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Our wedding anniversary is always a much anticipated date in our romantic calendar, when (for at least 24 hours) we escape the everyday responsibilities of work and kids, and unapologetically indulge in few romantic extravagances.
As many of the Romantic Tourist community will already know, my husband and I recently celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary at Stapleford Park Country House Hotel. We were greeted at the property by expansive rural views and the bleating salutation of the Stapleford sheep, instantly transporting us from a world of impatient M11 traffic to a pastoral oasis of calm. The staff at the front desk had been expecting us and we were promptly offered refreshments (mine a much appreciated V&T) before Bryony kindly introduced us to our new home for the evening and all the facilities available to us.
Following a delightful tour of the property, we were then shown to our room for the night – The Baker Room. First impressions were very good: Elegant yet comfortable, spacious cream interiors and beautiful natural lighting throughout, with unspoilt views across the verdant property grounds from every window. Second impressions were even better: Personal touches we were not expecting, made us feel very special indeed! A bottle of Champagne on ice, coupled with a congratulatory anniversary card from the staff, a complimentary decanter of Stapleford’s signature Sloe Gin on the mantle, a box of Stapleford shortcake, and (my personal favourite) two stupidly cute Jomanda Stapleford lambs gifted as the perfect souvenir of our stay, and who are now also my toddler’s favourite bedtime companions!
Other standout features of the room were high ceilings, great bed, an excellent selection of English teas and Nespresso machine, generous wardrobe space, a pleasingly usable dressing table with good lighting and hair dryer, and a huge bathroom with double basins and a bath that was easily big enough for two.
Our anniversary experience included dinner in Stapleford’s restaurant and we were requested to present ourselves at the library bar 30 minutes prior to our reservation to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail and canapés, review the evening’s menu, request recommendations from the team and make our orders to the chef. This created a genuine sense of anticipation and set the scene for the evening of great food, wine and service that followed. It also allowed us to enjoy another of the fabulous reception rooms, all of which offer an individual ambiance and style, something we soon came to appreciate as one of our favourite and the most inimitable features of the property. The food was very good, and demands a specific mention of the halibut which was undisputedly the best I’ve ever eaten. I would also like to make specific mention of our server, Remost, who was absolutely delightful and genuinely added to our experience with his world-class hospitality.
After dinner guests have a number of activities and areas of the house they may enjoy. We decided to play a couple of games of snooker (badly on part at least) before heading back to our room, with slightly fuzzy heads, and feeling very well looked after.
Unfortunately we were unable to sample all of the facilities and activities on offer due to limited time, but we did make a visit to the glass-housed pool for a swim the next morning after breakfast, and had we the time we were invited to stay the full day – which was very tempting with afternoon tea on the menu! The spa is a great place to escape for a few hours and the team offer a selection of treatments which can be booked before or during your stay, as can all the other activities which include golf (actual and virtual), falconry, shooting and a number of other country pursuits and games. We were sadly only staying at Stapleford for one night but if you have time to explore the area the rural food capital of Melton Mowbray, famous for its pork pies, is just a 10 minute drive away.
To conclude, our 4th anniversary experience was definitely one for the success list. Stapleford is perfect for couples and truly makes you feel at home. The property offers a unique composition of reception venues which can host everything from an intimate celebration for two, a private dinner party, weddings and all events in-between. Most notably from my perspective though, Stapleford excels at creating a sense of occasion and adding personal touches with an attention to detail that mean so much. Thank you Stapleford, I hope we see you again soon.