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Muddy visits Barton Hall (again ; )

Barton Hall can make anyone feel like Lord/Lady of the Manor with its beautiful scenery and delicious cocktails on the veranda. Oh and did I mention the food is pretty fabulous too? Whether it’s day trips or overnight stays, it wows either option, with the friendly staff making your visit super chilled and the beautiful surroundings ensuring you feel like you’re miles from the hubbub. We’ve taken beaus for birthdays and friends for fizz, so you just know it’s got to have quite a bit about it to keep us returning! Is your interest piqued? Read on my friend, read on…

THE LOCATION

My (bed)room with a view (of the Orangery)

A hidden gem in the heart of the Midlands in Barton Seagrave, just minutes from Kettering town centre this Grade II listed building is known to be one of the finest romantic wedding venues in Northants, and after undergoing extensive refurbishment you can see why it’s award winning.

The Grade I listed Orangery (above) is second to none and is a stunning background to enjoying a few gins with the girls. It’s never been too busy when I’ve visited, even when there’s a wedding, and considering it’s pretty easy to locate from as far as London (only 55 minutes on the train), I reckon before long, it won’t just be the locals using it frequently!

THE ROOMS

Barton Hall really is a beauty both inside and out, and the 29 bespoke bedrooms reflect the periodic building whilst nodding to a boutique-style vibe (it’s mixed with a traditional vibe, but possibly appeals to more people because of that). Many of the bedrooms benefit from period features like original fireplaces and exposed beams, filling some of the rooms with a bit more charm and character. There’s a mixture of double, twin and family rooms and all have en-suite bathrooms or shower rooms (my bath was gorgeous, and I had to be dragged out of it for dinner, pah).

As with most hotels of its calibre, there are a range of conference and meeting rooms available providing spaces for 2 to 180 delegates and the Charles Function Suite is the perfect place for intimate weddings and special occasions.

SCOFF & QUAFF

The 2 AA Vines Bar & Brasserie is an absolute treat serving up delicious food to please any appetite, from tempting nibbles, to slow cooked, succulent pork belly and roast rump lamb *cue tummy grumbles. Whether it’s a romantic getaway or private dinner parties, they can cater for anyone, and EVERY time we’ve dined there, it’s been well above average (I know, maybe we’re just lucky). Check out a sample menu here, you’ll find something you fancy, if anything, I’ve struggled to pick because I like it all so much!

The drinks menu is impressive to say the least, from local real ale to cocktails, and the extensive gin menu has to have a mention. There’s truly a tipple for every occasion; weddings, events, meals out or just a drink after work (or maybe two). The outdoor terrace is perfect for sipping away whilst overlooking the Orangery and lawns in the summer (it’s one of my favourite outdoor drinking spots in the county), or sup up inside around the blazing fire in the winter months – it’ll be a classy glass of vino, proper lady of the manor style – how fancy!

AROUND AND ABOUT

Barton Hall is very well situated; perfect for leisure and business travelers alike with all major transport links close by leading to some splendiferous local attractions. For the adventurous Mudsters, Rockingham Speedway and Silverstone Race Circuit are not too far away, and Rushden Lakes is less than 10 miles away for a pretty picturesque shopping experience. The Lighthouse Theatre, Wicksteed Park and Xscape Milton Keynes are all fabarooni for family fun, so really, your only worry is which one to pick.

MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Groups of all kinds; work trips, girls getaway, a romantic night away or a short family vacay. If you like beautiful surroundings and friendly service, you’ll love this place. If you don’t fancy an overnight stay, Vines is great for lunch, dinner or a few drinks, just a beautiful treat in general. Also perfect for weddings and any special events.

Not for: It’s hard to find someone who wouldn’t like this place, but if you’re a group who just want the 2 for £12 pitchers in ‘Spoons, this one’s not for you.

£££: Not super cheap, but so worth it for the quality and not forgetting the views. Sharing boards from £14, starters around £6, mains around £15 and superb cocktails around £7.50. Rooms start from £120.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire