Oakham, Rutland, England
One of Britain’s finest country house hotels, Hambleton Hall has a gorgeous lakeside setting in the tiny county of Rutland. A member of Relais & Chateaux, Hambleton Hall offers quintessential English country comforts and exquisite Michelin-star dining.
At a Glance
Gorgeous historic country house in Rutland
Magnificent gardens and lakeside setting
Award-winning Michelin-star dining
Superb base for exploring historic attractions such as Belvoir Castle
Relais & Chateaux 'seal of approval'
To start planning your vacation to Hambleton Hall
Set among sublime formal gardens overlooking the magnificent wildfowl reserve of Rutland Water, Hambleton Hall was originally a Victorian hunting retreat which, like all good English country houses, has enjoyed more than its fair share of tittle-tattle and society scandal. Situated in Oakham around an hour north of Cambridge, Hambleton Hall today provides a delightful base for exploring some of the rather special country houses, castles and historic battlefields of the area, and makes a handy place to stop if you are traveling between London and the North of England.
The style is grand but relaxed, old fashioned but resolutely unstuffy – perfect for enjoying a fireside chat in the Great Hall or a cocktail in the bar. Each of the 17 rooms and suites are individually and tastefully decorated, and offer irreproachable comforts including hand-stitched Italian linens and wonderful marble bathrooms. A gorgeous two-bedroom suite with a private terrace is the perfect option for families.
While the atmosphere is unashamedly old world and the service attentive and personal, in-room amenities are firmly twenty-first century. As befits a Relais & Chateaux property, the cuisine is superb, and head chef Aaron Patterson and his well-trained brigade have scoured the local countryside to find the best local producers, serving up light, seasonal and indulgent contemporary dishes. Breakfasts include divine breads and pastries from the nearby Hambleton Bakery.
Stroll out through the French windows, and you can gaze on sumptuous gardens filled with statuary, parterres and topiary, as well as a heated walled swimming pool that’s perfect for a hot summer’s day, and a tennis court. Beyond are Rutland Water, where you can watch ospreys swoop, go for an afternoon's sail or cycle along the shoreline, and tiny Hambleton Village with its twelfth-century church. Slightly further afield amid sylvan countryside, Burghley House, the grandest house of the Elizabethan age, and Belvoir Castle, seat of the Duke of Rutland and boasting exquisite Capability Brown-designed landscaped gardens, are both guaranteed to set a history buff’s heart a-fluttering.
Comfortable and resoundingly English in design, the 17 rooms at Hambleton Hall are in keeping with the rest of the property when it comes to country charm and luxurious fixtures and fittings. Each room is individual, ranging from Standard to Master bedrooms, and all enjoy views over the delightful gardens or Rutland Water, although some are slightly more restricted than others. Air-conditioning can be found in a selection of the rooms, including in 2 of the 5 standard rooms. Interconnecting rooms are available.
The Croquet Pavillion, just 40 meters away from the main house, boasts two double bedrooms - one large king sized room and one smaller double/twin bedded room - making this another great alternative for families preferring a little more privacy. The Pavillion comes with a comfortable sitting room, breakfast room and bathroom, and stunning views of Rutland Water can be enjoyed from its private terrace.
No specific child care facilities are provided and the hotel does have a slightly more grown-up feel; however children are welcome.
The Michelin star-rated restaurant at Hambleton Hall offers up a refined menu of delicious dishes, specifically designed by head chef Aaron Patterson to showcase the best of local produce according to season. Guests can choose from an a la carte menu or a six-course tasting menu; Hambleton Hall's sommelier is on hand to select accompanying wines should you wish to complement each dish with the perfect tipple. Dining here is a sophisticated affair and the dress code is smart, although a jacket or tie is not required for gentlemen.
Nearby Rutland Water is the perfect playground for those in search of an outdoor adventure; this expansive man made lake is a popular choice for anyone wishing to indulge in a spot of windsurfing, dinghy sailing, canoeing or fishing, and the surrounding nature reserve provides ample opportunity for rock climbing, cycling, bird watching (with summer ospreys in residence) or even a gentle stroll.
For those with an inclination towards culture and history then the selection of castles and country houses in the area will surely appeal. Highlights include Burghley House and Belvoir Castle, and there are a number situated less than a 35-minute drive from Hambleton Hall.
Location & Directions
Oakham, Rutland, England
Hambleton Hall is situated overlooking Rutland Water near Oakham, the county town of Rutland.
When to go
It is very difficult to predict the weather in the United Kingdom - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but the UK does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk.