Queen Elizabeth I stayed at Fawsley Hall in 1575 and several of the 52 bedrooms boast the sort of comfy four-posters an exacting royal might expect when swiving a maid or prebeheaded wife. With 2,000 acres of rolling pastureland, two tempting restaurants and the fact you can get there on the train after work, this grand pile has everything you’ll need for a decadent, upper-class weekend break.
Arriving frazzled on a Friday night, we opted to unwind with a Champagne aperitif in the luxurious wood-panelled Great Hall, where the high ceiling, plump sofas, giant fireplace and oil paintings provided noble ambience.
Saturday was exercise day. After a late-morning roll around the four-poster, we continued working off the previous evening’s indulgences with a romp across the Capability Brown-landscaped parkland; the noble pursuits of fishing, clay pigeon shooting or horse riding were on offer, but we were content just to stroll regally around our estate.
Where to stay & eat
Fawsley Hall Equilibrium, Fawsley Hall’s smartest restaurant, was suitably lofty in ambition. Starters included Cornish crab with avocado mousse and a rich, slow-cooked pork; the list of main courses featured locally sourced partridge and lamb noisettes.
Fawsley, Northamptonshire, NN11 3BA (01327 892000, www.fawsleyhall.com). Restaurant £59 for set menu. Hotel Double from £175 per room incl breakfast.
Nearest train station Northampton (16.6 miles from Fawsley) and Rugby (17.3 miles from Fawsley) are both are on the West Coast Main Line. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for more information.
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