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3 good reasons to visit Ettington Park Hotel

We've been before but it was so hauntingly good, we just had to go again.

Muddy Northants editor Anna-Lou hopped over the border to visit this top Warwickshire hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon- supposedly one of the most haunted in the UK…

Our stilettos have graced the hallways of Ettington and Stanbrook Abbey before and Hand Picked Hotels have always been a treat to visit (check out our Ettington review here) . In need of some R&R recently, a night away was swiftly arranged at Ettington because I knew the standard and chill factor was there. Also, with the ghostly rumour about this place being the most haunted hotel in the UK, we just had to go back and see if we could get a ghostly sighting this time.

History, architecture and setting

Described as a ‘Neo-Gothic mansion’ and built from six types of Cotswold stone, this place is quite awe inspiring. The beautiful architecture and historical quirks date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 and beyond. The house was home to the Shirley family back in the 19th Century and is now famous for its fine food and hospitality. The outdoors are a proper playground with nearby ruins, tree-lined paths and No Entry signs to keep up with the gothic appeal; all surrounded by 40 acres of parkland set in a verdant valley with the River Stout meandering through it.

The rooms and dinner deals

The Oak Room Restaurant and The Great Drawing Room are divine settings for any meal and, with private dining options, a trip can turn into a proper treat. The restaurant boasts a 2 AA Rosette award for culinary excellence and the dishes the chef creates use only the finest of local ingredients. The dining is a perfect mixture of refined and relaxed; I’d call it fine dining, but not formal; stately but not stuffy.

Their Romantic Getaway deal is great for making most of this gorg place in a short amount of time – getting to sample the fine food and the relaxing bedrooms. Expect Champagne, chocolates and an award-winner dinner, followed by a choice of breakfast in bed or enjoy the morning in the restaurant.  There’s even a late check-out at noon so you can snooze for a little longer. The prices vary depending on the date.

Have a peak at the sample menu below to see if anything tickles your fancy…

Location

Ettington is right in beautiful Warwickshire and not far from the home of Shakespeare. Situated just six miles from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon and just a few miles from the start of The Cotswold Way, it really is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of busy life. It sets you up for a weekend break in the Midlands, with easy access via the M40 and M42, there’s so much for you to explore. As it’s just a hop, skip and jump away from Northants, you feel like you’ve had a proper break but without the big trek. Alas, there was not ghouls to spot on this visit, but hey, it’s an excuse to go back a third time!

THE MUDDY VERDICT:

Good for: Family celebrations, secret rendezvous’, Champagne breaks and affordable mid week fun. Beautiful surroundings but unpretentious and inclusive service. For Northamptonshire folks, it’s close enough for painless travel, but far away enough to feel like you’ve had a proper break.

Not for: Party animals looking for a night of house music and skinny dipping. There’s no curfew or raised eyebrows at noise (we certainly cackled until the early hours), but it’s more of a coupley/friends type vibe than full on rave. Kids are more than welcome, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a kids hotel, or at least not very young kids who might need a lot of stimulation (mine seem to be happy with a good nosh up and free WiFi connection these days).

£££: Not bad for what you get, and there are always specials on. Cocktails for around the £11 mark and three course dinner for £29. Hand Picked Hotels do some great packages, always worth a gander!

Ettington Park Hotel, Alderminster, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8BU. Tel: 0845 072 7454 or 01789 450 123

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