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Historic country splendour meets contemporary chic Down Hall Country House Hotel and Spa

Seamlessly blending historic country house splendour with contemporary bedrooms, a brand new spa and AA Rosette-awarded restaurant, Down Hall is an idyllic country escape located right on London’s doorstep.

Dating back to 1322, the impressive mansion has been home to artists, lords and baronets who’ve all influenced the flamboyant Italianate style – think crystal chandeliers, coffered and gilded high ceilings and opulent fabrics. The building stands within 110 acres of thriving gardens and woodland near Bishop’s Stortford on the Hertfordshire/Essex border – a mere 45 minutes from central London and within easy reach of Stansted Airport.  

A stay at Down Hall truly encompasses an experience like no other, offering the ideal leisurely countryside break for business travellers, weekend escapees, wedding guests or travellers in need of a pre-airport stopover.

Currently undergoing the final stages of a transformative £6 million refurbishment project (due for completion in late summer 2016) all of Down Hall’s 99 bedrooms have been individually designed to reflect the elegance and character of this historic property, whilst providing modern day creature comforts. More than 50 of the west wing rooms have already been completed, bathed in natural light and decorated in traditional heritage colours with bright accents in classic country house-meets-contemporary chic. Classic and Executive bedrooms are spacious and comfortable whilst feature bedrooms boast luxury two or four-poster beds and views over the landscaped gardens. All rooms come equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, ironing board and iron, laptop-sized safe and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi.

AA Rosette-awarded restaurant, The Grill Room, specialises in Anglo-French cuisine from head chef Matthew Hill who was recently appointed following experience at top London eateries, Tom Aikens Restaurant Chelsea and Bleeding Heart Farringdon. Using ingredients from the kitchen’s own vegetable patch or local suppliers, signature starters include braised pork cheeks, pulled ham hock, air-dried ham and spiced apple purée; and leg of guinea fowl stuffed with walnuts and tarragon, marron purée and orange gel.  

Must-try mains include: two bone rack of lamb with confit shoulder, lamb croquette and dauphinoise potato; aged fillet, sirloin or rib-eye of British beef from the grill; and beetroot-cured salmon with pea risotto and Affilla cress. Desserts include gluten-free passion fruit parfait; mango cheesecake with coconut sorbet, lime and mint sauce; and chocolate fondant with pistachio ice-cream.  

Inspired by the Downton-like surrounds, enjoy an afternoon tea service even the Dowager Countess of Grantham herself would approve of. Each day, tea can be taken between 2pm and 5pm in either the Drawing Room or Ibbetsons Tea Lounge featuring a selection of freshly-baked homemade scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree preserves, seasonal homemade cakes and finger sandwiches with luxury fillings (£21.50 per person). A wide variety of tea, served by the pot, includes choices of Earl Grey, orange spice, wild raspberry, Meyer lemon and Moroccan mint whilst gourmet speciality coffee is also available. Make an occasion of it with an added glass of Champagne (£28.50 per person).  

Relax the body, soothe the soul and lift the spirit at the brand new Eden Spa. Ultra-modern facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, a mood-lit sauna with full-height timber cladding and tiered seating; a state-of-the-art steam room with starry night feature lighting; a wellness power shower and spacious changing rooms. Four brand new treatment rooms, three single and one double, are filled with ESPA natural skin and spa products for luxury facials and body treatments including the signature Aromatherapy full body massage. Jessica Nails will be used for manicures and pedicures, and MII make-up for makeovers. The modernised gym features brand new equipment for cardio, weight and strength training with cross trainers, rowing machines, free-weights and medicine balls.

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