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Hotel Highlights

  • Fabulous fireplaces, antique four-posters, period pieces stretching back centuries
  • Innovative fine dining in a beautiful restaurant
  • 2,000 acres of lush, rolling parkland

Overview

Fawsley Hall hotel – set on 2,000 acres of impossibly green grounds in Northamptonshire – is a 500 year-old dwelling that is a jumble of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian styles. However, due to careful attention over the years, these styles work surprisingly well together, creating a handsome boutique hotel in the country that wears its historic dress well.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Fawsley Hall with us:

A glass of champagne each

Facilities

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Fawsley Hall Hotel – Northamptonshire – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

58.

Check–out

11am. Extension to 12 noon is possible, subject to availability. Extension until 5pm (again subject to availability) costs £99–£212 depending on the room. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $186.92 (£113), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include full English breakfast and access to the spa.

Also

Don’t go home without whiling away some time in front of the one of the enormous Tudor fireplaces in the Great Hall – sup a moccacino while pouring over the papers perhaps, or peruse the incredibly detailed ‘Short History of Fawsley Hall’.

At the hotel

Spa with solarium and steam room, gym, tennis court, jogging trail, DVD/CD library, free WiFi throughout. In-room amenities: enormous beds, antique furnishings, minibar, Frette linen. Five rooms have DVD players.

Our favourite rooms

For full-scale queenly opulence, plump for the 1575 suite, a plush, historic, four-poster hideyhole named after the year Elizabeth I slept in it. Architecturally unchanged since her majesty snoozed here, the room is paletted in scarlet and cream, lit by two brass chandeliers and boasts a vast open fireplace and period stonework. Almost too indulgent. If you can’t bag 1575, aim for a room in the Georgian wing – the antique furniture is stunning.

Poolside

As well as the spa's indoor pool, there's an outdoor hydro pool overlooking the landscaped gardens.

Packing tips

Extra layers to stave off the chill of Fawsley Hall’s more draughty areas, and shoes for the all-weather tennis court (they’ve got rackets and balls to lend you).

Children

It’s a grown-up kind of place, but there are games and jigsaws to keep younger ones amused, and there are dedicated family swimming times at the indoor pool (9am–10am; 3.30pm–4.30pm).

Food & Drink

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Fawsley Hall Hotel – Northamptonshire – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The triple-AA-rosette Equilibrium restaurant offers an inventive modern menu. Be sure to secure your table when you book your room as seats here go like hot cakes. The week-round brasserie, Bess's, is less formal. 

Hotel Bar

Adjacent to the courtyard and linking the restaurant with the Great Hall, the Old Laundry Bar is a light and airy structure of wood beams and glass – the perfect place to savour one of Fawsley’s signature Sunday morning Bloody Marys.

Last orders

Bess's is open for lunch between 12pm and 2.30pm, and dinner from 7pm until 9.30pm. Equilibrium serves dinner between 7pm and 9.30pm (and is only open Thursday to Saturday). The bar slakes post-prandial thirsts until late.

Room service

24 hours.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxed and well manored.

Top table

If you’re visiting in winter, nab a table close to the amazing room-length fireplace.

Local Guide

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Fawsley Hall Hotel – Northamptonshire – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Althorp, the Spencers' ancestral seat and final resting place of Princess Diana is well worth a visit and is only 25 minutes away by car (www.althorp.com). On a grander note, Blenheim Palace (www.blenheimpalace.com) is a baroque wonderland of sweeping gardens and beautiful buildings. The hotel can arrange shooting days over the border in the Warwickshire countryside with Honesberie Shooting (www.honesberieshooting.co.uk).

Local restaurants

The Royal Oak  in nearby Eydon (01327 263 167) is an enchanting 17th-century inn where you can munch on great food in one of the little dining nooks then try your luck at pub skittles with the locals.

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Great, green Northamptonshire gardens

Fawsley Hall

Fawsley, Nr Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 3BA, United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is London Luton, an hour's drive from the hotel. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies in from all over Europe.

Trains

Northampton station is a 30-minute drive. Direct trains run from London in an hour.

Automobiles

The nearest motorways are the M1 and M40. The hotel is roughly half an hour from both Banbury and Northampton.

Reviews

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Fawsley Hall Hotel – Northamptonshire – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Lauren Rayner , Fly girl at Flight Centre blog editor

Let me tell you something about appropriate footwear. I’ve never owned a pair. At least, I’ve never had them within reach at a time that allows their appropriateness to matter. So it was with no surprise that I found myself on top of a Northamptonshire hill, up to my shins in mud, my pale grey plimsolls perfectly ruined. As a flock of disgruntled sheep moved in to inspect their interlo…
Read more

Fawsley Hall

Anonymous review by Lauren Rayner, Fly girl

Let me tell you something about appropriate footwear. I’ve never owned a pair. At least, I’ve never had them within reach at a time that allows their appropriateness to matter. So it was with no surprise that I found myself on top of a Northamptonshire hill, up to my shins in mud, my pale grey plimsolls perfectly ruined. As a flock of disgruntled sheep moved in to inspect their interlopers, I scanned the hill for the least perilous route back to the road, where the dry, mud-free rooms of Fawsley Hall waited.

