High class at Hampton Manor
When I got the invitation to Hampton Manor it would be an understatement to say I was EXTREMELY excited! It’s a venue I have often talked about to visitors and event organisers, yet I had never visited this stunning hotel.
Though I knew a lot of information about the venue, nothing can compare to visiting it in the flesh. Myself, and my colleagues Steph, Maya and Clare made a seamless trip to the quaint village of Hampton-in-Arden, the location for this historic building just outside of Solihull.
Well, for anyone looking to offer family, friends or clients the wow factor, Hampton Manor certainly does that in spades when you pull up on the drive! The whole car simultaneously said ‘Oh my gosh!’ at this wonderful hotel and its surrounding grounds.
This magnificent building certainly delivered, exceeding my high expectations. As we drew towards the hotel, which looks like a castle, our excitement intensified - would the interior be as grand? After 5 minutes of taking photos from the outside we pushed open the large wooden doors. Inside I was immediately struck by a fabulous sight, it was classic without being dated and had a real feeling of original independence, this was no chain hotel! The most amazing thing to notice in the reception area is a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling, but as with everything in this hotel it was the perfect mixture of classic with a modern twist.
We received a warm welcome from Alice, one of the hotel owners, and given a detailed tour. Their food facilities were second to none with a variety of dining areas and options including private. Their events space was probably my favourite room. The spectacular space, used for conferences, weddings and many other events has a wide atrium glass roof reaching across the building, in what we were told are the old stables.
The bedrooms were equally impressive; each room individually designed with a creative and quirky use of the space. All were spacious and classic, with a luxury feel and some killer bathtubs; I could happily see myself in one these with a glass of bubbly. Each room we entered was followed by the response ‘AMAZING’ as the attention to detail was on point.
After the tour we were invited to have a drink and dine in the restaurant. I enjoyed one of their fabulous French Martinis whilst taking in the beautiful decor of the lounge room, here guests can enjoy a drink and afternoon tea. We perused the interesting menu, two members of the party were vegetarian, but had no trouble selecting from the offering, we were a very happy bunch.
We were led through to the grand restaurant, the subtle lighting and atmosphere instantly made us feel at ease and excited for the culinary delights in store. Before our courses arrived we were presented with some very tasty treats. Firstly bread with 2 types of butter, all of which were delicious and gave me a real appetite for the starter. However, another new course was placed in front of me, we all looked perplexed at each other, only to be told it was an “amuse bouche”. We knew then this was no normal hotel restaurant, this was fine dining at its best. Though I wasn’t quite sure what I was eating, it was amazing! A smooth light mousse/foam, my enjoyment of it was unfortunately short-lived, as I scoffed the lot in under a minute. I was ready for my starter!
I went with the pork belly and langoustine, it was a great choice, the pork was succulent and had a crisp crackling on top and the langoustine was perfectly cooked. I’d never have thought to put these two creatures together, but the combination was spectacular. All the dishes were expertly constructed and the presentation was elegant and creative.
We moved on to the mains and I had ordered lamb with ricotta gnocchi. Lamb is my favourite meat, so I was pretty excited, though I was worried I would be jealous of Clare’s beef. I need not have worried as my lamb (of the rack variety) was pink, juicy and extremely tasty and to top it off Clare let me have some of her tender beef, bonus!
After bread and three courses I was starting to feel pretty full, but it would have been sacrilege not to sample one of the puddings - I had watched them pour out the kitchen. I decided to go with the ‘Jelly and Ice Cream’. This sounded simple but I knew with the gastronomic geniuses in the kitchen, it would be anything but. Again I was confronted with a new sweet amuse bouche. It was coconut foam/cream with spiced pineapple; it was a refreshingly light dessert and got my taste buds ready for more sweet delicacies.
After our pre-pudding we were invited to finish our meal in the Tasting Room. Here you could enjoy a meal in private surroundings whilst peering into the kitchen through a window. We certainly felt like VIPs and it’s a great option if you’re looking for something for a special occasion. I watched my ‘Jelly and Ice Cream’ being made in the kitchen, and when it arrived it was incredible. The jelly had macerated rhubarb topped with a few types of ice cream, and I don’t mean flavours I mean textures, unlike anything I have ever eaten before. I did have my eye on the chocolate pudding as well which Clare and Maya had, it was probably the prettiest looking meal on a plate I have ever seen.
Then, that was it, we were finally finished after our eating marathon evening, and what an evening it was. We felt very spoilt thanks to the food and wonderful service from the friendly and helpful team.
We needed to leave, Steph asked if we were allowed to go, of course the team laughed as they got our coats and we set off on our way in a sleepy state.
That Tuesday evening I was sold on this beautiful hotel and have already decided if any man is brave enough to take me on, I want my wedding at Hampton Manor, Dad you’d better start saving!
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