Stapleford Park, UK

The Grade-I listed mansion that now houses Stapleford Park is an architectural gem with a rich heritage and eclectic characterThursday, 10 November 2016

By National Geographic Traveller The Collection

Set in the heart of the idyllic Leicestershire countryside, not far from the market town of Melton Mowbray, the Grade-I listed mansion that now houses Stapleford Park is an architectural gem with a rich heritage and eclectic character.

Destination
Home to castles, wildlife centres and museums, Leicestershire has long been the destination of choice for many seeking a country escape — and the discovery of King Richard III’s remains here in 2012 only confirmed the county’s place on the map of must-visit English destinations. Nestled in the countryside, Melton Mowbray is a quintessential English market town, famed for its pork pies and Stilton cheese. Not far from Melton Mowbray, in the heart of England, lies the Grade-I listed Stapleford Park Country House Hotel & Sporting Estate.

Location and history
The walls of the vast house are steeped in history: the mansion’s roots can be traced back to the Sherard family, whose ancestors include Geoffrey Sherard, appointed High Sheriff of Rutland in 1468, the Earls of Harborough and a sprinkling of Lords and Ladies. Originally a Norman inception, the estate itself comprises two buildings from different eras — 1633 and 1894.

Each new era has left a mark on the architecture and character, with the history pages of Stapleford Park filled with tales of feasts and balls, visiting royalty and lavish entertainment. The heritage is proudly celebrated: family portraits line the main stairs, and plaques adorn the walls.

Hotel guests can take a house tour to learn more about this rich past, from the 1828 signatures etched into ancient glass panes to the wooden stones that replaced cobbles in the archway during the First World War.

Architecture
Large windows and heavy doors adorn the light-stone building, which boasts ornately plastered ceilings and spacious rooms. The frontage resembles a classic French chateau, but eagle-eyed guests will spot signs of English ambience throughout the house, from Jacobean styling to the wood-panelled carvings of the dining room, credited to sculptor Grinling Gibbons.

Activities & amenities
Set in 500 acres of Capability Brown gardens, Stapleford Park offers guests an extensive range of activities, from falconry and archery to riding and golf — plus endless exploration of the great outdoors. Traditional English pastimes can be enjoyed at the country estate, with pursuits such as clay pigeon shooting, croquet, giant chess and tennis available. The spa includes a 22-metre pool with an adjacent terrace open during the summer months. Families with young children can take advantage of the estate’s Ofsted-registered nursery.

Rooms
The rooms have been individually designed by the likes of David Hicks, Nina Campbell and Mulberry, with original features paired with modern trappings. Family rooms are available, but guests can also choose to stay in one of the two self-catering cottages, the larger of which sleeps eight.

Food & drink
After exploring the local countryside, taking in a tour of the mansion or unwinding in the spa, guests can replenish their energy by indulging in delicious cuisine from the hotel’s eateries — the Main House and the Pavilion. Featuring intricate woodcarvings by Dutch master Grinling Gibbons, the Main House is a beautiful AA Rosette restaurant that dishes up gourmet fare inspired by locally sourced ingredients. For a more laid-back, casual setting, guests can head to the Pavilion — a contemporary thatched-roof restaurant overlooking the 18th hole of the hotel’s championship golf course. A number of rooms can be hired out for private dining experiences, including The Harborough Room, The Old Kitchen and The Billiard Room.
After dinner, guests can retire to the drawing room to sample the bar’s extensive selection of whiskies, brandies and ports.

Those looking for a quintessentially British affair are in for a treat: amid the glistening chandeliers and portrait-covered walls in the Drawing Room, visitors can tuck into Stapleford Park’s traditional afternoon tea.

Spa
A converted Victorian stable block houses the award-winning spa at Stapleford Park. As well as seven treatment rooms and an extensive menu, the spa also boasts a heated pool, sauna and whirlpool bath. Spa experiences are available, one of which includes treatments, a two-course lunch at the Pavilion and access to the extensive leisure facilities.

Elsewhere in the stable block, guests can make use of a fitness studio and an eclectic mix of exercise classes.

Golf
Designed by Donald Steel, Stapleford Park’s championship golf course winds around the great estate offering fantastic views of the house and its grounds. Golf days and breaks are available, and a high-tech golf simulator is available in the thatched Pavilion.

Don’t miss

An indulgent meal at the hotel’s AA Rosette restaurant, the Main House, surrounded by Grinling Gibbons’ artwork

Need to know

Key Facilities

• 55 individually designed bedrooms
• AA Rosette restaurant
• 500 acres of Capability Brown landscaped gardens
• 10 private rooms for entertaining and conferences
• Spa
• Championship golf course
• Indoor golf simulator
• Mini golf
• Tennis courts
• Creche with lots for children to do
• Country pursuits

Contact Information

staplefordpark.com
T: 01572 787 000
E: information@stapleford.com

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