Hampton Manor is a family run passion-driven hotel situated in the heart of England. This historic Manor built in 1855 is set in a 45-acre estate in the West midlands and recently launched as a design-centered restaurant with rooms.
The former estate of Sir Robert Peel, Hampton Manor launched in 2010 and celebrates the best in British craftsmanship while paying homage to the building’s 19th century history and has since won a pride of awards.
Arriving on a train from London to Hampton in Arden, I made my way on foot to the hotel. As soon as I stepped into the grand foyer, I instantly felt at home, almost as if I was stepping into my own manor, a feeling that the team hope to inspire via marriage of a homegrown ethos and the spirit of family and community.
Hampton Manor is a perfectly welcoming hotel, boasting a team of staff who are friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. After check-in I was shown to a comfortable space in the foyer while I waited for a cool drink. Built in the time of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, great attention, creativity and care has been poured into the design of the hotel. There is a serene creative ambience and a nod to Mid-Century Modern design.
The Rooms at Hampton Manor
Steeped in history, the team has looked to the Manor’s past to design the 15 Arts and Crafts inspired bedrooms named after someone who once owned the estate, from queens to musicians including Robert Peel, Ardene and Lord Mowbray. The rooms have been individually designed to reflect the hotel’s ongoing love affair with Morris and his nature-inspired patterns, brought to life in Morris & Co. wallpapers and fabrics. Innovative touches such as ladder bookshelves, commissioned furnishings and accessories from handpicked artists and makers, provide a unique identity for each room. The feature rooms all have big baths and separate showers.
Upon entering my room, George Fentham, I was greeted with a sumptuous lounge space and large bay window that overlooked the gardens, a huge bed to sink into and a large airy bathroom - perfect for endless hours of pampering. The extra touches in the bedroom were very welcoming, from the warm homemade cookies, fresh Has Bean coffee to grind and 100 Acres Apothecary toiletries, sourced locally.
Dine in Michelin-starred Peel’s
Peel's Restaurant won its first Michelin Star in October 2016 and it has also received its fourth AA-Rosette under current Head Chef Rob Palmer who sources the best seasonal, British produce and cooks it using modern techniques, putting the Manor on the map of Britain’s leading culinary hotels.
The collective feeling of the Manor is realised in the restaurant; at its centre a new oak dining table by revered local carpenter William Self, surrounded by dining tables, allowing parties to share a space yet maintain privacy in this comfortable wood panelled dining room.
Dinner begins with pre-dinner drinks served by the Makers Table or outside overlooking the hotel’s grounds. Both spaces are warmly informal and invite you to meet fellow diners or interact with the team and find out about the locally sourced sprits and wines.
Peel’s offers four or seven course tasting menus with each dish focused on just three main ingredients, giving them an honest simplicity. After an aperitif in the garden, I took my place in the comfortable dining room and enjoyed the seven course-tasting menu, each paired with a wine flight. The most memorable being the Duck Liver with Blackcurrant and Brioche, served with a Ramoro, Pinot Grigio Italy, an orange wine that ignited the flavours of the fruit and blurs the boundary between white and red, a truly adventurous taste. While the Smoked Eel with Kohlrabi and Samphire deals a fresh smokiness, perfectly teamed with the Kisi Amber, Pheasants Tears, Georgia - a smokey, mineral wine from Georgia that perfectly marries the smokiness of the course. A pairing that may just bring tears of joy for some. Two delectable sweet dishes rounded up the seven courses. I enjoyed the Raspberry with Skyr and Elderflower teamed with Antica Formula, Carpano - sweet vermouth and the Chocolate with Sherry and Vanilla teamed with Banyuls, France. An exceptional dining experience sealed by the knowledgeable and agreeable team and the head sommelier.
Guests looking for an extra special stay can experience The Tasting Room - the most sought after house in the table where in the comfort of a private dining room guests can be at the heart of the action while they watch the chefs at work.
The hotel also serves a fresh continental breakfast with warm dishes to order on request. I was shown to a seat in the gorgeous wooded panel dining room and tucked into a selection of cold fruits, yoghurt and ordered the classic cooked salmon and Eggs Benedict.
The wine and cocktails
The wine and Champagne list boasts natural, organic, and biodynamic wines and 25 Champagnes, 15 of those vintage, carefully selected by our Sommelier and Wine Director. Most of the wines on offer are made by small independent winemakers of England and Wales who know that healthy grapes make delicious wine.
The creative drinks team led by Luik have created a fresh and fun cocktail menu that contextualises the Manor and its love affair with William Morris. It’s not a secret, it is painted all over the walls, while the cocktail list celebrates his life’s poems and prints through the complete art of cocktail making. Dabble in a pre-dinner cocktail The Red House a marital mix of rhubarb gin ginger hibiscus and lime or the Icelandic Saga - a smokey concoction of Icelandic vodka, Reyna, smoke, or great, herbs from the garden and saffron.
Afternoon tea for foodies
The Manor offers afternoon tea but not as you know it - it's an afternoon tea fit for foodies. Hosted in the Parlour, Head Chef Rob has imagined his tasting menus for the afternoon; ‘Crab, XO Sauce’ and ‘Middle Pork, Black Pudding’ make way for ‘Chocolate, Sherry’ and ‘Parsnip, Whisky Raisin, Arlette’.
