By TMA Howe
Just off the A1 in Northumberland, not too far north of Morpeth and hidden amongst the trees along a narrow country lane sits Eshott Hall. There has been a hall and tiny hamlet here since way back in the 14th century, and the Hall as it stands today was purchased by Robert and Gina Parker in 2010 who have since created the magnificent boutique hotel that I had the pleasure of visiting recently while exploring the region.
As you walk in through the front door, the Hall appears as you would have imagined it to be when occupied by previous owners down the centuries – the lounge to one side and library to the other with an elegant staircase ahead of you. Upstairs there are a selection of tastefully designed luxurious bedrooms with wonderful views over the 70 acre grounds. Each bedroom has an equally splendid bathroom with sunken baths or walk–in showers. Our room had a huge bath in the bedroom for two to relax in the beautiful surroundings.
Once fully relaxed, guests can dine in one of the two restaurants. Whilst in the comfort of the lounge pondering over the pleasing menu with its selection of meats and fish, we were served a delicious canapé selection of a prawn cocktail and carrot and coriander soup. Whilst that may conjure up an image of a 1970s glass dish with a few prawns and some iceberg lettuce covered liberally with a Marie-Rose sauce, this was far removed from that image, and an ideal teaser of what was to come.
Tasteful dining at Eshott Hall
We were seated in the smaller of the two dining rooms, as tastefully finished as the rest of the hotel, and very soon our starters arrived. I had chosen the signature starter of crab and prawn tortellini with sautéed samphire and crab bisque. This was followed by the pan-fried halibut with a lobster and crab fricassee, served with buttered asparagus and cockled cream sauce. Dessert was a tough choice but in the end I plumped for the cheese and biscuits with a nice glass of Malbec. I was not disappointed by any of the dinner, as well as tasting superb, the presentation was meticulous.
One of the issues I often find with hotels in older properties is the sound of creaking floorboards above and adjacent to the room. At Eshott Hall, I had one of the best night’s sleep in a long time. No artificial light from streetlights, no traffic noise, just peace and quiet. Breakfast the following morning was local kippers – I expected Supertramp to be playing in the background when selecting my food, but just the gentle tones of Classic FM accompanied breakfast.
I had a wonderful stay at Eshott Hall and would highly recommend it when visiting the north of England. A visit that was made all the more memorable for the attention and warm welcome we received from General Manager Margaret Livingstone-Evans and her team. An exceptional luxury hotel experience, and exceptional hospitality.
TMA Howe is Luxury Globe Media’s UK Automotive Editor, and a passionate travel guy.