Ticked All The Boxes: Hampton Manor
Every month I am planning on writing a post about somewhere I have visited recently, that in my eyes ‘ticks all the boxes’ in terms of the design, character and ambience. This time around I am going to talk about Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden.
If you are ever around this neck of the woods I would highly recommend stopping in, if only for a quick cocktail! They are situated very close to the NEC Birmingham, Birmingham Airport, Grand Central at Birmingham New Street and Solihull. It’s quite remarkable really to be in a beautiful 45-acre estate, and yet so close to the UK’s 2nd largest city!
Their restaurant, Peels is absolutely exquisite too – I don’t think I have ever been disappointed, and I’ve been a fair few times. Their keen eye for detail in selecting carefully sourced seasonal produce, and bringing together adventurous yet mouth-watering ingredients definitely pays off! Coupled with excellent service, creating a relaxed and comfortable dining experience, Peels absolutely deserves its 3 AA Rosettes.
The manor house went through several changes in 2015, including relocating the restaurant into the original dining room and converting the drawing room into an elegant lounge to enjoy an aperitif and amuse bouche. You can really sense the soul in the dining room by returning to its roots, with lots of dark wood panelling, leather tables and gorgeous grand windows. I have to say, the lounge is one of my favourite spaces in the whole building – see below. You can probably see why.
There are 15 individually designed rooms within the original manor house, each with stunning ensuite bathrooms, featuring a combination of large baths, monsoon showers and ceramic, glass and mosaic tiles, such as the Rollason pictured below.
Now you might be thinking, but there is quite a mix of bright, airy interiors with some quite dark, moody schemes. And I like it? Who am I? I just absolutely love how Creative Director, Fjona Hill has pulled everything together, it’s as simple as that. And after reading their blog, I realise that the patterns, motifs and choice of materials were all carefully selected based on much more than just aesthetics. Prepare yourself for a brief history lesson.
In the 1850s, Philip Webb, Gabrielle Rosetti and William Morris started the Arts & Crafts movement when they came together to work on The Red House. This was in response to Industrialism which had somewhat dehumanised labour and mass production. Morris believed that the emphasis needed to return to the natural beauty of craftsmanship and materials. In his words “Art should improve the lives of ordinary people”, and sure enough his designs began appearing in ordinary people’s homes. His affordable papers and fabrics were ‘affordable art for all’ using traditional craft skills and heavily influenced by nature.
Built in 1885 by Sir Frederick Peel, son of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Hampton Manor was heavily influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement. Several period features have been beautifully celebrated throughout the building, such as the grand oak entrance, hand carved oak panels lining the staircase and the hand-painted stained glass in the windows.
I just love how the décor has actually carried through to the manor’s ethos. Morris wanted people to go back to basics and live a more simplistic lifestyle, and this is obviously a huge inspiration for the management who’s main aim is to create “their very own soulful home and Palace of Art”. In Peels you will find handmade plates from the Cotswolds, and bespoke wooden trays from Shirley based William Self, emphasising the importance of sourcing locally and embracing traditional craftsmanship. Staff are all encouraged to excel in and share their craft, which not only develops a professional and united team but also leaves you feeling in very safe hands, whether choosing a wine to compliment your main course or being served a perfectly brewed afternoon tea. The irony is, yes they’ve taken things back to basics, but I would argue guests will undoubtedly feel like royalty!
Fjona Hill has been extremely sensitive to the period of the property in her selections, with nods to the Arts & Crafts style throughout, including several Morris & Co. wallcoverings used in a handful of bedrooms (above). There is also a significant contemporary edge, which very tastefully brings the manor house into the 21st century. I particularly admire the use of pattern and colour, especially with the floral and botanical prints which offset the beautiful surroundings perfectly.
One of my favourite colour schemes, unsurprisingly is much more vibrant and cheerful. This is the XO room, and I think it is totally stunning. With a botanical themed wallcovering, pulling out the turquoise and orange in the upholstery and soft furnishings, the bright white accents just finish it off perfectly. I can imagine this palette looking quite brave on paper, but in reality it works an absolute treat.
And finally, I wanted to mention their wedding venue because… well just look at this…
The Birches and Elizabeth’s Court can be hired for weddings with up to 150 guests (numbers vary depending on peak/off peak and day of the week). So, me getting married is currently a very long way off – but a girl can dream. As a venue this absolutely makes my heart melt. So when the day comes, it’ll be high up on my list to check out!
I must admit, when studying the Evolution of Style during my course, I wasn’t entirely sure how relevant this module would be, but just over a month into the real world and I’m already geeking out over the Arts & Crafts movement in one of my favourite local haunts. I hope next month’s ‘Ticked All The Boxes’ lives up Hampton Manor’s high standards!
Have a wonderful day ♥
Note: all images are taken off Hampton Manor’s website