Rest and relax on a winter hideaway ready for the spring

Winter can be feel like a very long few months and coming out of hibernation can be a struggle.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 4:54 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 4:56 pm
Whittlebury Hall

With spring just around the corner, we felt in need of some rest and relaxation to hideaway for a day or so at least.

On a beautiful sunny day we jumped in the car and 20 minutes out into the Northamptonshire countryside we arrived at Whittlebury Hall ready for our mini getaway.

We’ve been to Whittlebury Hall before for a friend’s wedding and it’s a beautiful peaceful setting, while my husband has enjoyed a round of golf or two there.

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I’ve also been on a spa day there with the girls which has a fantastic array of heat and ice experiences and indulgent treatments.

However we’ve never been to the hotel so we were excited to see what we’d find.

Car parking is easy and just a minute’s walk we were into the reception which was bright and modern.

Our Winter Hideaway package included three-course dinner in Astons Restaurant, overnight accommodation, Whittlebury Cream Tea, full English breakfast and use of the Leisure Club facilities which includes the pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

We could have used the Day Spa and booked treatments for an additional cost.

The reception staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming, making check in quick and easy.

Our room on the first floor was a standard room which was huge. With a modern interior, TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee tray and a safe, it was just perfect.

The view wasn’t anything special though, we overlooked a courtyard which had a marquee in it. Although there are club rooms and suites within the hotel and I imagine some have beautiful views over the golf course.

The bathroom was the biggest I’ve ever seen and included a large bath, separate shower and a double sink. It was spotlessly clean.

After settling into the room we heading to the lounge area, complete with open fire and large comfy sofas.

The best seats - by the roaring fire - were taken but there were plenty of sofas to choose from. All the coffee tables were laid out ready for afternoon tea.

The Whittlebury Cream Tea included warm home baked fruit scones with strawberry preserve and clotted cream with a choice of tea of coffee.

I don’t drink tea or coffee so they kindly replaced it with a indulgent hot chocolate which was a nice gesture.

The waiting staff looked after us very well and made sure everything was ok on a regular basis. We got three scones each! We could only manage two each but they were delicious.

We spent the rest of afternoon in the Silverstone bar which was brilliant to enjoy a few relaxing drinks. The rugby was on the TV and there was a good atmosphere.

The bar, which is covered wall to wall with an extensive collection of motor racing memorabilia, has a great selection of drinks and bar snacks.

Dinner was in Astons Restaurant and the dining room was packed when we arrived for our 8.30pm booking.

There were a lot of tables that were quite close together but we were at the back where there was a bit more space.

We started with a cold and crisp Sauvignon Blanc which was superb and the waiting staff - who were again very efficient - kept topping up our glasses.

For starters we chose the orzo pasta which included sundried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, grana padano and red pepper coulis. It was delicious and considering it was pasta, wasn’t too heavy for a starter.

My husband opted for the glazed goats cheese crottin with a beetroot and hazelnut crumb, which was equally as tasty.

For main course I had the cod fillet with sautéed potatoes, savoy cabbage and pepper salsa. It was a bit oily for my taste but I still enjoyed it.

My husband’s main course was fantastic - fillet of aged beef, croquette potato, shallot puree, confit cherry tomatoes and a tarragon and mustard sauce (£11.95 supplement for this dish). The quality was superb.

We shared a roulade for pudding with ice cream and finished our drinks back in the lounge with the open fire feeling very relaxed.

On Sunday morning we made our way to the leisure club in the hope of having a jacuzzi and swim. Unfortunately we were told the jacuzzi was out of action due to ongoing issues.

This was a real shame we were unable to use it as was really the main reason we’d got up early and perhaps this should have been mentioned to guests at the point of checking in - especially if it’s a long term problem.

Nonetheless we went for a swim which was very refreshing and the pool area is lovely with new rattan sunbeds with I could have fallen asleep on.

Breakfast was back in Astons and this time we were on a table just centimetres from the next one. It’s clearly a very popular hotel with lots of people to fit in so it’s understandable.

There was plenty of choose from including cereal, full cooked breakfast with all the trimmings, fruit, croissants and toast. Certainly a great start to the day.

Check out was quick and easy and we were sad to say goodbye to Whittlebury.

It was the perfect hideaway to rest and relax away from the busy outside world, although the complimentary wifi is a bonus if you don’t want to be too cut off!

The Winter Hideaway package costs £89 per person and is fantastic value for money and highly recommended.

It’s available Sunday-Thursday until the end of March.