Hampton Manor invites guests to unwind with a selection of aromatherapy massages, facials and reflexology treatments at the Pamper Rooms, perfectly situated a short walk from the hotel and nestled in woodland.
Explore the estate
Wander Down to the Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden. First completed in 1891, this charming plot will soon become home to Peel’s Restaurant’s seasonal friends: beetroot, carrot, asparagus and tomato. Herbs are developed to garnish Loic’s cocktail creations, and hives erected to house the Manor’s honey bees. If it’s a little windy and wet outdoors, the hotel provides wellington boots & umbrellas.
Hampton Manor invites you to ‘share, taste and storytell’ , of which you will be sure to do at this fabulous hotel.
Rooms priced from £150 per night / £180 with breakfast. Tasting menus are priced as 4 courses (£75) and 7 courses (£95) available with wine flights also available at respectively £55 and £75 (Tuesday to Saturday 6:30pm - 9pm).
Hampton Manor is easy to reach from London. London Midland trains serve Hampton-in-Arden in 2 hours and then it is a 10-minute walk from the station. From Birmingham it is a 12-minute train journey.
A summary of our stay at Hampton Manor
A lord and lady of the manor type of building, The Lord Crewe Arms is perched perfectly in an estate village in the midst of the North Pennine Moors. Holding court over the honey stone village of Blanchland, it was crafted by plucky 12th Century monks headed for the Northumbrian hilltops in search of celestial isolation. Today, the building has been carefully blended with a 21st Century country manor, complete with exposed stone and original fireplaces mixed with modern ironwork candelabras, oil paintings and unexpected flights of stairs around various corners. It's a cosy hangout for those wishing to escape the humdrum of city life.
But creature comforts of our homes are extended here in the shape of individually decorated bedrooms. Reassuringly comfy, each offers the best beds, feather pillows and duvets that are hard to pull yourself away from come morning. Due to the isolation of this place, you are almost guaranteed a good night's sleep, and with complimentary home-made cookies and local fudge in each room, there's even less of a reason to leave in a hurry.
However, long gone are the days when most of us want to get away from it all and simply do nothing. The moors beg to be explored with adventures on two wheels, or by foot. And there is a plethora of activities to throw yourself into right on the doorstep.
Enjoy a cookery demo
Easing ourselves gently, we began our stay with a cookery demo at the old gatehouse, opposite the front of the pub. The open kitchen is used for regular cooking events and is adjoined by a private dining room.
Food is integral to the Lord Crewe Arms, so learning to make sourdough bread was an insightful exercise in learning about the country house's ethos on cooking almost everything from scratch. Chef Simon Hicks took us through the many stages of making the Crewe Sourdough. The laborious task takes no less than 14 days and I doubt I will be making that anytime soon! But a simple bread recipe we were given instructions for, has provided me more enthusiasm to roll up my sleeves and land a few fists in making the dough.
Continuing with the food theme, we were in food heaven. From afternoon tea in the Hillyard to dinner in Bishops, we were well fed at each sitting. The seasonal ingredients, as expected from a place like this, are plucked from countryside spoils and turned into punchy, robust, British dishes rich with flavour. Many of the crops come from the bottom of the garden and heavenly meats are often roasted in the gentle glow of the medieval fireplace daily. The most memorable of the feasts was the surprise dinner with a little taste of Hicks. All the dishes begged to be passed around to be shared and there was more than plenty to go around. The fish, the meat, the vegetables were all so good it was hard to single out any dish.
Take in a tipple at The Crypt Bar
The atmospheric, barrel-vaulted bar The Crypt is almost like the heart of the manor. Here you can expect to find locals and moorland travellers alike in the stone walled, fire and candle lit place gathering throughout the day for a drink and a chatter. There is a hearty stock of Northumbrian ales including a custom-made Lord Crewe Brew and for wine lovers there is a cracking list of wines. The Lord Crewe is incredibly dog friendly. You can bring your own or make a four-legged friend or two at this fascinating bar.
Explore the great outdoors
Outdoors are well looked after with free bikes, OS maps and compasses, wellies and a plethora of walking and cycling routes. But if you are in search of a walking guide, then look no further than Wild Dog Outdoors. Run by Sara and Kevin Robson, they offer tours for visitors who want to explore the history and culture of the North. With both on the doorstep of Lord Crewe Arms, Kevin walked us around the village from the church next door to the River Derwent revealing some of the fascinating stories that unfolded years ago in this part of the world.
The lawn at the back of the manor house is not only ideal for a drink in the summer or a spot for a picnic but can be turned into a place to work on your archery and axe throwing skills, with the help of local company Fury Events. We were treated to both just hours before we left to begin our journey home to London. "In order to shoot consistent and accurately place arrows you must maintain proper alignment throughout the shot." Those were the words of our trainer which echoed through my mind as I impressively delivered a good shot one after the other. However, I wish I could say the same for my axe-throwing skills. Trying to rotate the axe 360 degrees mid-air was something I just couldn’t get the grasp of. Out of a dozen tries, I just about managed one. Luckily it was the one I managed to capture on my phone for that all-important Instagram post.
Prices from £129 per night (based on two sharing and including breakfast).
*During my stay I was hosted by the lovely team at the Lord Crew Arms Blanchland. All opinions are my own.
Here you'll find our favourite accommodations from luxury hotels, to quaint B&Bs to fabulous cruise liners.
From cosy B&Bs to luxurious 5-Star accommodations, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing accommodations.