique hotel, set in the relaxed Ipswich countryside. Part of the Milsoms group, Kesgrave Hall offers a very charming welcome - a fabulously white manor house surrounded by acres of beautiful open lawns - that encourages you to forget all your worries and surrender to the calm.
On entering Kesgrave Hall, it is evident that this is not just your average hotel. Modern and luxurious but sprinkled with colourful personality, Kesgrave Hall boasts 23 en-suite bedrooms and is perfect for those who prefer an intimate hotel setting that still has plenty of wow-factor.
After a very warm welcome in the lovely open reception area, we ascended the curving staircase and were shown to our room. We were booked into one of Kesgrave's TOP rooms and boy, was it worth it! Complete with a super-kingsize bed, matching his-and-hers sinks, a gorgeous walk-in shower and a free-standing bath tub, we were in for the perfect night in.
As soon as we stepped into the room, it was apparent that appearance is very important to Kesgrave Hall. Dotted all around the room are gorgeous contemporary fixtures, fittings and swanky lampshades and it was immaculately clean. With complimentary wifi, soft drinks, teas and biscuits, as well as a full Sky HD TV package, it was a wonder that we ever made it out of our room!
With plenty of time to spare before dinner, it was time to lather up with the Aromatherapy Associates toiletries and enjoy the impressive (and rather romantic) bathing facilities. As soon as we were polished to perfection, we headed downstairs to see what delights were on the menu tonight.
The restaurant provides a relaxed setting for drinks or dining and is open all day. Our table was located in the main dining area, where we could watch the chefs working away through the open kitchen. The service, however, is slightly odd, as there are order pads on each table for you to write down your table's order and hand it over to the waiting staff.
After perusing the menu, we opted for scallops and beef carpaccio for starters. Each dish was crafted beautifully and cooked to perfection. For mains, we were tempted by the beef feather blade and sea bass with additional portions of triple-cooked chips and seasonal vegetables. Although a little too buttery for my taste, the sea bass was delicious and the composition of the dish was delightfully interesting. To finish the show, we treated ourselves to the chocolate ganache and strawberry cream torte and croissant bread and butter pudding. The chocolate torte was perfection; not too heavy and complimented beautifully by the strawberry cream (and additional strawberry ice cream). Tastebuds tantalised and stomachs pleasantly full, we were ready for bed.
Sea bass with wild rice
Chocolate ganache and strawberry cream torte
The following morning, breakfast was served in the main restaurant. Guests can help themselves to a lovely continental selection of cereals, fruit, pastries and juices while hot food orders are prepared by the chefs. Our breakfast experience at Kesgrave was relaxing, filling and the perfect way to start the day.
Overall, Kesgrave Hall is a lovely boutique hotel with a contemporary and luxurious approach. Complete with friendly staff, a comfortable hotel room and delicious food, your stay will offer refreshing respite from everyday life.
Room prices start from £135 with special package deals available throughout the year.
Tel: 01473 333741