Hambleton Hall – Oakham, Rutland
Of all the luxury British country house hotels that have opened in the last half-century, just one, Hambleton Hall, has remained impervious to fortune and is as magical and enveloping as the day its owners, Tim and Stefa Hart, opened it in July 1980. Contented but never complacent, it offers sophisticated yet deeply comfortable classic English interiors, the brilliant, locally sourced cooking of chef Aaron Patterson (the hotel has held a Michelin star for 40 years – the record for the longest retained star in the UK) and a joyous wine list curated by revered sommelier Dominique Baduel. For those seeking privacy, The Croquet Suite is a cottage for four, adjacent to the hotel, with a sitting room, breakfast room and private terrace. There is also a swimming pool, tennis court, kitchen garden and views across Hambleton’s south-facing terrace and formal gardens that take your breath away. After an afternoon in the fresh air, Hambleton’s many aficionados return to their haven, where loyal key staff – general manager, restaurant manager, chef, sommelier, housekeeper, receptionist, laundress – have notched up over 200 years of continual service between them.
Doubles from £310
+44 (0)1572 756991; hambletonhall.com
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