Sometimes it’s just nice to get away from it all, isn’t it? Get away from the same four walls. Explore somewhere new. Hit that reset button.
That’s exactly what we did a few weekends ago.
Chicheley Hall invited Ian and I to enjoy a night away in their gorgeous hotel and grounds. With us both working full time jobs, it was nice to do something different at the weekend…other than catching up with the cleaning!
On top of that. It was also my birthday! So it was all doubly exciting for me.
Chicheley Hall is located in the village of Chicheley in Buckinghamshire. This beautiful venue also plays host to weddings, events, corporate meetings and more. So whatever your need, they can cater for it here. We took a little look through the wedding photo books on display there and the weddings all looked stunning!
We left work a little earlier (thanks bosses!) so we could grab our bags and head off for our mini getaway, and birthday celebrations too of course.
As you turn off of the country road and start to drive up the long tree-lined drive, you’re greeted by the most imposing, symmetrical and quite frankly stunning country house. The sun was shining down, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it just made everything look even more beautiful.
At Chicheley Hall there’s plenty of parking, as there’s parking to the side of the building and an overflow car park area to the back. We excitedly took our bags from the car and headed to reception, where we were given the key to one of their most prestigious rooms – The Appleton, situated in the main building.
As we walked to our room, we walked through the main lobby area of Chicheley Hall and past a beautiful bright and light room separated from the lobby by impressive columns. This grand, light and bright section is the area in which weddings are held. The room has a lovely tiled floor and a big beautiful door, which is actually the main central door that you see when you look at the front of the building. It’s such a lovely area. So well lit by the natural light flowing in through the huge windows. Just by this room is the wide grand dark wooden staircase, with a gorgeous chandelier hanging from the high ceiling above.
The main door to our room was situated through a lovely little walkway. Featuring a gorgeous fireplace and a window which looks out to one of the perfectly maintained garden areas below. One thing I loved about our room was how charming it was. The door lock? It was an upside down one! You had to put the key in upside down to how you usually would and then turn it in the opposite direction to how you would normally too. Just brilliant.
As we entered, we were greeted by one impressive room. Super high ceilings, beautiful panelling…it was very grand. Once you close the door you suddenly realise how every door in the room looks like a secret door (if you follow me on Insta – www.instagram.com/amanda_alston ..you would have seen how amazed I was by this! Haha!). Each door is subtly hidden within the panelling. The wardrobe area, storage areas (and safe box area) and even the bathroom door were all concealed in such a way. It was so fun. You really felt like you were staying somewhere unique for the evening.
We were so glad to arrive there whilst it was so light, (you’ve got to love these longer spring/summer days), as we were able to look through the two tall beautiful windows in our room and realise how beautiful a view we had across the grounds and over to their lake area. Ducks, geese, a swan and even a Heron were seen from those windows.
The bathroom in the room also has a beautiful garden view! The room itself was lovely and modern. So fresh looking and with ample room to walk around in from the bath/shower cubicle to the sink.
The room itself has everything you need. A hairdryer, a safe, tea and coffee making facilities, water and an apple each was provided, toiletries in the bathroom, a full length mirror hidden on the back of one of the secret doors! Chicheley Hall also provide you with a book filled with ideas of places to explore in Buckinghamshire, which is so helpful. Out on the landing you could also find additional teas, coffees, biscuits and fruit, just in case you’re in need of an extra pick-me-up.
After dumping our bags, it was time to head down to the dining room to enjoy a three course dinner. There were some lovely options available on the menu, and it definitely had something for everyone. For starters, I had the melon and parma ham and Ian chose the duck pate. Both were certainly enjoyed. My starter was so yummy, refreshing because of the melon and thankfully not too filling, meaning that I had room to fit in a dessert at the end!
We both had the garlic chicken with potato cake and veggies for our main, and this was such a good choice. It was perfectly cooked, so flavoursome and again not too heavy. We both really enjoyed the potato cake, it’s not often that you see potato presented in such a way, but it was a welcomed change.
