As we approached our destination, our taxi driver, John, said “it’s a grand old place, is Eshott. You’ll love it.” And he so wasn’t wrong. We entered along a satisfyingly crunchy gravel drive, passed immaculate lawns, and parked in front of a stunning wisteria-clad manor house that would be perfectly at home in a Jane Austen remake. It’s less than two miles from the A1, but it’s blissfully quiet, and both the building and its fantastic hosts really do allow you to feel that while you’re there, it’s yours.
John also told us about a recent wedding that had taken place in Eshott, the groom being the brother of one half of a very A-list couple…but unlike our friendly cabby’s, these lips are sealed!
Room For Romance
Each of Eshott’s nine rooms has its own individual style, and does that style to perfection. Alpha males will love Tedmore – a masculine gentleman’s-club-esque den complete with mounted stag’s head – but newlyweds often opt for the romance of Versailles, which is, as the name suggests, somewhat palatial. Actually, It’s enormous. It has one of largest and most ornate beds we’ve ever seen (or slept in), and yet there’s still enough space to play football…should you wish to! And aside from the authentic antique furnishings, beautiful view, locally produced organic bathroom goodies, and that gigantic bed; it’s this increasingly rare luxury of space that makes Versailles a very special room indeed.
Time to Dine
Dinner in Eshott’s small but perfectly formed dining room is an intimate experience; it’s about half the size of Versailles…if that! The chefs here source as much produce locally as possible, with a large proportion of ingredients coming direct from Eshott’s own kitchen garden.
We began with a game terrine and homemade chutney amuse bouche, before tucking into our starters of Welsh pressed pork belly with langoustine (him) and Scottish scallops with cauliflower panacotta and carrot puree (me). Round two consisted of the softest braised ox cheek (him) and venison with wild mushrooms and dauphinoise potato (me). The mains were especially good, and managed quite a rare Goldilocks feat: being neither unsatisfyingly small nor gut-bustingly large. After a brief time-out we even managed to squeeze in the cheese plate – and we would highly recommend doing the same.
Best of the Rest
The staff can help you arrange clay-pigeon shooting or light aircraft flights, you could have a game of tennis in the estate’s walled garden, take a trip to the nearby coast, explore Northumberland’s historic castles, or just completely escape from everyday life. Although the surrounding area has much to offer – and easy transport links – Eshott has a distinct feel of being miles away from anywhere. You and your man can play lord and lady of the manor, wander around the gardens, relax in the drawing room, enjoy your beautiful suite and forget the world beyond Eshott’s huge trees exists. Bliss.
Don’t leave without…
Playing croquet with your beau on the beautifully manicured lawn. You’ll find the sets in the porch, along with the all-important rule book. However, a word of warning: this game may look as sedate as afternoon tea at the vicarage, but (if played properly!) it can get pretty vicious and could well spark the first row of your newly married life! If it does all get too much, simply retire to the sumptuous library (which smells wonderfully leathery), snuggle up together in front of the open fire and sip a nice glass of red.
Dinner, bed and breakfast starts at £110pp per night (based on two people sharing). Eshott could also be your perfect wedding venue, offering wedding parties the luxury of having the house entirely to themselves, and has a wide range packages available. Contact wedding co-ordinator Laura Brydon on 01670 787454 for more details.
Eshott Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland; find out more at eshott.com