At the moment @ldn_eats is inadvertently turning into a UK luxury travel blog. I’ve been all around the houses recently, due to work taking me to some of the finest satellite towns spanning the width and breadth of the UK.
This week I was in Lichfield (admittedly, a city), west of Birmingham, which didn’t get my heart rate going up too fast when I was first told that’s where I was being shipped off. But – how I was mistaken.
When I arrived at Lichfield Trent Valley train station, I hopped in a taxi: ‘To Swinfen Hall please. Do you know where that is? Is it near?’ Swinfen Hall Hotel sits just off a busy main road, and as I pulled up the long driveway, dusk starting to settle in, I could see the formidable Georgian House, set between the serene 100 acre park land.
For the historians out there – the Hall dates back as far as the 11th century, and was first noted in the Doomsday Book. The history of the house is about as eventful as the Friday night episode of Hollyoaks, with different characters over the years fighting for ownership of the land. It felt like I had been transported back to the days of Pride and Prejudice – classical music playing upon arrival, the decor was beautiful, wooden panel walls, large oil paintings, hidden staircases leading to secret parts of the house.
Swinfen Hall boasts The Four Seasons restaurant, which puts on a selection of five course, vegetarian tasting menus, a la carte menus, afternoon teas and much much more. As I was at the Hall for work purposes I ate in the bar (otherwise I would have indulged myself in the five course taster menu!). The weather was beautiful and so I sat outside in the walled garden, just thinking how different and far replaced this place was from my old urban jungle flat in East London.
For my dinner, I went for a beef burger in a brioche bun with blackcurrant chutney, relish and chunky chips. The meat was cooked beautifully and it was a good cut! All in all, I ate and had a glass of wine with my meal for less than £20. The staff were amazing as well, friendly and happy to help.
When I woke up in the morning, I went for a run around the grounds including the deer park of the Hall which was beautiful. Breakfast was equally as delicious, I opted for eggs benedict with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. One of the best things I think which was included in the breakfast was the homemade yoghurts in little jam jar pots. I had a mango yoghurt but there were so many different flavours.
All in all, I don’t think I can rave enough about Swinfen Hall. From London an off-peak return can cost as little as £26. Just think, you could be sitting in the walled garden of Swinfen Hall with a glass of wine, reading your book in less than two hours. So, if you’re looking for a London escape, needing to get out of the urban jungle and into the countryside for a retreat every now and again then this place is a winner.
If you’d like any more information on any of the restaurants we’ve reviewed, please free feel to contact us.