Booked a last minute, one night break at Norton House on a dinner b & b deal. Our sat nav took us through an industrial estate to get to the hotel so by the time we got to the drive I was not sure we had made a good decision. However, as soon as we turned onto the drive things looked up. The grounds were beautifully kept and well presented, and the hotel, a mix of old and new looked equally well maintained and presentable. We were warmly greeted by the young lady on reception who personally took us to our room and showed us around. Our room, 608, in the new wing (4 years old) was chic and stylish with French doors opening onto a balcony, comfortable arm chairs, and the usual desk, TV etc. The view, over the car park was uninspiring, but the room was so well thought out and well appointed that this was a minor fault. There was fresh milk in the fridge, complimentary bottled water, a real plant on the coffee table, towelling robes, iron and ironing board, excellent lighting options, a variety of mirrors (full length and magnifying) and a heating / air conditioning system that actually worked and that you could control. The bathroom was superb, full bath and separate shower enclosure plenty of towels warming on the heated towel rail, a good selection of quality toiletries and had the luxury of under-floor heating and even a TV at the end of the bath! The bed was comfortable with good linens but smaller than we are used to. Another lovely touch was Maisie, the “do not disturb cat” We had per dinner drinks in the bar and ate in the brassiere where there was a good choice from the menu to suit all tastes. A wobbly table was quickly sorted; the service was slick and professional with the staff striking the fine balance between formal service and friendly warmth and customer care. Our wine was served at the perfect temperature and our meal was well presented and of good quality. (There is also a fine dining option in the hotel’s restaurant) Breakfast was equally good. Service was quick and welcoming with plenty of options from the continental buffet and a cooked menu. The spa and pool is obviously a big attraction at the hotel and there was a list of tempting treatments and offers in our room. Arriving late we did not have time to use the pool and spa on our arrival day but were told that we were welcome to stay after checkout and use the facilities. Unfortunately we were not able to do this but we did have a walk round and I am sure the standard would have been equally high. This was a real last minute decision to have a night away and I was prepared to be slightly disappointed as ‘deals’ often find you allocated a small, older room and with limited menu choices. At Norton House we were not in the least bit disappointed and the whole experience was first class. The quality of the staff stands out as one of the highlights. It is so rare to get good friendly service these days. Every staff member we came across – from the gentleman who opened the front door for us, a young man we met in a corridor delivering room service, to the ladies re stocking the rooms, greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome. The only faults I could find was a cigarette end on our balcony and disappointingly leathery pancakes at breakfast. A great escape, well done Norton House.