This week, we’re lusting after all things green, fresh and springy. We want to eat butter-dipped asparagus, plump peas, tender lamb and citrus puddings. We also want the sun to shine. Though today’s hotel of the week can’t guarantee the latter, it can provide all of the former, thanks to its tempting new spring menu. Please be upstanding for the very lovely Oundle Mill hotel in Northamptonshire…
Style Mill with a gloss
Setting Serene on the Nene
Why this week? To celebrate its new menu, the hotel has a host of foodie events and extras in the planning, including Saturday afternoon barbecues and half-price food on Thursdays (in July and August). There’s also a boutique hotel offer for Smith members: 50% off on two-night stays from now until October.
Our favourite bits We love the waterside setting, the hotel’s clever chef, the fact that the mill has more than 300 birthdays to its name but only two bedrooms (though we’re keen to see the 19 new rooms currently in the works). At the moment, Lucom is our favourite. This split-level timber-framed cabin on the rooftop that juts out over the front of the mill is definitely not one for vertigo sufferers. The bed seems to hover above a rich red carpet, original beams criss-cross the ceiling and delightful downstream views.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘There’s been a flour mill here on the banks of the River Nene, next to the Upper Barnwell Lock, since Saxon times, with the current limestone-built building dating back to the 17th century. Oundle Mill has been a restaurant since the Sixties, reopening under new ownership in August 2008 after a three-year refurb. For such a tall building it is slightly surprising to discover that this hip hotel has only two bedrooms: now that is boutique. The first two floors are given over to dining and an open kitchen, so it’s more restaurant with rooms than traditional guesthouse. Both bedrooms are on the top floor, the biggest of which, the Mill room, has double-storey beamed ceilings, huge velvet bed base and a double-ended Castello stone bath bedside under its eaves. We are staying in the much smaller Lucom room, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character.
‘A small timber cabin jutting out from the top of the stone building, with tiny casement windows on three sides is in fact our boudoir. The original mill pulleys still hang over the under-lit bed, which itself seems suspended over a deep red carpet.’ Read the full Oundle Mill review…
You say… ‘We had such a lovely weekend at Oundle Mill and really enjoyed Oundle itself. There is a lovely bookshop, the most fantastic kitchen shop (well and truly crammed with fab stuff), and the jewel is a lingerie shop called Eve in a little parade of shops in an old chapel. The owner is very helpful and they had a pretty selection of stuff in many sizes.’ Kate, BlackSmith, stayed on 18 Feb 2011