As it was my birthday, I just had to have some chocolate indulgence, so I went straight for the chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream. This was divine. The base was lovely and the chocolate was just SO good. Ian had the pear and almond tart, which was paired with vanilla ice cream and a lovely berry compote. It was perfect.
We washed it all down with a lovely bottle of Spee’wah Pinot Grigio. We can definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a really easy to drink bottle. It’s ideal for those summer nights.
After dinner we took a walk around the grounds whilst it was getting dusky but still a little light. Take time to enjoy the gorgeous peacocks that roam the grounds of the hotel. At dusk they were calling out from the heights of the trees by the church, which is in the Chicheley Hall grounds, just next to the hotel. Who even knew that they could fly and get up into the trees? I certainly didn’t! But they are absolutely stunning.
We slept well that night. But to be totally honest, I sleep well anywhere. I never wake up in the night. So I have asked Ian what he thought of his night’s sleep, and he said it was “really good, really comfortable”. So take it from him, and not me.
After a lovely refreshing shower, it was time to head downstairs for breakfast. There was a buffet style of choice available. Various juices, cooked breakfast items, a variety of cereals, fruit, yogurt, breads, pastries and more.
For this meal we dined in the area in which weddings are held. The one at the front of the building, to the side of the lobby area – as I described earlier in this post. Again, it was beautifully lit and such a calm and pleasant area to have your breakfast in. Ian had a cooked breakfast as well as fruit and yogurt, whilst I had cereal, fruit and yogurt, Nutella on toast (yum!) and a little pastry as well. Everything was delicious. No complaints here!
After enjoying breakfast, we went to our room to enjoy some last few moments pretending we were lord and lady of the manor. We then said our goodbyes to the Appleton room and checked out at 11am. However I did notice that there is an option to check out later if this is something you need.
Once we popped the bags in the car, we walked around the grounds in the gorgeous sunshine. We were so lucky with the weather!
Aren’t the grounds just beautiful? We really enjoyed walking around them, looking at bluebells and watching the wildlife enjoying the lake and the sunshine.
If you fancy a stay a Chicheley Hall, here’s a few suggestions on what you can see in the surrounding areas…
Explore local villages and towns, such as the market town of Olney (my hometown). Olney is filled with quaint old buildings, lovely shops and the Cowper and Newton museum where you can uncover the history of one of England’s favourite poets William Cowper, as well as one of his neighbours, John Newton, author of the hymn Amazing Grace. I’d recommend grabbing a bite to eat or a passing drink in the brand new dining destination there, called The Cherry Tree. (You can read my review of The Cherry Tree *here*).
If a country park takes your fancy, I’d recommend nearby Emberton park for a lovely long walk around their lakes. There’s also several lakes in Milton Keynes to enjoy too, such as Willen, Caldecotte and Furzton.
If you fancy a weekend of shopping until you drop, you can always swing by the Milton Keynes shopping centres. You can read all about my SS18 intu shopping centre picks *here*.
Going further afield slightly, is Stoke Bruerne. A lovely place to enjoy the canal and catch a boat ride if you would like to enjoy a slow meander up the canal area there. I did this a few years ago and it was lovely.
Milton Keynes Theatre has been showing some fantastic shows recently, including some West End hits. So do check what’s on when you’re visiting Chicheley Hall.
My final suggestion is to head over to Bletchley Park to find out all about the code breakers in the war. Bletchley Park was the central site for British codebreakers during World War II, so this place is sure to be an interesting place to visit. I live in Milton Keynes and even I haven’t visited this place yet! I’ll be sure to change that this year though.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed my post about our stay at Chicheley Hall and that you’ve found it useful. We had such a wonderful time, and can truly recommend it for a real getaway from everyday life.
To find out more about Chicheley Hall and to book your stay. Head on over to www.chicheleymiltonkeynes.co.uk
*Chicheley Hall provided us with this stay free of charge, but our thoughts are most definitely ours, and we absolutely loved our stay there!