We had come for a weekend of good food, spa spoiling and ill-prepared country walks. Arriving in Daventry, our cab had careened along the country roads at a speed usually reserved for Formula 1 drivers (perhaps the influence of the nearby Silverstone Circuit, or the fact that Lewis Hamilton was said to be a Fawsley guest the week before). Once we pulled into the estate’s gates we felt completely and satisfactorily in the middle of nowhere.

Surrounded by immaculate lawns, elderflower-fringed lanes and a knot garden so neat it looked as if it had been manicured with nail clippers, Fawsley estate was a vision of English charm – hey, the perennial grey sky only completed the picture.

A luxury hotel connoisseur by trade, my stand-in Mr Smith was eager to view our room and see how it stacked up. I assured him that if the helicopter coordinates in the hotel brochure were anything to go by, this was going to be a very grand weekend. Any concerns about Fawsley’s ability to live up to Mr Smith’s astronomical standards were immediately dashed – our room was a slice of Georgian elegance. A rather large serving at that – as we giddily performed the prerequisite room inventory, we virtually had to shout to hear each other. In fact, everything from the windows to the monstrous chandelier appeared to cater for Goliath-sized guests. Only the TV seemed to have missed its dose of growth hormones (although one assumes TV watching is not the preferred activity among Fawsley’s distinguished guests).

As Mr Smith inspected the bathroom (cavernous), I test-rode the room’s main feature: the gargantuan bed. It was so soft that I sank into its depths like you would a mountainous marshmallow. Thankfully, Mr Smith roused me before I was lulled to sleep – we had a dinner reservation, and he was hungry.

Arriving in Bess’ Brasserie was like transcending architectural time, as we stepped from the Georgian wing into the Tudor era. Less twee than you would expect of a country manor (‘Thank the Lord it’s not chintzy’ is how Mr Smith put it), the restaurant had a contemporary vibe with elegant vestiges of history. Clean olive walls offset ancient centuries-old oak beams; 16th-century portraits gazed out from modern silver frames. Even the grown-up piano music turned out to be a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman. It was as though we had slipped into a realm betwixt Tudor and today.

Our shared starter of baked Camembert with Italian charcuterie proved argument inducing, as we both struggled for the last of the delicious gloop. We moved on to separate mains: peppered hake with turnips, parmentier and red wine sauce for me, prestige line-caught fish of the day from Cornwall for him.

After dinner, sated and sauvignon blanc’d, we nightcapped – because it felt the sort of place one should – in the Great Hall. Any chintz-masters were clearly kept at bay when Fawsley Hall’s pièce de résistance was decorated – the hall is splendidly grand, equipped with bottom-swallowing armchairs, seven-foot candelabras and a dozen portraits of Queen Elizabeth I sporting variations of the same solemn smile. (Queen Bess was a Fawsley guest herself one night in 1575.)

Such impossible bed softness lends itself to lying in, and so it was with much regret that we peeled ourselves from its embrace the next morning. But – city folk that we are – we had a schedule to keep: a morning’s appointment at the hotel’s Grayshott Studio Spa.

Pampered, pummelled, body-wrapped and rose-infused, Mr Smith hit the gym while I zoned out in the garden’s hydro pool, mentally planning the afternoon’s activities. I had spied croquet hoops on the front lawn and was keen to attempt the quintessentially English sport. The game that ensued could be compared to a frenzied round of dodge ball with sticks – our inability to hit the balls at the appropriate velocity threatened both the sanctity of the guests’ cars and the nearby bride’s wedding-shot smile.

The reception staff (perhaps wanting to preserve their windows) suggested a walk to the Windmill Pub in nearby Badby. We embarked on ‘Knightly Way’ amble, following a series of country-style directions (‘head to the brow of the hill’, ‘follow the avenue of trees’), and so we found ourselves stuck in a field on the hill, my perfectly ruined plimsolls squelching mockingly in the mud.

‘Think how smooth your skin will be,’ Mr Smith offered as I berated my selection of footwear. Clearly the morning’s spa experience had opened his eyes to the beautification of mud. I wondered if any helicopter-owning guests might propeller out and pluck us from the field. No such luck.

As we squelched towards our waiting cab, the hotel manager appeared to wish us a pleasant journey and invite us to return. Of course we’d love to, we assured him. Except next time, I’ll pack some wellies.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Fawsley Hall from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The restaurant is amazing, but you will need to book in advance. The cream tea was a brilliant treat and my wife and I really loved the sSpa.

Don’t expect

To be honest, everything was very good. If I was nit picking I'd say that the cooked breakfast could do with a bit of work, We had breakfast brought to out room; don't know if that makes a difference.

Rating: 10/10 stars