Hotel Review: Eckington Manor in Pershore, near the Cotswolds
Leading travel writer Becky Armstrong travels to the market town of Pershore, near the Cotswolds, for a weekend stay at the luxurious Eckington Manor.
Eckington Manor is nestled in the Avon valleys tucked away on the border of the picturesque Cotswolds. Set back from the hustle and bustle, Eckington Manor is stowed away in a secret corner, just outside Pershore village, across from the river Avon.
In this delightful little corner of the world, this elegant countryside estate houses a restaurant, cookery school and 15 luxury furnished hotel rooms rustically perched within the farm estate itself.
It’s clear from the moment you step inside the grounds that Eckington Manor is a haven of passionate foodies. The passion for food is clear and prominent as soon as you arrive; with an award winning farm and orchard on site and manor grounds complete with vegetable and herb gardens, further illustrating the importance towards the use of good, all year round, seasonal ingredients.
With various facilities on offer, your time at Eckington Manor can be spent exactly as you please – be that brushing up on your cookery skills, or sampling some of the delicious food, lazing back and having someone cook for you, or maybe you’d rather just soak up the countryside air or take a timeout relaxing in your luxurious bedroom?
Set in its own private idyllic courtyard the hotel guarantees a peaceful setting for all guests. We arrived right on cue, the afternoon sunshine on its best behaviour and the resident cat greeted us with a warmingly welcome purr.
Once you step inside, it’s guaranteed you’ll never want to leave. The hotel buildings are set in a horseshoe shape, creating a luxurious shelter for guests in their very own private estate.
All the wings of Eckington Manor are rescued farm buildings (five of them make up the hotel altogether). One of the buildings in particular is 17th-century and half-timbered in structure, aptly named the Lower End House home to the guest lounge and honesty bar.
The honesty bar is a lovely little addition for paying guests, if you haven’t heard of an “honesty bar” before it’s basically an unattended beverage bar allowing guests to select from a range of wines, beers and spirits, where payment is left to the guest to declare by writing down their room number and selection – an honest touch indeed!
One of the main facilities at Eckington Manor is their state of the art cookery school which teaches budding cooks the story of food “from garden fork to dinner fork”. You can vew the range of cookery courses available to you here: eckingtonmanor.co.uk/pages/cookeryschool
Our Food and Drink Experience
Food is at the heart of what they practice and preach at Eckington Manor. Cooking classically combines both British and European cuisine with the odd dish from further afield in order to create a diverse and imaginative menu that incorporates locally grown produce from both their own farm and the surrounding areas.
Chef Sue Stinchcombe and her husband Mark are the couple behind the Farm to Fork food philosophy at the heart of Eckington Manor. Mark Stinchcombe also proudly holds the title of winner of the 2015 “Masterchef the Professionals” BBC series.
Upon learning a little bit more about the professionals behind the culinary magic at Eckington Manor, by the time 7.30pm approached we were extremely excited for dinner.
The amuse-bouche was a delightful introduction to the variety of flavours on offer, with a curried cauliflower and coriander foundation and crispy bits – it was the epitome of “truly scrumptious”, which was swiftly followed by my starter of two types of quail, the breast was tender and the breadcrumbed leg, crispy and elegant proudly standing in a pear-like structure.
For mains; Eckington Manor rib eye of beef and braised shin with caramelised onion, wild mushroom and a red wine jus graced our plates. The beef rich and cooked to perfection and oozing with fierce flavour. The addition of the braised shin added great texture to the dish and a melt-in-the-mouth experience.
My dessert was a fluffy white chocolate mousse with strawberry sorbet, grapefruit curd and pistachio. The grapefruit, sweet and juicy; the perfectly sweet accompaniment to the velvety smooth white chocolate mousse.
If this sounds like your idea of food heaven you’ll be pleased to know that the talented team behind Eckington Manor are also soon to be launching a series of exclusive dates for a special MasterChef menu, which will comprise a tasting menu designed around the dishes as they were televised on Masterchef: The Professionals 2015, soon to be re-created by Head Chefs Mark and Sue Stinchcombe.
Eckington Manor has been awarded “Gold” for their accommodation features. As mentioned, the estate features 15 individually designed rooms and suites comprised of classic, luxury, deluxe rooms and a junior suite. Eckington Manor takes pride in providing guests with the perfect environment where they can set their minds at rest, relax and unwind.
Boasting a luxury five star rating, all individual rooms offer voluptuous super king size beds with Egyptian cotton linen, flat screen TV’s and complimentary wifi throughout.
Upon arrival at around 3pm we warmly greeted by the lady with a beaming smile at reception who then lead us across to the adjacent wing which housed the bedrooms where we would be staying the night in our luxury deluxe room.
You will see from the website that the deluxe room ooze charm and offer that added touch of luxury with unique features such as beamed roofs, free standing roll top baths or a comforting log-burning stoves. Each room is individually designed to the highest level of comfort using collections from Mulberry, Designers Guild, Andrew Martin and Fromental.
To my delight the luxurious addition to our deluxe room was the feature of a roll top bath which proudly stood against an impressive internal wood panelled wall adorned with framed pictures of freshly grown herbs and seasonal produce. The room also featured a spacious walk-way with desk and arm chairs, leading through to the bathroom.
The bathroom itself was of a good size, with an individually designed “Fired Earth” ensuite shower room, adorned with plenty of fluffy white towels, bathrobes and complimentary White Company toiletries awaiting our use!
The bathroom design stayed true to history, boasting a rustic feel with the traditional Victorian style pull-chain toilet.
It was a very sumptuous and relaxing stay. Breakfast the next morning was plentiful and again was served by the “master” chefs themselves. Staff were very attentive, with table service offered, plus a spread of continental items such as cereals, granola, croissants, fruit juices and yoghurts readily available to choose from while we eagerly anticipated the arrival of our delicious, home-cooked breakfast.
In a nutshell
Eckington Manor is the epitome of a luxury countryside retreat. With the charm and character of the Cotswolds close by, you can’t go wrong with this location. Take a moment to soak up the countryside air and sample some of the delicious food on offer from the Masterchef Professionals. For a special treat why not stay in the junior suite, with its own lounging area, home cinema and log burning stove? You can finish off the day with a luxurious dip in the free-standing roll top bath, all from the comfort of your room. Ahh blissful.
Address: Eckington Manor, Hammock Road, Eckington, Worcestershire, WR10 3BJ
Becky runs a blog called Rightupmystreet that documents her indulgent pursuits; with a passion for all things luxury, be that the latest stylish restaurant or cocktail haven, or a recent tale of her latest city-break or country retreats. Find Becky’s blog at www.right-up-my-street.co.uk or alternatively on Twitter @Bekkiii_19