A country escape to Chicheley Hall & an announcement!


Hi Guys,

This week, I am bringing something a little bit different to the blog. Recently, I was invited to a one night's stay at *Chicheley Hall in Newport Pagnall (near Milton Keynes) for me and a plus one. It is a grade II listed, 18th century mansion that is being used as a hotel and wedding venue. It had come at the most perfect time as I needed a little escape from my busy mum and work life (I'll explain why a little later). I couldn't even remember the last time Aaron and I had spent the night away. At first, I wasn't even sure about where Milton Keynes was, as I had never been before but was pleasantly surprised that it was only around one and a half hours drive from Birmingham, so not too far, but far enough to feel like I had got away from the chaos of the city.

The drive into the grounds is one of the most stunning I've seen, with trees lining the entrance road which is situated directly central to Chicheley hall itself, giving it this feeling of grandeur as you arrive. I literally felt flutters of excitement as we drove up. Even though it is very easy to get to - 10 minutes from the M1 exit - it literally felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, as fields surround the eighty acres of grounds. Yes eighty, 8-0!  It's so peaceful, I was stunned. This is the first thing that really hit me when we got there, the peace and quiet, aside from my amazing room, which I will get to in a minute. Every which way you turn, there is a picture opportunity and the grounds are so vast that just walking around them was lovely.

The room I stayed in was a Superior room named 'Born' after the scientist Max Born, who received a Nobel Prize for his statistical interpretation of wave function. The hotel is owned by the Royal Society so has a scientific theme running throughout. When I entered the room, I was literally blown away by the size and loved the style, it was definitely in keeping with the whole style of the hotel , from the antique furniture to the grand curtains. But what really stood out were the views from every window. I must have sat on the bay window seats for a good fifteen minutes, just admiring the views. I feel like the bed was a super king size, however I could be wrong. It might have just been king but it felt so much bigger compared to mine at home, again giving that extra element of luxury. There was a tea & coffee station, and a large flat screen TV, but to be honest I couldn't take my eyes off the views from the windows, I think this was the biggest selling point. The bathroom was more than big enough for the two of us, however one thing I would say is that I was a little disappointed to see a standard bath. I really expected a free standing one, a jacuzzi style or even a double bath, considering the size of the bathroom. Another thing to note is that there is no spa attached to the hotel so maybe having a bigger bath would make up for this, as I would have loved to end my evening with a relaxing soak. Because the building is quite old, some of the features such as the heating system were quite rattly so at one point in the night both Aaron and I did wake up, wondering what the noise was. However, we are both quite light sleepers.

Included in my stay was dinner and breakfast. The menu was preset and we got to choose what we would like for starters, mains and dessert and were also given bread & butter, which I cheekily asked for more of. There was a good variety of options and vegetarian options all labelled really well,  including extra information on ingredients and allergies. I opted for the sweet potato and coconut soup for starter and Aaron had the fish cake, both of which were really delicious. For main, I had the mushroom risotto and Aaron had the Gnocchi and finally for dessert I had the Pecan pie with ice cream and Aaron opted for the cheese board. I enjoyed all of my food and would definitely recommend eating in if you choose to stay, as the quality of the food is fantastic and fresh. The following morning, we had the breakfast which was just like any other hotel breakfast. All yummy however I found the seating a bit of an issue. Unlike the evening meal, which you have to book in for, the breakfast is just first come first serve and the food dining areas aren't the biggest. We managed to find a small coffee table with arm chairs to eat on, which wasn't the most comfortable, however I did see other people walking around and having to wait for a seat. I definitely think there is more room for tables especially in the side dining room, so hopefully this is something that can be resolved easily.

After breakfast, we continued to walk the grounds and were surprised when we saw some peacocks walking around. We realised that that was the bird that was making a squawking sound the night before. If you are a light sleeper this will probably annoy you, however I slept soundly (apart from the radiator incident). I would also say we were quite lucky in that we stayed on a weekend where there was no weddings or party bookings, meaning the hotel wasn't very busy. I think personally this made our stay even more enjoyable and there was a very calm atmosphere. If you would like to see more live action from my stay you can watch my instagram stories here where I vlogged some of our stay.

Rooms at Chicheley Hall start from £48.60 for a standard room and £68.40 for a Superior, which is  so affordable. Personally, I would pay the extra for the Superior to really get the best experience. De Vere hotels also offer a loyalty scheme which is free to join that gives things like an extra hour for check out or a free drink on arrival, which I would say is worth looking into. Chicheley Hall also have events at the venue such as an open air cinema which is something that might be fun to attend next time, so I will be keeping a look out for the next one. Overall I had a really enjoyable stay and can confidently say I will be visiting again.

Now for why I was so desperate to get away. Well, I am so happy to announce that... I'm pregnant! It has been a tough few months what with all the difficulties that come with early pregnancy, which I have been documenting in a separate post. But I am well into my second trimester and feeling so much better, so this stay was a little celebration for me and Aaron, call it a baby moon if you want. After trying for a while and getting past the first trimester, we could finally celebrate our good news! I can't wait to share more about it soon.

Amina xx

*Gifted stay. All opinions are my own.

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