Nestled within 80 acres of glorious landscape you’ll find Chicheley Hall. I had no idea this grade 1 listed building existed until this year but as I made the approach, this stunning mansion based just outside of Newport Pagnell commands attention.
You may have seen from my Instagram last month that I (and a friend) were invited to stay here for the evening. As I really enjoy looking around historic houses, I quickly accepted the invitation.
The mansion has 48 individually refurbished rooms, carefully manicured gardens, a restaurant, a bar and a resident peacock called George, who I was told sometimes wanders in and makes himself at home. That was the deal breaker for me; as soon as I heard George’s calls I knew I was going to enjoy my stay.
The building itself is something you would expect to see in a period drama. The impressive baroque facade is both dramatic and quintessentially twee. Which is why it’s been selected as a film location for many well-known tv adaptations and films such as Pride and Prejudice and Black Beauty.
The interior is light and airy with very high ceilings on the ground floor and a large sweeping oak staircase leading up to the first floor.
Each space has it’s own unique character with dark solid wood walls in the breakfast room as well as tall marble pillars lining the impressive hall where wedding receptions are held. This room is the most spectacular, with plenty of natural light and period features.
The Bedroom: The Appleton Superior Suite
I stayed in the Appleton Suite for the night. The room had an upside down lock which was fiddly to open but only added to the charm of the place. I opened the door to a bright, period style bedroom with tall ceilings and two gorgeous sash windows which looked out over the gardens and lake.
The furniture was in-keeping with the date of the building but also had individual touches, as well as all of your mod cons like a TV and hot drink facilities, including free wifi should you need to do any work (or ‘gram).
The bed made me feel like a princess – it was literally the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in (and I’ve stayed in Westin hotels!). Even with a few gin and tonics I slept all through the night (a difficult feat for me these days) and woke to the sound of George’s calls at a very reasonable hour, I might add.
At first we did have trouble finding the bathroom but that was only because the doorway was disguised as a wall panel. Again all of these features add to the rooms character and made the experience all the more exciting.
Speaking of the bathroom, this was like five star luxury. Everything was totally modern with large marble effect tiling on the walls and floor. There was even complimentary toiletries which I enjoyed under the large shower head and felt refreshed.
But before I went to bed, we spent the evening exploring the grounds. The groundskeeper is definitely kept busy with the fruit and vegetable garden as well as tending to the trees that lined the pathway to the back of the house.
I couldn’t have asked for a better evening; the sun was shining and it was warm enough to sit outside in the garden and enjoy a glass of prosecco. The perfect way to finish off a stressful week.
I strolled down to the lake at the side of the mansion which had a resident swan. The grounds and the house are just so peaceful and tranquil. I can see why so many people get married here.
The Dining Room: Dinner and Dessert
Dinner and breakfast were both served in the intimate dining room. I adored this room the most as there were so many paintings watching over you and the large sash windows brought in a warm and delicate summer evening’s light.
All of the tables were neatly set for dinner with a a cute vase of freshly cut flowers.
We skipped the starter (even though they sounded delicious) and went straight in to the mains. Being the carb fiends that we are, we both selected gnocchi with feta, tomato and peas.
I’m not lying when I say my thoughts often drift back to this meal. Usually during work hours just before lunch time… it was so GOOD!
For dessert we opted for a homemade vanilla cheesecake, summer fruit cooli and a scoop of vanilla ice cream from the daily specials menu. Again, this didn’t stick around for very long.
Tummies well and truly full, we retreated to the lounge area and started on the gins. The room had an inviting fireplace and decor. This was the perfect place to wind down after a full on week and an evening of exploring.
Overall, this is the grandest place I have ever had the pleasure of staying at. When someone ‘puts a ring on it’ this will definitely be up there in my top places to have my wedding. The food, the atmosphere and the location were complimentary and yet still hit me with the wow factor at each turn. I can’t wait to go back for a longer break.
Have you been to Chicheley Hall? I’d love to hear about your experience.