Wivenhoe House, Wivenhoe
Set near the pretty quayside village of Wivenhoe, this beautiful 18th Century country house is just a few miles away from historic Colchester but offers the perfect bolthole if you’re looking for an indulgent weekend away
Dating way back to 1759, Wivenhoe House nestles in the beautiful grounds of Wivenhoe Park, and was immortalised in canvas by local artist John Constable, so you know you’re in for a treat.
Located within a few miles of Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, there’s plenty to see and explore in the area, from river walks and indie shops in the picturesque town of Wivenhoe itself, while just a bit further afield you’ll find the charming town of Dedham with its high street of Georgian-fronted houses. But that’s if you can drag yourself away from this grade II-listed beauty. Set in the private parklands of north-east Essex, with elegant lounges overlooking a restored sunken lawn, Wivenhoe House is pure period luxury.
The House has retained all of its historic grandeur – think twinkling chandeliers, intricate coving decorating the high ceilings, marble fireplaces and cascading curtains framing the huge floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the 200 acres of stunning grounds, parkland and countryside. The opulent lounges are at the heart of this four-star hotel where you can chill out with a book and a glass of something cheeky.
The 16 bedrooms in the main house also embrace the period features but are seamlessly combined with super-stylish mod-cons, such as walk-in rain showers. There are another 24 bedrooms in the ultra-contemporary garden wing, which is in stark contrast to the country house, but no less impressive. Again, the rooms are huge and lavish, with marble bathrooms, free-standing baths, wraparound balconies and panoramic views of the lush countryside.
If there’s anything that’ll tempt you from your room though, it will be the garden-wing of the newly decorated brasserie, serving strong British fare cleverly fused with modern design. Head chef Simon Morris’s culinary track record includes the Royal Academy of Arts, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Thames Yacht Club, so no surprise he’s fed a few Royals in his time. The super-fresh menu, which changes weekly, is matched with a well-chosen wine list alongside locally brewed beers, cocktails and mocktails.
If you have littlies with you (there are family rooms, so definitely an option), you may opt for the hotel’s famous afternoon tea served in the grand lounge of the main house. Best wear your elasticated pants though, as these are a real event in themselves – think freshly baked scones, dinky sarnies and pretty calorie-stuffed pastries.
Whether dining in the brassiere, taking tea in the lounge or enjoying your food al fresco on the recently renovated heated terrace overlooking the hotel’s famous cork oak trees (planted over 200 years ago by the former owner of the House, General Rebow), you’ll be spoilt rotten again with those beautiful views. And relaaax.
AND JUST FOR YOU… Quote ‘Muddy Stilettos’ when you’re booking and you’ll find a chilled bottle of Prosecco ready and waiting for you!
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3FA
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