By Rob Daniel
Set deep in the heart of glorious ‘Constable Country’, where rural Essex meets Suffolk, this gem of a country-house hotel provides the perfect escape from city life. Built in the 19th Century, the grand old house has been thoughtfully modernized with a genuine style. Each of the 12 bespoke bedrooms has been named after one of our nation’s great poets, but given a contemporary twist, so for us it was the Tennyson room with a subtle ‘Beatles Sgt. Pepper’ theme.
The king-sized double, with en-suite bathroom & our own private balcony were reason enough not to leave our luxurious room but the outdoor pool beckoned. Now swimming al-fresco in the middle of February may seem a little crazy but with the water heated to pleasant 85 degrees it was a joy. And having it followed by a soak in the hot-tub, then a glass or two of wine, whilst seated around the roaring log fire – we could have been mistaken for thinking we were enjoying a Scandinavian summer break!
To dinner, and the first class hospitality continued with a chauffer-driven Range Rover on-hand to take us to the award winning Le Talbooth Restaurant.
From poached baby monkfish to dry-aged local beef Rossini, the menu provides classic dishes with a contemporary style using the very best fresh, local produce.
All too soon, after a perfect nights sleep and delicious breakfast, it was time for us to leave. We hadn’t had a chance to try the Spa, Treatment rooms or Tennis court. But we will be back – soon – and if you’re looking for a place to stay out of London, I would strongly recommend that if you are ever headed into ‘Constable Country’, you book yourself in for a night or three (!).
Maison Talbooth, Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HN.
An overnight stay costs from £210 per room (two sharing) and includes full English breakfast.