Hotel of the week: Mallory Court, Leamington Spa in Warwickshire
Mallory Court is a magnificent 31 bedroom manor house in Leamington Spa. Set in 10 acres of grounds, she is the epitome of a quintessential English country house hotel. Elegance and style personified, Mallory Court is the matriarch of Eden’s hotels and has a pedigree and history that has long been associated with great hotel keeping. Guests to Mallory inevitably fall in love and return time and time again.
One of the top 200 hotels in the country, and a long standing member of the revered Relais and Châteaux group, Mallory charms her guests with handsome bedrooms, breath-taking grounds, unobtrusive service and simply exquisite food in the heart of Warwickshire. Old and new sit comfortably together; the grand Lutyens style main house and fine dining restaurant offering something different from the art-deco inspired Brasserie and the sleek event facilities of the Knights Suite.
A haven of tranquillity, the hotel is surrounded by landscaped gardens, croquet lawns and seasonal flower displays arranged into six distinct areas, including the Old English rose gardens. The pond garden with its original stone paths and mature trees is a beautiful feature. Located within the picturesque countryside on the doorstep to Warwick Castle and Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, with the Cotswolds also within easy reach, Mallory Court is an ideal base for exploring this designated area of natural beauty.
Mallory’s twenty manor house bedrooms, combined with eleven Knight’s Suite rooms, provide the perfect mix of traditional country house charm and contemporary style. The superb décor, high levels of comfort and continuing attention to detail create a setting of elegance and modernity where guests can be assured of a most restful stay.
Fine dining is at the forefront of the Mallory experience. Their attitude towards food is firmly based on seasonality, from the first spring asparagus, hand dived scallops and Cornish blue lobster moving through the year to venison, mallard and other game. The menus are constantly evolving, encompassing modern techniques and trends whilst also revisiting things that have been long forgotten. Mallory are also a firm believer in using what is on their doorstep, whether that be local suppliers in Warwickshire or harvesting produce from their own kitchen gardens.
Head chef Paul Foster joined Mallory Court from Tuddenham Mill near Newmarket, where he has achieved several top accolades in the past four years – including three AA rosettes, The Good Food Guide 2011’s UK Best Up and Coming Chef, and Observer Food Monthly Young Chef of the Year 2011.
Paul, who grew up locally, started life as a chef at Coventry’s Henley College when he was just 16, taking his first job in a small two rosette restaurant near Coventry. Paul’s career has included periods at Raymond Blanc’s two-Michelin starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford – an experience he says “helped shape me into the chef I am today” – and a number of two and three rosette restaurants in the Midlands.
In 2006, Paul won the coveted William Heptinstall award, which led to internships at the ground-breaking WD50 in New York, The French Laundry in Napa Valley, and L’Auberge de L’Ile in Lyon but it was getting the chance to work at two-Michelin Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham in 2008 that proved to be a milestone in his career. Paul has since appeared on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and BBC2’s Great British Menu, and has earned high praise from some of the industry’s most highly regarded food critics, including Observer reviewer and MasterChef critic Jay Rayner.
Paul says of his cooking: “My ethos is to use the best suppliers and buy the best possible ingredients. I don’t like to over manipulate food; some dishes need work but if you have great ingredients it generally just needs balancing and cooking correctly and you’ll end up with something fantastic. Then it’s just about using your knowledge and skills to take it that bit further and make it something really special. I like to keep my cooking natural, light and simple and we’re really lucky to have the kitchen gardens here, which help to keep things really fresh and seasonal.”
Paul and his team firmly believe in using what they have on their doorstep and take great pride and pleasure in using the organically grown, seasonal produce grown in Mallory Court’s own kitchen gardens. The chefs work closely with the garden team to steer what is grown in order to keep the menus fresh and exciting. Take a walk through the grounds at any time of year and you’ll find a wealth of fresh produce growing from figs and soft fruits to herbs, salads, root vegetables and more exotic and hard to grow offering such as artichokes and asparagus.
Mallory Court is also a fully licensed venue for civil wedding ceremonies. Couples can choose from four superb locations throughout the hotel for a civil ceremony; the oak panelled Main House Restaurant, The Eden suite, Drawing room and The Atrium. The country house setting will provide the perfect backdrop to any wedding ceremony. It’s a truly magical venue for an unforgettable wedding day.
Construction is currently taking place for a luxury spa in the grounds of Mallory Court, built to enhance the sense of escape and relaxation guests experience when staying at the hotel. Elan Spa at Mallory Court will use the latest energy efficient techniques and state of the art design to create a spa in keeping with this listed building, and with the designs and extension that have been undertaken by Eden Hotel Collection over the years.
The spa, in addition to a pool, hot tubs and treatment rooms will have the addition of luxurious bedrooms and bathrooms and will be an entirely separate building in the grounds with separate access from the hotel.
Address: Harbury Ln, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV33 9QB / 01926 330214