Down Hall, Essex, October 2011

by Emma Bumpus on November 3, 2011

Palatial, elegant and “heart stopping” were my first thoughts driving into the grounds of Down Hall. Delighted to be staying in a fantasy”palace” gave us just the excitement needed for an autumnal half term break.

After a tour of the impressively historic mansion adorned with sweeping staircases, historical paintings and antique looking artefacts we checked in for afternoon tea.

To the delight of the children, tiers of freshly cut sandwiches, accompanied by darling little cakes, gave us a welcoming and traditional feel often associated with a country house hotel.

Added touches such as the glass of champagne and hot chocolate, for the little ones, gave us just the impetus to explore the “important bits” such as the restaurant, play room, tennis courts, spa, sauna and of course swimming pool!

Impressed with the space and facilities, we checked in our family VIP room to find ourselves in a bright, spacious and sumptuous room with an atmospherically “historic” and “regal” feel. With a window overlooking what can be only described as the palace playground of mother nature, we struck lucky with a real “room with a view”!

Like puppies, the children ran around the magnificent grounds of outstanding beauty, capturing the essence of life in a 16th century historic mansion. Beautifully landscaped gardens surrounded by 110 acres of woodland made this location a perfect antidote to the traditional autumn/winter “blues”.

In photographers heaven, I indulged my thoughts of film shoots, weddings and all things glamorous as I observed the architecture of this spectacular building. Intoxicated by the pleasures of historical beauty we felt compelled to do the spa/swim “thing” before revisiting our state of “mindfulness!”

In a conservatory like setting the pool gave us garden views, creating a roman bath atmosphere amidst the steam of the spa and sauna. Feeling energised, refreshed and uplifted we revelled in the friendly and informal ambience within the walls of this majestic mansion, featuring ornate ceilings and grand interiors.

A game of snooker in the play room gave us ample time to prepare for dinner and demolish the anticipated heavenly desert of chocolate brownie dusted with peanuts, served with Chantilly cream. A further stroll around the hotel and grounds indulged our rights to “feeling royal” for a day before retiring to our chambers!

As the children slumped in their beds, worn out by the excitement of staying in their own palace, the adults, in true “king and queen” spirit, luxuriated in a further dose of mindfulness at the mercy of a night cap a la room service!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

North London Mums November 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Did the rest of the post disappear? Would love to read more about this hotel. Sounds lovely!

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Emma Bumpus November 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm

whoops, think i forgot to click the publish key! Have a look at the rest of the blog now, hope you enjoy it and look out for my forthcoming Christmas features! Kind regards.

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