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WHAT WE LOVE...

If you can remember when Victoria and David Beckham were still Posh and Becks, you may well recognise Rookery Hall: it's where the couple got engaged and posed for press photos in the old porch, flanked by Corinthian columns and stone lions. On the outskirts of Nantwich, this is one of Cheshire's classic country house hotels with a respected restaurant and attractive spa, surrounded by well-kept gardens, parkland and some handsome specimen trees. The modern extensions (housing conference/wedding venues and most of the bedrooms) won't win any beauty contests but the original hall, built as a private home in the early 19th century, delivers far more character, with elegantly proportioned reception rooms and period features behind its photogenic sandstone and slate exterior.

THE DETAILS

Location

The excellent Snugburys ice cream farm, under four miles away, has two claims to fame: delicious flavours and a giant straw sculpture.

The hotel is 15 minutes' drive from Crewe station and a few miles away from Natwich town with all its bars and restaurants.
By car: Rookery Hall is four hours from London or around one hour from Manchester. Free parking is available on-site.
By train: Crewe and Natwich stations are both a short taxi ride away and are well serviced by train and bus. thetrainline.com

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Style & Character

Popular with spa-goers, romancing couples and wedding parties, Rookery Hall also attracts footballers and celebs playing or performing in nearby Stoke. The terrace behind the bar is a joy, all rambling roses and trailing wisteria, with geranium-topped tables overlooking fountain, lawn and fields.

Service & Facilities

If you fancy a walk, there are Wellies, walking sticks and umbrellas to borrow, along with wildlife guides and binoculars.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Gardens
  • Spa
  • Indoor pool
  • Free Wi-Fi

Dogs are welcome in the lounges and bar (though not the restaurant) and there are some dog-friendly bedrooms, with treats on arrival.

Rooms

Although not the largest, we love January, one of the junior suites. It's in the tower of the old hall, with a bay window seat overlooking the gardens. White waffle bathrobes come as standard in all rooms, as do very comfy Hypnos cashmere mattresses on the beds.

Classic, Executive, Deluxe, Junior Suites and Suites
Facilities include: Hypnos Lansdowne cashmere mattress, ensuite bathroom, bathrobes, toiletries by Gilchrist and Soames, hospitality tray, large screen TV

Food & Drink

It's good to see Cheshire produce showcased on the menus, including beef and cheese at dinner, then local conserves, honey, granola and apple juice at breakfast. The bar's looking good, following a recent makeover, and carries a decent selection of gins, including several from local distilleries.

The restaurant: AA Rosette, contemporary British dishes, locally sourced ingriedeints. Open daily for dinner. Mains from £14.
The Drawing room and Rookery Bar: cocktails, fine wines, premium spirits, lunches, afternoon tea. Mains from £10.
The Terrace: all-day dining, afternoon tea. Open during summer. Brunch dishes from £5.

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