If you are looking for a luxurious and sumptuous place to flee to this winter, we would highly recommend Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham. Romantic, full of charm and oozing with historical details, this hotel should be on your ‘must-visit’.
Described as a ‘pretty manor place’ in 1533 by the King’s Antiquary and in 1796 as ‘one of the greatest curiosities in the country’ by Samuel Rudder, Ellenborough Park’s position in the county’s archives dates back more than 500 years.
The hotel has a wonderful feeling of history and each room is adorned with glorious paintings, which convey a different story or aspect of the heritage. It was only in 2008 when this hotel was expertly restored and the hotel was carefully modernised to bring this little slice of the past into the present. Our room was beautifully elegant, with hints of history here and there to keep the theme of the past running through. Have a look for yourself
The Beaufort Dining Room
The Beaufort Dining Room is the hotel’s flagship restaurant. A charming space, the walls are dark wood covered and lit by subtle flickers of carefully placed lights. Once again, we felt firmly placed in the past – fantastic fun. However, one area where the food takes a necessary departure from history, is with a contemporary and modern menu. Designed by Welshman and Executive Head Chef David Kelman, the menu is a celebration of freshness, but with strong and well thought out modern techniques.
To start the meal I opted for king scallop and langoustine tortellini carrot purée, with winter vegetables and langoustine bisque. The dish was a seafood lovers dream. As the bisque was velvety and had a wonderful, rich langoustine flavour to supplement the tortellini, plus the scallop added a slight sweetness to redraw the balance of the dish.
Mains were also executed with aplomb. A 28 Day Hereford Cross beef fillet melted in the mouth and stood up perfectly to the creamed winter truffle potato purée tomato fondue and king brown mushroom. However, the 64 Degree Sous Vide Fillet of West End Farm Pork was the real star of the menu for us. This wonderful dish really celebrated the often misunderstood versatility of pork and provided a range of exquisite texture, thanks, in part, to the braised pork cheek pie.
Three Courses can be had in the Beaufort Dining Room for £55 per person.
Lady Ellenborough’s Bottomless Winter Picnic
For January and December only, you will also find a particularly unique and different take on afternoon tea.
Using decadent Valhrona chocolate fondue, this hands on afternoon tea offers you the chance to dip a choice of five different fruit, biscuit and cake dippers. Plus, and this might appeal to some readers, the fondue is accompanied by an unlimited winter warmer cocktail – a blend of wintery spices and spirits to warm the cockles. This is
served in the regal Great Hall, Ellenborough Park’s Tudor lounge and the centre of the hotel’s spectacular Christmas decorations. Although not for everyone, it was great to see such a unique spin on a classic and we enjoyed the experience. This unique afternoon tea costs £35 per person. Available every Thursday in December and January (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).
Ellenborough Park’s Secret Spa Retreat Package
Prices at Ellenborough park start from £189 B&B; however, we thought this spa package might offer a little more luxury and indulgence. It includes two spa treatments, dinner for two in The Brasserie and an overnight stay. Take some time out and relax with a 55 minute spa treatment each. Choose from a relaxing full body Aromatherapy Massage, enhance your skin‘s vitality with a Totally Tailored Facial, nourish hard-working hands with an Immaculate Manicure or restore tired feet with a Pristine Pedicure. Available Sunday to Friday from £375 per room. Book here.
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