Our visit to the elegant Brocket Hall
Situated in the heart of Hertfordshire, Brocket Hall is one of the UK’s most exclusive and luxurious estates. This 543 acres of tranquil English countryside is home to a magnificent country estate which offers luxurious accommodation, two championship golf courses, and excellent meeting facilities. We were recently invited to try the “Auberge experience” at Brocket Hall, a popular package which includes everything that you could want from a romantic getaway in the countryside.
The roots of Brocket Hall are in the 13th century, with the original building being built in 1239. The house as we know it today, however, was built in 1760 for Sir Mathew Lamb in order to provide his family with its country seat. The Brocket Hall estate as we know it today boasts three luxurious venues, two championship golf courses, a five-star restaurant and is staffed with butlers and a team of exceptional chefs. As such, it’s become a popular venue for company outings, private parties and quintessentially English weddings.
Included in the “Auberge experience” was our accommodation at Melbourne Lodge, one of the impressive Georgian buildings scattered around the estate. The lodge was originally built as a stable block, housing the many hunting and racehorses in the 18th century. The coach house conversation now retains some of its history with rooms being named after the most famous horses.
We stayed in the Rainbow Quest room, which was one of the larger rooms in Melbourne Lodge. The room itself was supremely spacious with exceptional views over the grounds from two large windows, with the décor being in-keeping of the building and country style. Our bed was comfortable and provided a great night’s sleep, ensuring our stay was a relaxing experience. The room also had all the facilities we required including tea & coffee, fluffy robes and an ensuite complete with two individual sinks. The flat screen television was a nice addition as well – but with 543 acres to explore we did not need to pick up the remote!
When it comes to fine dining at Brocket Hall there is Auberge du Lac, an award-winning 5-star restaurant located in the former hunting lodge, overlooking the beautiful country estate and the Hall itself. Although we visited the restaurant in the evening, there is also a picturesque terrace with a lovely view over the river. Every day the restaurant caters for private dinners, weddings, ladies lunches, birthday parties and other celebrations. As a part of the Auberge experience, we were treated to an 8-course tasting menu with sampling wine to accompany each dish.
The compact dishes ranged from a deceptively simple Pan Fried John Dory with Crayfish and sea fennel to delectable Escargot Bourguignon. All of them were clearly lovingly prepared with thought to every ingredient, and each had a wine to perfectly accompany them. As each dish was brought out our waitress would explain them to us and be easily able to answer any of our questions. This same level of service was found with our wine steward as well, who outlined various interesting details about the wines. Our favourite dish by far was the Hay Ash Lakeland Venison, which managed to enhance the already-rich venison flavour with truffle, turnip and chanterelle. The most interesting ‘wine’ we had was a sake called Yuzu Omo, which limoncello; this was of course reserved for the rich, dark flavours of the Tiramisu.
Although not as renowned as Auberge du Lac, you should not take the included breakfast at Brocket Hall lightly. Although the breakfast menu is interesting and varied, we chose to start the day with a hearty full English breakfast and a hot cappuccino. Breakfast was enjoyed whilst enjoying a view over the river and it really gave us time to reflect on the day before. This traditional breakfast experience was certainly an essential part of the trip and we would recommend you try it.
Overall our experience of Brocket Hall was truly fascinating and proved to be a relaxing visit that we will most certainly be going back to. If you were looking for even more opportunities to visit Brocket Hall, then you may be glad to learn that this year saw the launch of the Lady Caroline Arts & Entertainments Club, as well as the Lord Byron Fine Wine Club. The Arts & Entertainments Club lets you gain a newfound appreciation of Brocket Hall’s environment, as well as choosing from a large variety of events throughout the year. The Fine Wine Club focuses on an appreciation of the best wines in the world, offering wine tastings and wine estate tours. Brocket Hall has also recently found fame in the popular ITV show Victoria, which focused on the relationship between the Queen and Lord Melbourne.
If you are interested in any of the events at Brocket Hall or wish to book a visit yourself then do head over to the Brocket Hall website, where you will also find more information about Auberge du Lac, weddings and corporate events, and a further history of the estate.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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