After a day of sailing with Viking Mariners as part of their Stay and Sail package this Summer, I was delighted to discover I was then being put up in a principle double room at Kesgrave Hall, part of the Milsom Hotel group and what a beautiful hotel it is – white exterior, full of character and surrounded by countryside, situated in Kesgrave, Ipswich- a short twenty minute journey by car from the Haven Mariner.
Our check in was swift and friendly and we were shown to our room, which happened to be in a separate part of the main hotel, ground floor and very large. The decor was contemporary chic, the bed huge with a lounge area and huge bath tub- a really nice touch was the gift of a complimentary cook book left on our bed with a welcome note for the hotel manager.
Dinner was at 8pm and was included in our Stay and Sail package – 3 courses- bonus!
The restaurant was busy and vibrant, lots of laughter and atmosphere- just what we like in a restaurant and the waiter showed us to a nice table in the corner overlooking the rest of the venue, with a view out of the window to the hotels vegetable patch.
We were treated to a glass of Rose Taittinger by the restaurant manager Joshua and given our menus- uniquely instead of the waiters taking our order, we were to write our own order on a pad already placed on the table with a pencil and the waiter then collects and checks it through with you- very original!
I opted for the Crispy Haloumi to start which was served with a new one for me- Israeli cous cous, harissa , orange and mouli salad (an Asian radish- much larger than our English variety)- absolutely delicious and in fact so delicious I ordered it again the following evening.
My dining partner went for the Artisan Organic Breads served with a selection of local oils and balsamic vinegars, including a smoked olive oil- a first for us.
For main course, I enjoyed the Butternut Squash Tortellini tossed in brown butter and sage- a simple yet massively flavoursome dish and an ample portion sadly I was unable to finish. The Proctors ‘Hog & Hop’ sausages served with roasted onion mash, broccoli fritter and red wine jus also made my dining partner speechless stating they were the best sausages he had ever eaten- a winning meal all around!
Dessert we gave a miss due to us being satisfied with what we had been served, but we did return the following evening to try more dishes from the menu, as we enjoyed the quality so much and I ensured that I gave my thanks to the head chef Aaron at the end of the meal. The waiting staff at Kesgrave Hall are all very well trained and polite and the overall experience was one of 10/10 and we will be sure to return again very soon for another overnight stay and dinner and making it a apart of the Viking Mariners Stay and Sail package will of course make it all the more exciting!
*A special mention about breakfast the following morning, which was just fantastic, with an array of choice and leaning towards the healthier side, with continental to include a selection of pastries, toast and jams, cereals, dried fruit, fresh fruit platter, pink grapefruit halves, meats and cheeses, breads, strawberry smoothie shots, fresh juices, teas and coffees and a menu with hot breakfast options to include eggs Benedict and various others.
At request the staff will deliver breakfast to your room at no extra charge- served until 10am.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP