The Hotel Review: Eckington Manor, Worcestershire, UK
Writer Val Jones
Eckington Manor is located on the left bank of the River Avon in the village of Eckington. The 260 acres of beautiful pasture land is still a working Farm with fields stretching out further than the eye can see enhancing the feel of the rural setting.
We immediately liked the peace and tranquillity of the hotel. With an unconventional layout, where the 17 refurbished bedrooms are spread over four converted farm buildings; Lower End House, Cyder Mill, Grain Barn and Milking Parlour, are all recycled materials from the original farm houses being used where possible. The reception, restaurant, bar and cookery school are housed in a purpose-built barn style building complimenting the rustic farm exterior, but the interiors are contemporary and sleek.
The actual original Manor house is built in a Tudor style with open oak timber framework, although we discovered a dwelling has been on this site since the 12th century! There is a large lawn in front of the Manor house with a herb garden to the side. It was great to see guests sat on the garden furniture on the lawn and around the hotel, relaxing and enjoying their surroundings. Inside the Manor house there is a lounge with comfy seats and a huge fireplace takes centre stage atop of a shiny timeworn stone floor, you just feel the age and history envelop you as you walk into the room, this building also hosts the honesty bar area where guests could help themselves to drinks 24 hours a day, which needless to say is very handy!
After being checked-in by super friendly staff we decided to take the circular walk around the village and farm we passed the loch and weir on the river Avon. We walked upstream though the meadowland and passed the farm animals, the Highland Longhorn Cows made us smile with their long fringes and tiny calves.Following our walk and on return to the hotel, we were shown to the Grain Barn where a private staircase lead us up to our attic bedroom on the first floor, Our room was nothing less than fabulous: from the classic cream walls, original oak beams, free standing bath and large comfy bed that took pride of place, and a cute cow hide chair also catching our eye. A flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities and complementary water added to the comfort of our stay and the Velux windows afforded beautiful views across the field towards the river
The separate bathroom had a large walk in shower, The White Company toiletries and luxe fluffy robes and slippers. We especially liked the fact our room was quite exclusive and tucked away. Prior to dinner we enjoyed a drink on the lawn of the Manor house where attentive staff noticed us there and brought out the menus for us to peruse. After we had ordered we were escorted with our drinks through the modern bar area upstairs to the equally contemporary restaurant. A beautifully set out space, quite open plan with windows surrounding the seating area to enable dinners to take in the wonderful views. The tables are well spaced and all looked crisp and clean, the cookery school is also adjacent to the restaurant and I had a peak in when passing it all look very professional with huge work areas.
Our chef Mark Stinchcombe was winner of Master Chef the Professionals in 2015, so we were very much hoping for a wonderful meal. Prior to starters we were offered freshly baked fennel seed bread & crispy white baguettes, amuse-bouche of cauliflower & cumin soup with apple followed by blue cheese and walnut crispy bites – which were an amazing mixture of texture and taste and left us wanting more! I started with the crab & prawn, kohlrabi, apple, radish & rock samphire which was melt-in-the-mouth, delicious food. My husband went for the olive oil poached cod, fennel saffron potatoes & garlic. For our main we both chose the Short rib of beef, braised shin, red onions, parsley & yeast flakes, the meat was sublime.
The rhubarb soufflé and gingerbread ice cream was definitely a dish to be savoured. My husband was tempted by the burnt honey cream, pear sorbet, almond cake, and honeycomb, he has a very sweet tooth and just loved it. Coffee was offered but we chose to take the rest of our Valpolicella wine to sit outside on the bar terrace and enjoy the peace of the countryside whilst speculating on the life of previous manor house occupants.
Eckington Manor | Hammock Road | Elkington | Worcestershire | WR10 3BJ
Eckington Manor, nestled in the Avon valleys on the border of the picturesque Cotswolds. The hotel are extremely passionate about food and host their very own cookery school. Their head chef is 2015 Master Chef winner, Mark Stinchcombe and all the food prepared in their kitchen is fully traceable and honestly prepared so that the natural flavours are enhanced. Although food is an important aspect of the hotel, they have so much more to offer. Being located in the countryside offers plenty of activities for guests to enjoy. They also have a stunning barn perfect for weddings, parties and family affairs.