The Wordrobe heads to Hampshire for a weekend stay at the magnificent Tylney Hall Hotel…
At the end of a winding Red Wood tree-lined avenue awaits an outstanding example of architectural beauty. An impressive Victorian era mansion, Tylney Hall is a vast, sprawling hotel that emulates both the look and feel of an archaic palace.
From the bubbling fountain within its courtyard to the regal looking windows, it’s a building that aims to impress even as you approach its entrance.
To my delight, it’s just as charming on the inside as it is on the out. A Grade II listed building, Tylney Hall retains a sense of tranquility – even when its reception area is bustling with the arrival of new guests. Visitors are immediately brought back to an age that emphasised elegance and grandeur – from the ceiling walnut panelling to the impressive staircase that leads us to our awaiting room.
Staff are friendly, attentive and immediately welcoming – and despite Tylney’s size, it feels like you’ve stepped inside someone’s home.
No ordinary hotel, Tylney Hall has a rich and colourful history. Not only has it acted as both a school and hospital, the estate has even survived demolition. After once falling into the grasp of William Pole-Long-Wellesley, later 5th Earl of Mornington, the somewhat reckless homeowner actually demolished the original building.
He did so purely to escape the terms of the Trust and sell the standing timber on the site (which at the time was forbidden if trees were within sight of a house). Well, that’s one way to find a loophole.
Nowadays, the building remains strictly protected. Considered a property of considerable architectural and historical interest, Tylney Hall boasts 112 bedrooms with nine styles to choose from – all decorated in keeping with the hotel’s grand style.
We found ourselves in the comfort of a Mansion Junior Suite. Regal and refined, it was both spacious and comfortable – and the perfect place to unwind from the busy week beforehand. Expect a room that places emphasis archaic luxury rather than contemporary living – think vast windows boasting truly splendid views of the Hampshire skyline, high ceilings and magnificent period pieces of furniture.
All rooms in the hotel also come filled with little extras – from a hairdryer and trouser press to complimentary Molton Brown luxury toiletries and towelling bathrooms. It’s clearly a room that’s meant to be enjoyed – much like the rest of the country hotel.
Main meals are served in The Oak Room – a gorgeously decorated space that takes its name from the rich oak panelling that fills it. At breakfast and lunch, guests can enjoy unspoiled sights of the surrounding garden and lawns – before the room transforms at dinnertime for a more intimate, grand piano-accompanied affair.
The restaurant’s earned itself a reputation for serving exciting cuisine with a distinctly British twist – and is now seen a must-try for foodies of the South East. Executive Head Chef Michael Lloyd joined the team in 2016 – bringing with him a three AA Rosette background to enhance the hotel’s dining experience.
With a menu brimming with British modern cuisine, guests can choose from seasonal specialities and signature dishes – all paired with a carefully chosen wine list. We opt for a delicate starter of cold cut poached salmon with cucumber, crème fraiche, avruga caviar, potato and salad cream – then tuck into a filling main of pan fried fillet of stone bass. Substantial and sumptuous, our dishes were presented well, especially the appetiser.
Much like our room however, it was the extra attention to detail that made a lasting impression – from our friendly and knowledgable waiter to the gorgeous piano melodies that accompanied our feast.
What to do
If weather permits, an explore of Tylney Hall’s gardens is a must. Guests can wander down to the landscaped ponds to feed the hotel’s eager ducks, or stroll through the Italian gardens at a leisurely pace. The grounds make a wonderful setting for afternoon walks – with plenty of paths and sections to explore.
For those seeking a little more relaxation, grab a robe and head down to the hotel’s spa, pool and sauna. From perusing piles of magazines to lazing on lounge chairs, guests can soak, swim and chat the day away to their heart’s content.
Thoroughly content, we reluctantly pack our bags the next morning for a return to the bustling city. If you’re seeking a luxury escape from modern life, this is certainly the place to do it. Tranquil, traditional and full of charm – this country haven makes the perfect weekend break from reality.
Make it happen
Price: Rates for Mansion Junior Suites start from £322 per night. To make a reservation, click here or phone 01256 764881 Where: Ridge Ln, Rotherwick, Hook RG27 9AZ