From the outside, this beautiful building looks the perfect place for a luxurious weekend away. Standing in generous grounds, yet just a five minute walk from the chocolate box village of Market Bosworth, it would seem an ideal choice for a quintessential British break.
Check in was quite encouraging – the entrance is a grand affair, with a huge chandelier and some interesting sculptures in the lobby and plenty of information about the resident ghost: the Grey Lady of Bosworth Hall who met a very sticky end. So far, so good.
The room wasn’t bad either. I loved the bedroom furniture – my guess it was early to mid 20th century and original too. It gave the room a bit of old fashioned Cunard style elegance. There were some very nice lampshades which set off the style beautifully.
However, here began the issues.
One of my pet hates in hotels is windows that are jammed shut. As lovely as the original sash windows were, I am a woman in my mid fifties and I need to get the window open guys! Especially as the heating was blasting away and there appeared to be no way to turn it off.
The next issue arose at dinner (a carvery affair which was included in the very reasonable dinner, bed and breakfast price). The restaurant was too small for the number of guests, resulting in a bit of a bun fight. Tables were cleared as fast as the staff could manage, but inevitably there was plate scraping in situ (yuk!!) as bums were accommodated on seats. The food was generally OK at dinner although we went for mains only as the soup looked gloopy and the salad offerings were heavy on the mayo.
The overspill from the restaurant meant that the bar was full of people waiting to eat and at times, the queue for a drink was ten deep. The smokers’ outdoor area was right next to the bar and dining room so a right royal gale was blowing through.
We slept well despite the overheating as the sheets were good quality as were the pillows. The Grey Lady didn’t make an appearance – although she is said to roam the corridors at night. Eek! Should have checked for ghosts before I booked.
The breakfast experience was similar to dinner- too many people, lots of waiting to get into the restaurant, hasty plate clearing and scraping. The food was motorway service standard.
In fairness to the hotel group (Britannia Hotels) it must be a nightmare to run this type of building and make a profit. They have adopted a pile it high and sell it cheap approach which clearly works, as the place was bouncing.
In an ideal world, this grand old building would be home to a superior holiday offering, with tinkling champagne glasses, a piano bar and a fine dining experience to match. But, as they say: you get what you pay for.
We had booked the hotel via Late Rooms, not specifically looking for a country house hotel, but just somewhere close to the Bosworth Battlefield Centre, where we were attending an event.
I wouldn’t rule out staying again as overall the accommodation was fine. However, I would book on a room only basis and try out one or two of the pubs and restaurants in Market Bosworth for dinner and perhaps a grab a pastry from a local coffee shop for breakfast.
If you are a Richard III fan (as I am), then Bosworth is a great place to base yourself. It’s about a three mile walk to the actual battlefield where Richard died fighting Henry Tudor. The Battlefield Centre has a restaurant, picnic area and museum where you can read up on the events of 1485 and there are a series of walks around the area, dotted with plaques explaining how the battle unfolded.
The village itself is absolutely gorgeous and so worth a visit.