The Stanwick Hotel
It's an oasis of tranquility and quality, set on the edge of the A45. It's easy to reach and even easier to relax.
I’m a regular visitor to The Stanwick Hotel, (formerly The Courtyard Hotel), as I have a monthly networking group I go to that’s hosted there (never networked? You haven’t lived ; ) Also they’re a Muddy Award winner, so I thought you guys could probably do with a peek inside too!
It is a bit of a hidden gem, set in a really rather beautiful location in two acres of landscaped gardens, which you can’t see at all from the A45 (so you may not even know it’s there, which is where I come in).
It’s minutes from Stanwick Lakes and when you pull up on the gravel path, you don’t feel like you’re close to a number of bustling towns (Higham Ferrers/Rushden). It is built around two courtyards, and rain or shine, it always feels like a bit of an oasis away from the hustle bustle!
The hotel is a mix of the original building with newer extensions, incorporating The Courtyard Restaurant, the hotel bar and Reflections, the banqueting/conference/wedding/special events venue. This is where I have my networking meeting, and although it can feel a little corporate on those days, I’ve seen it pimped up for an event, and it has a completely different feel.
Early April, I rocked up and the sun had its hat on, so I went straight to the bar and ordered a very lady-like pint of cider! The bar is a good size, and the staff welcoming and friendly, it adjoins the conservatory style restaurant which looked lovely in the sunshine, and was equally welcoming in the evening (more of which later).
After I’d been joined by the bestie, it was off to check out the rooms. We were the first to stay in a recently refurbed attic room, and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve slept in a cleaner hotel room (which was good for the bezzie as she’s a rather harsh critic). It still had that new carpet smell (which I find faintly reassuring), and when I took my shoes off, I practically bounced on it. The bed linen was immaculate as was the bathroom. The rooms aren’t massive, but I guess it depends what you need. I wouldn’t recommend it for those over 6ft 2 maybe, as they might be bending over a bit with the eaves, but for me and my little companion (really, she’s 5ft) it was perfect.
The conservatory was candlelit at dinner, and although it had a warm atmosphere, it was very quiet (it transpired there were 70 odd people having a function in the other room, having a proper party). The menu was pretty extensive, but not overwhelming, and we plumped for steamed mussels and quaintly named, salmon and prawn bonbons (fish cakes : ) Both were tasty, and I mopped up all the garlicky juice with half a dozen warm rolls (ok, maybe two)!
I opted for a vegetarian roast pepper and chickpea tagine, which when I asked, the waitress happily changed the cous cous for chips (don’t judge me), and the bestie had pan fried duck breast with a fig watercress and whisky sauce (she pretty much ate the lot)!
I don’t know if many people go to the restaurant as a destination, or if it’s more for the corporate/work travellers, hotel guests and events people, but it’s well worth a visit from neighbouring towns folk (near to Wellingborough, Raunds, Rushden, Thrapston, Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers). I could see it being lovely for ladies that lunch, especially in the summer, and they also do an English Afternoon Tea at a very reasonable £12.50 per person (pimp it up with a glass of English Sparkling ‘Nyetimber’ for £20.00). It’s evident that its a conference/event venue, but it served very well as a cheeky one-nighter away, and although my companion had to leave at 7am, I managed to make it to brekky, and have to say, it was pretty darn tasty! There’s a small continental section and a cooked breakfast menu (I went off menu as I often do, but nothing was too much trouble), but well worth the room rate (see below)!
If you’re on the look-out for a wedding venue, I can definitely see the appeal here. It’s small enough to feel intimate, but can still hold up to 120 for a sit down Wedding Breakfast and up to 250 for the evening reception (and it has four rooms which are licensed to hold Civil Wedding Ceremonies).
For a very intimate Ceremony, the “Dining Room” in the main house can accommodate up to 12 guests and a summer wedding can go outdoor in the wedding pavilion. Hayley, who oversees all the wedding planning has the energy of a fire cracker, I imagine she has a lot of couples more than happy to have her take the wedding reins (I hear this summer’s weekends are almost all booked)!
And prices, I hear you say? Very reasonable. A Double Room is £108.00 for bed and breakfast or a Superior Double or Twin with King Sized Bed is £130.00 for bed and breakfast (single occupancy £109). For dinner, starters are around the £7 mark, and mains around £15 ( with very generous portion sizes). It’s good to see local, indie hotels doing well, and the Stanwick Hotel really does make the most of its two acres of Northamptonshire countryside. If you pop along, say hello from me, and if it’s a sunny afternoon, try a nice, cold Somersby, cheers!
The Stanwick Hotel, West Street, Stanwick, Northamptonshire, NN9 6QY, Tel: 01933 622233
Events and meetings: email@example.com