By Charmaine Hibbert
Nailcote Hall Hotel is a beautiful 4-star Jacobean country house hotel, located just outside Solihull in the picturesque Warwickshire countryside. The place is steeped in history and is a very popular hotel with celebrity guests. It’s ideally located for business conferences and airport stop-offs but is also a great venue for weddings, celebrations or just a quiet weekend away.
It has one of the best par-3 golf courses in Britain on the grounds and for those of you (like me) who do not play the sport, the hotel's spa and leisure facilities will meet your needs. I do recommend you try the 14-metre Roman bath style swimming pool; take it from someone who is not too keen on swimming.
The hotel offers a choice of membership levels to use the facilities on offer, but these are all free of charge to guests staying at the hotel. For a list of membership prices please see the website for details (web link).
A brief history
Nailcote retains its 17th century traditions and it is an elegant hotel full of charm. Rick and Sue, the current owners, are wonderful people and add to this remarkable hotel experience making your stay unforgettable by their generosity. They are very proud of their hotel and this resonates through every member of the hotel team.
In 1640, just before the start of the English Civil War, the Hall was built. It started life as a small English stately home but was damaged during the conflict by Cromwell's troops before their assault on Kenilworth Castle. During its long and eventful history the house has been restored and altered. During one such restoration, a priest hole was discovered between the breakfast room (now the Oak Room) and the hall.
In 1780 the Georgian wing was added and in 1984 the hall was opened as a restaurant and won its guide listing the following year. Another extension to the hotel was undertaken in 1989, providing an additional 20 bedrooms and a new library and function room.
Rick and Sue bought the house in 1991 and added the new leisure complex, which features many of the wonderful facilities the hotel offers today. The beautiful award-winning Oak Room Restaurant offers fine dining in a stunning environment. On our first night my partner and I were treated to an amazing amuse-bouche, courtesy of the chef, which consisted of a light and delicate salmon mousse with a saffron cream with Melba toast. Light, fluffy and gorgeous – the salmon mousse just melted in the mouth. The combination of flavours worked so well.
We were captivated by the ambience of the Oak Room with light little touches here and there and the hint of soft music to help set the scene; it made the evening feel very cosy and romantic indeed. Our starters consisted of Oriental style confit duck salad with hoisin dressing and crispy confit of pork belly with pea puree which we shared between us. Duck can normally feel quite heavy and fatty, but all credit goes to the chef for keeping it so light and moist. The pork belly was just a pleasure to eat. I think my partner, who picked it, regretted his suggestion we share. I, on the other hand enjoyed every mouthful off his plate!
The main course even more pleasurable than our starters, although my other half was a lot less inclined to share this time. He opted for the Pave of Scottish beef, dauphinoise potatoes, buttered girolle mushrooms with a delicate horseradish foam, one we both would highly recommend. The beef, in fact all the elements of this dish, were exquisite. Although I love my beef I chose to have marinated loin of venison, spiced caramelized red onion and roasted celeriac. The way the venison just melted in the mouth, was so succulent.
Dessert, which I’m surprised we both had room for, was equally fabulous. I am rather embarrassed to say I polished off my dessert and left a rather clean plate. The Crepe soufflé of raspberries with an iced raspberry parfait was delicious, it’s as simple as that. In fact my only complaint was that I could not have a second helping. I was in dessert heaven. Another dish I recommend if you have the pleasure of staying at this wonderful hotel. James opted for the glazed rice pudding cooked in coconut milk with toasted coconut and a caramelized banana ice cream.
We started our morning with a good old full English breakfast, but if a full English is a bit too heavy to set you on your way then there is a selection of gorgeously yummy pastries to catch your eye, and if you want something healthier there is a selection of fruit and cereals available.
While James played the par 3 course for the par 3 championships I had the pleasure of taking in the rest of the hotel and getting to know more about the owners. I was delighted to meet (name – snooker player) and (golfer) next to whom I sat during lunch, fascinated by tales of tournament wins and taking on Tiger Woods.
I highly recommend Nailcote Hall hotel to everyone. It’s a hotel to suit all needs and all walks of life and if you just want a hotel where you can truly relax and maybe hit a few balls around the nine-hole course then it’s perfect choice. A hotel I will definitely be returning too soon.
Warwickshire, CV7 7DE
+44 (0) 2476 466174