We stayed for one night 1st April 2013, not an April Fool! I took my sister for a 50th birthday Spa break. Check-in was straightforward, service excellent. Our room was lovely, with dual aspect, being a corner room. We looked out over the Dutch Garden and towards another wing of the hotel. There was a Wedding in progress when we arrived and we had the privilege of seeing the whole party trooping by below our windows, heading for their photo shoot in all of their finery, an added and unexpected bonus! They had their reception and evening do at the Hall, but it didn't disturb our stay at all, in fact it was really heartwarming to see and hear them having so much fun!
We loved the huge bathroom, spotlessly clean, with really lovely toiletries. The tea, coffee and biscuits were Ringtons, a local brew, which I think is a great boost for the local economy. Wherever possible the hotel uses fabulous local produce, (which more establishments should do, instead of supporting the monopolies!!).
Having arrived in the afternoon we decided to have tea and sandwiches in the Drawing Room. The atmosphere was really relaxed, welcoming and perfect for the start of stress-free break; the sandwiches were delicious as was the tea, Ringtons of course! How many times have you thought "why can't I get a decent cup of tea anywhere?". Well, this is the place.
We stayed a while then investigated the Spa facilities, using the pool, sauna and steam rooms. I cannot fault anything here, and there were certainly quite enough seats around the pool, despite earlier reviewers' comments.
The evening meal was gorgeous, and we enjoyed the ambience in the Drawing Room with a toasty log fire and a glass of Birthday Champagne (mmmmm!) before being taken through for the meal. It was all locally sourced produce and cooked to perfection. We both had goat's cheese and beetroot salad starter; it was small, but that's what starters are! And it was delicious. I followed with beef and my sister had lamb, both perfect with lovely veg. Everything was presented really wonderfully, which is what I would expect from an establishment with Matfen's reputation. We finished with a lovely Pink Rhubarb and Ginger Souffle. This was all washed down with wine and Prosecco; well it was a celebration after all! I really cannot fault the food, service or surroundings at all that evening! Many compliments to the Chef!!! (We did ask for our appreciation to be passed on to him!)
The beds were really comfortable and the room temperature was perfect, despite it being really cold outside, so we slept soundly, (perhaps a little to do with all that wine:)
Next morning we enjoyed a full Matfen breakfast, again with local produce, sausage, black pudding, eggs, bacon etc, delicious, and more Ringtons tea. Set us up for a morning exploring the local countryside. On returning we enjoyed another pool, sauna and steam room session before going for our Hot Stone Massage. We both really enjoyed the massage, and I would recommend it to anyone as the perfect way to de-stress. We left completely relaxed, so much so that I couldn't possibly have driven so we just had to have more tea and sandwiches in the Drawing Room, with a read of the papers and a lovely view of the Golf course.
This is not the cheapest place for a break, but you get what you pay for, and we had a thoroughly pampered and luxurious time, with great service and beautiful surroundings. The Northumberland countryside is amongst the best, not that I'm biased, coming fromNewcastle!!!
I would recommend Matfen Hall to anyone who wants something a cut above the rest.
Ask for an upgrade and a corner room. If you're having some kind of celebration they will go out...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.