England’s countryside is not short of grand hotels, and sometimes it can be hard to find something new to say about what makes one of these grand institutions really, really worth going to. But at Tylney Hall, “New” has nothing to do with its unique selling point.
The modern practice of renovating the old interiors to bring them up to date has been eschewed, in favour of upholding the grandeur and authenticity of its Grade II listed surroundings.
And, as we discovered during our little getaway with our five-year-old daughter in tow, this vintage luxury is combined with true silver service. The effect is, truly, like going back to a golden age; think Downton Abbey interiors, and enchanted gardens — the latter designed by Victorian gardening pioneer Gertrude Jekyll to wondrous effect.
Upon arrival at Tylney, we were treated to a golf buggy tour of the grounds, and it’s no wonder brides and grooms are drawn to Tylney. Among the giant redwoods, the Italian and Dutch gardens, the woodlands, and the rose and water gardens there could be no setting more magical than this for a wedding day photo shoot.
Back inside the hotel, we were welcomed like old friends and shown to our family suite, which comprised the beds, a living and dining area, and a bathroom equipped with sunken jacuzzi. Our daughter was given her own Tylney teddy and bag of goodies, including food for feeding the koi carp in the water gardens. As parents travelling with a young child, it was an absolute joy to be at a hotel where our daughter felt like she was part of the fun too.
For its comprehensive packages for children of all ages, ensuring parents’ stays are infinitely more relaxing, Tylney deserves another star based on this alone. On the website you can find details of the amazing facilities available for children aged between 0 and 16 years; we have never been to an English hotel where the combination of relaxing break for parents combined with adventure holiday for kids is so expertly done.
There are so many ways to make the best of your day in the vast grounds of Tylney Hall. Littluns have the chance to go treasure hunting in the woodlands, borrow bikes to do some exploring, or even play croquet on the lawn like Lord of the Manor.
Our little girl is only five so she loved seeing the fish in the lake, feeding the ducks, and running in and out of the trees. Older visitors have use of the health suite, itself part of the old house’s charm, having been crafted into the old stable buildings.
There is also the most charming outdoor pool I have ever seen, privately enclosed in a gorgeous walled courtyard, which acts as the perfect sun trap for poolside loungers.
After a day of making ourselves at home in the grand estate, all of the family were ready to try dinner in The Oak Room, the hotel’s panelled restaurant. Under a domed ceiling, overlooking views of the garden, and enjoying the mellow tinkling of a grand piano, we sampled this renowned restaurant’s menu of locally sourced, first class British produce. There was, of course, a great children’s menu, and we were all extremely well fed.
Our stay at Tylney was like stepping through the screen into a luxurious period drama, where we’d been welcomed for a weekend party of outdoor pursuits and society hobnobbing, like Gosford Park or a glorious episode of Poirot (except thankfully we weren’t joined by a corpse at any point – although, Tylney would be the absolute perfect spot for a murder mystery party).
For a child friendly family event, especially a wedding, Tylney Hall hotel is a perfect destination to keep everyone, from the oldest family member to the youngest, blissfully happy.
Check out the website for picture galleries, because the gardens, especially, have to be seen to be believed.