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Hawkstone Hall And Gardens: Escape to the Shropshire Hills

Nestled in a tiny Shrewsbury village on the borders of the Shropshire and Cheshire borders is the magnificent Hawkstone Hall and Gardens.

Luxury Hotel In Shropshire

Disclosure: We were hosted by Hawkstone Hall however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie. This article also contains affiliate links whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my disclosure policy here.

This renovated monastery steeped in history completely takes your breath away on first sight. A drive through the automatic gates on a 1.5 mile narrow road meanders past a golf course, through woods and onto incredible views of the surrounding rolling fields and beyond to the Welsh valleys. Anticipation on overdrive, the imposing 18th century manor house finally comes into view.

Greeted at the car by a butler in tailcoats and relieved of our luggage. You can help but think you’ve accidentally stumbled onto the set of Downton Abbey. Step through the grandiose double doors, smiles and glasses of bubbles await. There are no check in desks, instead you’re settled on sumptuous sofas in the equally grand reception area.

History of Hawkstone Hall

Originally built as a stately family home for a wise and caring man, a former Mayor of London and good friend of Henry VII – Rowland Hill. The estate became the ancestral seat of the Hill family for more than 300 years.

It changed hands and had many guises over the course of time from a convalescence home for injured soldiers, to a decadent party pad for the wealthy and privileged. In the 1920s the estate was bought by the Redemptorists, Roman Catholic missionaries, who turned Hawkstone Hall into a seminary for spiritual renewal.

Changing hands for only the fifth time in its history in 2017 Hawkstone Hall was bought by The Distinctly Hospitable Group. Opening its doors after a multi-million pound, two and a half year renovation as a luxurious hotel.

The Grounds

Set in 88 acres of picturesque gardens, James the House Manager zoomed us around on a private buggy tour of the grounds. Past apple orchards, rose gardens, a croquet lawn, ancient cemetery, secret garden, original 18th century lily pond and a river which he excitedly informed us had been restocked with new fish.

The expansive grounds are ideal for extravagant corporate events, yoga and fitness retreats, and memorable celebrations regularly hosted by the hotel.

Hawkstone HALL

Our tour continued inside discovering all the elegant spaces guests can enjoy on their stay. An unexpected airy Winter Garden built in the 19th century with huge double aspect windows is dotted with metal seating in case you fancy a pew amongst the foliage.

This area originally housed an indoor swimming pool, where the monks took a daily dip. Now the area has been converted into a flamboyant ladies’ powder room complete with exquisite William Morris wallpaper.

A charming chapel built by the Redemptorists no longer holds any religious aspect but does have working bells. Dream come true when I was allowed to ring them out.

In the days monks roamed the corridors the Tapestry Room was a former billiards room – They certainly knew how to relax. Today the beautiful space is used for weddings or events.

We continued through to the lavish Ballroom with Regency decor highlighted in the gold gilded intricate ceiling and mouldings. Jaw droppingly stunning, this is a very special room indeed.

FOOD AND DRINK

Before dinner we made our way to the Snug bar and ordered pre-dinner bubbles, enjoying them in the Library taking an opportunity to peruse the vast collection of literature. Famous quotes adorn the walls, it’s the perfect spot for a quiet drink or reading the morning papers.

The Saloon restaurant is situated in one of the oldest parts of the original main house and is really quite marvellous. Exuding a decadent atmosphere on the walls hang huge portraits of some of the Hall’s previous owners. The intricate golden leaf ceiling and high arch windows adds a stately opulence to the room. There is no formal dress code as you would expect in a room of this grandeur. Although dining in such rich surroundings it’s hard not to dress up.

A 1920s soundtrack filled the room whilst dinner was served from a small menu offering British dishes with bold flavours. Executive chef Andrew Watts uses locally sourced ingredients inspired by the seasons for his creations.

I started with heritage tomatoes and goats cheese mousse swimming in a tomato consommé to a main of salted baked celeriac served on a bed of vegetable risotto and tarragon cream. We finished with an apple tart on flaky pastry made from apples picked from hotel’s orchard. Service was faultless. The dishes looked appetising, but unfortunately lacked flavour.

Breakfast in the same restaurant was a more tasty affair with a choice of a continental breakfast, complete with croissants, fresh fruit and cereals or an option of a cooked breakfast all served straight to the table.

Rooms

At the top of a sweeping wooden staircase are the 12 exquisite suites and 25 luxury bedrooms.

Softly playing classical music from the retro radio serenades as you enter a beautifully decorated room in creams and sage green.

A queen sized bed draped in crisp white linens and huge fluffy pillows dominates the room.

Elemis toiletries can found in the bathroom and by the bedside – Sleepy pillow spray and lip balm are lovely little touches. The buttery shortbread went down a treat, but odd that a hotel of this standard doesn’t provide a mini bar.

Things to DO at Hawkstone Hall

There are plenty of things to keep you occupied on this ample estate. From a round of golf on the  nationally renowned two course club to hiring a bicycle to explore the magnificent gardens.

Less than a mile away are the Hawkstone Park Follies. Embark on a two or three hour adventure through a historic woodland landscape with cliffs, crags, networks of caves, rhododendron jungles, stunning views and a series of extraordinary monuments. Or head to Hawk Lake for a spot of fishing and laser clay shooting can be arranged on the grounds if booked in advance.

AND FINALLY…

Hawkstone Hall is a beautiful and tranquil getaway – a complete escape from everyday life. On our visit the hotel was quiet and there was a real sense of seclusion with the vast grounds and grand surroundings.

The secret will soon be out about this very big house in the country with its splendid refined elegance and incredibly helpful staff. A spa is soon on the horizon too, I’m sure it will be the place to stay when visiting the Shropshire hills.

Have you explored the county of Shropshire? Love to know any other hidden gems in the area. Let me know in the comments box below.

sima

Hawkstone Hall | Weston | Shrewsbury | SY4 5UZ | Website


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12 Comments

  • Bejal 4th November 2019 at 9:24 am

    A truly elegant and classy abode Sima. I love the ballroom and staircase and to be honest had never heard of this place Beautiful photos and on my radar.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 4th November 2019 at 10:40 pm

      It’s a real newbie and hidden away in the Shropshire Hills. Perfect getaway for you and Dr C

  • Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi 5th November 2019 at 4:05 pm

    How very pretty Sima – definitely worth checking out!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:39 am

      Such a lovely escape from the bright lights of London

  • Binita Shah 6th November 2019 at 10:14 am

    This place looks fab for a little escape!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:38 am

      It’s perfect Binny! You have to go.

  • Catherine Boardman 10th November 2019 at 8:59 pm

    This looks like a perfect place to escape to

    • Sima Sthanakiya 10th November 2019 at 9:50 pm

      Hidden away and secluded. You come back reenergised.

  • Angie Silver 13th November 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Oh what a gorgeous estate!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 18th November 2019 at 10:41 pm

      It’s so pretty and so much history there.

  • Dylan Jones 15th November 2019 at 7:35 am

    I love escaping to a luxurious country hotel, and the architecture and grounds here look absolutely stunning. Added to my list!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 18th November 2019 at 10:40 pm

      It’s such a treat and very special place to stay Dylan.

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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