With its beautiful long winding driveway and 16thcentury architecture, Rushton Hall is the most picturesque fairytale venue. This charming hotel is set in 25 acres of charming grounds, and promises to be “one of the finest hotels in the Midlands.” We couldn’t wait to cross the threshold on the red carpet and find out more.
With manicured lawns, a trickling fountain and hydrangeas outside, and long corridors and wooden panels inside, this hotel boasts a rich history. A family home from 1438 until the mid 1950s, it passed through various families, including one responsible for the Gunpowder Plot as well as lending its inspiration to Haversham Hall in Dickens’ Great Expectations. After becoming a school for the blind in 1957, it was restored in 2003 and opened as a hotel.
You can feel its history as you wander through the hallways, the weight of family dramas, secrets and joy ingrained in every tile and panel. We were shown to our suite – one of the largest we’ve ever stayed in, and took in the huge wooden four poster bed, the pretty leaded windows and the silk lined curtains that framed the prettiest view out onto the courtyard. The lounge was such a good size – perfect for a bride and bridesmaids to get ready in for the big day, and the bedroom had an opulent gold mirror, a big seating area and dressing table – everything you’d need for the morning of your wedding.
The bathroom had a rolltop standalone bath with silver legs, white granite shower and an old fashioned pull-chain toilet, but don’t be deceived by the old-style, for concealed in the mirror at the end of that bath was a TV – a fun surprise in a beautiful, spacious bathroom.
A walk around the gardens allowed us to take a breath and relax, taking in the dramatic landscape, and then we enjoyed dinner in the 1593 Brasserie.
Dinner at 1593 Brasserie
Dark wood panelling from floor to ceiling and brown leather chairs, this room has a formal feel, boasting beautiful views across the grounds. We were served by Richard, who looked after us so well, with champagne to start our meal. We enjoyed bread and olives, goats cheese fondant and a summery risotto with broad beans and peas which was really good. A fresh fruit pavlova finished the meal before we happily made our way back to our room.
Turndown and Breakfast
With an Elemis spray on our pillows to help us sleep, slippers laid out for us and the heavy curtains drawn, turndown was a lovely calming sight. We slept so well and enjoyed a breakfast of poached eggs and toast the next morning, again in the 1593 Brasserie, before heading off for a tour of the hotel.
Tour of Rushton Hall
Our host, the owner and General Manager of the hotel, Valerie, knows every inch of this place, and we enjoyed hearing about the hotel and what is on offer when it comes to weddings. There are a variety of rooms that can be configured to suit your needs, including the Drawing Room, the Library, the Music Room and the Cellar, which has low ceilings and can accommodate 90 guests – perfect for an alternative wedding! However the Orangery is the latest addition. It opened two years ago, but is perfectly in keeping with the main house.
Purpose built for weddings, the Orangery has three interlocking rooms and an entrance hall, which would be perfect for a drinks reception.
The Ballroom is light and bright, with high ceilings and gorgeous chandeliers. It overlooks the formal gardens and can accommodate up to 140 guests. Above this number, the adjoining State Room can be opened up. The Picture Gallery has a more traditional feel, and we loved the minstrel gallery. The Orangery is completely self contained, providing the perfect spot for a classic country house wedding.
The Stableyard Spa
After our tour I escaped to The Stableyard Spa to indulge in a superfood facial and have a swim. Beautiful red brick construction, this spa is so pretty, with floor to ceiling windows and a gorgeously relaxing atmosphere. It would be a fabulous hen-day retreat, followed by a delicious dinner.
After an hour and a half of cleansing, creams and masks, all applied whilst I reclined on a heated bed, I left feeling glowing. There’s a huge variety of treatments on offer here, I highly recommend having a look – you’ll leave feeling totally relaxed, as I did, drifting through the corridors back to our suite!
We had a simply wonderful time at Rushton Hall. The staff are so friendly, and it was wonderful to get a glimpse into its history and a tour from the owner, who so clearly is in love with the estate. For a country house wedding, you definitely need to take a look at Rushton Hall, the Orangery is purpose built for a beautiful day, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to locations for your wedding photos, with 25 acres of gardens and picturesque architecture.