Hotel Review: Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich in Suffolk
On the perimeter of Suffolk, close to the A12, Kesgrave Hall presents the perfect place for a weekend retreat standing in 38 acres of parkland. After our recent wedding, my husband and I were looking for just that.
Upon arrival, we journeyed through the forest, up the long driveway, and there stood the charming Suffolk country mansion. The Grade II listed building is home to a modern restaurant, lively bar and 23 luxury bedrooms, all looking out across sweeping lawns, ideal for children and dogs at this time of year, both welcome at Kesgrave Hall.
Built in 1812, the mansion opened as part of the Milsom Hotel Group in 2008 and is now rated as a 4-star hotel. The beautifully proportioned Georgian building also looks stunning inside. The lounge and dining area blend a mixture of American glamour and modern British country house.
Bold fabrics cover the chairs and adorn the windows, whilst the bar area retains all the original features and displays grand gothic mirrors and a granite-topped bar. There is also a canopied terrace for alfresco dining any time of year.
After check in, we made our way up to Room 1. Designed to leave a lasting impression on guests it had plenty of wow factor, boasting a free standing bathtub, a huge walk-in shower and a comfortable zebra print sofa to relax on, not forgetting the super-king size bed.
The staff had also thoughtfully placed a Dyson Pure Cool air fan in the room, which we were very grateful for on this particular day. The personal touches impressed me. On the bed lay a note of congratulations; little did we know there were more of these thoughtful surprises to come.
It was soon time for dinner, there’s a great atmosphere in the dining room, one standout feature of the restaurant is the open kitchen at work, led by Head Chef Aaron Skerritt. As we sat at the scrubbed wooden table and gazed up at the cheery red paper balls and bells hanging from the ceiling, we noticed it is casual at the restaurant.
There’s no need to worry about dress code, you won’t feel out of place if you’ve come straight from the office or popped in after an invigorating walk through the surrounding Suffolk countryside. And as Kesgrave Hall don’t take bookings in the restaurant; you can turn up when you want so no rush!
There’s an enjoyable and unusual way of placing food orders: a notepad and pencil are present on each table for diners to write their food selections, and on this occasion it was the first time I got to jot down my new surname.
As we browsed the vast brassiere menu, complete with some tasty vegetarian options for me, the waiter delivered us two complementary glasses of fizz; we were once again congratulated on our nuptials.
The Head Chef himself turned up just in time to give his suggestions on what we should order. It’s nice to see a chef who isn’t afraid to come out of the kitchen and speak to his customers, it brings a warm and individual feeling to the level of service at Kesgrave’s restaurant.
After beginning with a fabulous selection of smoked oils and homemade breads, I opted for the Crispy Haloumi and Smoked Aubergine Salad whilst my husband selected the Shell on Prawns, we were told they were as fresh as you could get!
The star of this meal, though, was dessert. They place the final gem in the crown down on our table, a personalised plate for Mr and Mrs Hunt. But it’s not just newly weds who get this kind of treatment, if the kitchen knows it a special occasion, you too, will get you very own special dessert plate.
After dinner we took a stroll in the hotel grounds with a glass of wine in hand before returning to our luxurious bedroom. We sat on the large sofa reading through our wedding guest book and then retired to bed for one of the best sleeps I’d had in weeks, it must have been the crisp white sheets (and the extra space)!
Back in the restaurant the next morning, breakfast is a relaxed, laid-back affair. We took advantage of the outside and enjoyed our breakfast under the canopy.
After helping ourselves to cereal, fruit and pastries from the buffet table, my husband also ordered a hot breakfast from the menu, note – go easy on the continental, the hot portions are generous.
My final verdict on Kesgrave Hall
Kesgrave Hall is truly a jewel in the Suffolk countryside. The hotel is impressive; the atmosphere relaxed and the staff very helpful and friendly.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the hotel and would recommend that you consider staying here should you be planning a visit to the Suffolk countryside. It definitely makes for a special weekend away.
Rooms at Kesgrave Hall start from £110 onwards including breakfast. Packages with dinner are also available.
Address: Kesgrave Hall, Hall Road, Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5 2PU
Phone: 01473 333741