You may or may not be wondering why I have been quieter than usual on the blogging front for the last year or so. This is because since last September I have been slogging away, hard at work, undertaking teacher training course, something which is finally (at last!) coming to an end. To celebrate this, Jack and I fancied a trip away to a luxurious location, in this case, The Wood Norton hotel in Evesham. My parents actually visited the hotel a few years ago whilst they were touring the Midlands, and had returning home raving about how lovely their stay had been. With such good reviews and high expectations, we were excited to experience the place for ourselves! On the 28th of May, we packed our bags and made our way to the train station in Reading. After a quick and easy train journey, we arrived at our destination and were ready to start our bank holiday break.
Located just 10 minutes away from the quiet town of Evesham in the Cotswolds, The Wood Norton is a peaceful retreat for those wanting to spoil themselves with a luxurious getaway. Located in Shakespeare Country between English gems such as Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon, and hidden deep within the Cotswolds, The Wood Norton provides a perfect base for those wanting to explore the beautiful scenic views of some of the most breath-taking parts of the UK. Its location means that the hotel provides guests with a multitude of country walks, and the opportunity to relax in the peaceful surroundings of the area.
Established in 1897, the building was erected by French royalty, having been exiled during the French Revolution. The building has an air of French grandeur about it, with original features such as the Duke’s bathroom still remaining. The French Fleur de lis can be found all around the building, engraved into its beautiful oak panelling. The hotel also boasts an impressive tradition French garden, designed by English Heritage, which was perfect for relaxing in.
We arrived at the hotel early afternoon following a short taxi ride from Evesham station. The transfer was no trouble at all and the fare very reasonably, especially considering the fact it was a bank holiday. As we drove into the hotel complex, we wound up the driveway which followed a large stone wall. It felt like we were entering someplace very grand indeed! As we continued up the driveway the wall gradually got smaller and we were soon greeted by our first view of the hotel itself. It looked incredible as we pulled up next to it, and there was a real feel of grandeur about it.
Outside the hotel’s entrance was a pretty fountain, which glistened and shone brightly in the afternoon sunlight. Around the driveway there were views of the surrounding countryside; rolling hills as far as the eyes could see. We unpacked our luggage from the taxi and entered the building, slowly soaking up our surroundings and taking in the regal air that came with the building. As we reached reception, we were warmly greeted and in no time at all we were checked in and were directed up to our room that awaited; room 102 – the Hallett Suite.
The Hallett Suite
After leaving the reception and making our way up the grand wooden staircase, we found ourselves on the first floor. To our right was the Duc’s bathroom, with its original features such as mosaic floor tiles and bathtub (if you can call it that) still intact. After a quick peak inside we continued down the wood panelled corridor to our room which was beckoning to us.
Tying in with the rest of the decor, the door to our suite was large and wooden, with some pretty metal detailing around the lock and handle, which added to the feel that came with the hotel. As we turned the key in the lock and opened the grand door, we were greeted with yet another surprise – potentially the largest bedroom I have ever seen!
The suite comprised of a giant king-sized bed, covered in beautifully soft down covers and pillows. In front of the bed was my favourite part of the room – a huge bay window, with a carved crest into the wood, and which provided a wonderful view out onto the gardens below. By this window was a small table and two armchairs, the perfect spot for enjoying a moment’s peace and quiet with a nice cup of tea.
To the left of the bed and around the corner by the entrance was the room’s wardrobe, which offered plenty of room to hang items, or to store suitcases away. There was also a cupboard in which we found two fluffy bathrobes plus slippers, along with tea and coffee making facilities with biscuits, which it did not take long for us to open and consume! Within the room was also a chest of drawers, desk-come-makeup station, and on the far wall, a grand original fireplace.
Within the room was a large cubicle, located behind the bed, which housed the modern bathroom. This made up just under a third of the room, and was the perfect size for a hotel bathroom. Inside was a huge rainfall shower, equipped with all the necessary Molton Brown products that one would expect in such a fine establishment.
The room in short was perfect, and was exactly what we needed to enjoy a romantic weekend away.
The Fleur de Lys Restaurant
When the evening came, we decided to get an early dinner at the hotel’s main restaurant, The Fleur de Lys. We made our way down, and had a bit of a wander around the building and gardens as we went. The garden was really beautiful, almost like something out of Downton Abbey, with places to sit and enjoy the views. There was a multitude of different flowers and other plants, all perfectly positioned so as to please the eye as much as possible. The garden ended atop of the wall we saw on our way in, which lead to yet more beautiful views of the surrounding Cotswold countryside.
The restaurant sat just on the rim of this garden, and so after a stroll (and hundreds of photographs) we made our way inside for something to eat. The restaurant was very elegant and we were pleased to be offered a table by the window.
Looking at the menu, I was torn between multiple choices. There were classic dishes, such as fish and chips, but seeing as though we were in a French themed restaurant and hotel, I decided to go for a duck dish.
Jack on the other hand decided to ignore the cultural side of things, and went for the Wood Norton burger. This particular burger was immense, and I doubted a single human could even finish it. However, Jack managed to get it all eaten and claims it was the best burger he’s had in a very long time.
My meal was also delicious and the duck was cooked beautifully. After our mains, we decided to (naturally) go for a dessert. I opted for a selection of ice cream; pistachio, chocolate and vanilla.
Jack on the other hand, went for a dark, creamy chocolate mousse, which came with a scoop of rum & raisin ice cream (my favourite). As his girlfriend, I reserve the right to steal any sweet things that he orders, and relished digging into his rum & raisin ice cream.
Following the loveliest sleep ever, we awoke quite late on Bank Holiday Monday. Sadly we were greeted by the sight of grey clouds and rain as we opened the curtains but we were not going to let that spoil things. We kicked off the day by heading down to breakfast, and indulging into the splendour of the restaurant yet again. We both chose to go for a full English, featuring the classic bacon, eggs, hash brown combo. This was equally as nice as the dinner, but also meant that we were nearing the end of our stay.
Although our time at the Wood Norton was brief, it left an incredible impression. We could not fault any aspect of it, from the beautiful rooms and food, to the excellent service that we received at all times. This hotel seems like something out of a fairy-tale, and if you want a romantic getaway I wouldn’t look any further than the Wood Norton Hotel. It really will blow you away.
My stay at The Wood Norton was complimentary in exchange for this hotel review. All views expressed are genuine and my own.