Situated in the heart of the Herfordshire hills, The Mews at Sopwell House are a brand new and exciting edition to the popular site nestled within grounds spanning twelve acres. Sopwell House itself is a converted 18th century Georgian Manor House which attracts visitors from far and wide on both business and pleasure to use their vast facilities, which include conference suites, spa, gym and fitness suite, outside terrace and gardens, brasserie, restaurant and of course the hotel itself.
On arrival we were greeted warmly by the reception staff and received a smooth check-in process, given a tour of the facilities and our was luggage taken to our luxury Mews Suite.
The private gated area was extremely impressive upon immediate inspection, the contemporary styled electric gates, activated by our room card, opened and revealed the breath taking communal landscaped garden area and terrace, created by award-winning garden designer Anne-Marie Powell, complete with a good sized outdoor infinity hydrotherapy pool with waterfall and contemporary back-drop, which we realised later that evening illuminated spectacularly.
Padded rattan furniture was aplenty in our private garden, shared only by other Mews residents (there are 18 in total) and we immediately felt as though we were a part of an exclusive community and as such those we saw on rare occasion gave a glance and a nod.
Living pergolas and umbrella trees create an enchanting haven for residents of The Mews, our suite was named Primrose (a botanical theme that runs throughout the converted barn suites- Foxglove/Hawthorne etc..), we were also delighted to see that we had our own private terrace with more rattan seating and hot tub.
After entering the Mews we felt instantly at home, the glamorous country style decor had a strong homely farmhouse feel throughout, with real timber wood flooring , leather furnishings and contemporary artwork on most walls. A modern fireplace was a key feature separating the living space from the bedroom, though it was all open plan, so great for a couples getaway and the facilities, included a mini fridge with complimentary soft drinks and espresso machine.
The immaculate bathroom spoilt us with under floor heating, quality fixtures and units, a large wet room with rain shower and also provided were robes and slippers for the duration of our stay, which were available to purchase if desired.
In addition; to our delight on the coffee table was a personal welcome note from the hotel director Rafi Bejerano , as well as a plate of fresh fruit, a slate of colourful macarons and a ‘box’ of sweet treats – basically afternoon tea minus the sandwiches- what a welcome!
It was time to explore and so we moved into the bedroom area adjoining the open living area, where a large four poster bed and another television with a deep free standing copper bath to the side of the bed was positioned cleverly next to the fire (a gas push button fire may I add), which heated in an instant and was an absolute luxury to later that evening enjoy a bath next to, using the provided Espa products, whilst tucking into the gifted macarons.
Before all of that however came my pre-booked spa treatment- a full body Aromatherapy massage courtesy of the fantastic therapist Natalie. Just what I needed after a busy week at work and a two and a half hour commute to the venue from Nottingham. The spa use both Espa and Clarins products, which they also sell in their shop with an extensive range- somewhere I spent quite a bit of time post massage.
The spa team were all very friendly and energetic, on hand to answer any questions I had about the products, needless to say I emerged from my treatment room in a state of relaxation only one can get from an hour long massage treatment in a dim lit room, inhaling all kinds of natural fragrances from rose to Frankincense.
I was advised to wait a good ten minutes before jumping into the pool following my treatment, to allow the oils to work their magic, so I enjoyed sitting on the hot mosaic seat in the spa area for a while, then did ten lengths in the pool before relaxing once again in the steam room and sauna.
A rain shower ended my hour long visit to the spa- just enough time to ensure I was entirely relaxed before dinner…
Dinner was booked for 8.30pm, but first we had an appointment in the bar for cocktails, though as it was a nice evening we sat outside in the garden to the rear of the bar area and enjoyed a Mojito and ‘Flirtini’ as recommended by our waiter.
We were greeted by the very friendly head waiter Yannick and his team who seated us in the sophisticated restaurant within the main hotel. We opted for a glass of wine each-a full bodied robust red – Chateau Lyonnat Lussac and a Gamay Noir rose, plus bottled still water for our table.
The menu offered a set two or three course option which we thought was priced very well. As a vegetarian it was a pretty easy choice for me and I went for the Salad of English Asparagus with Parmesan and Truffle to start- this was absolutely delicious, clearly made with fresh ingredients. My dining partner went for the Hand Dived Scallops with Artichoke, Pancetta & Sherry Vinegar – seared to golden brown and very tasty – just how they should beand for mainthe Fillet of Angus Beef, Fondant Potato , Asparagus and Spring Onions- well presented and just the right sized portion.
My main course arrived – Spring Vegetable Quinoa Risotto with Broccoli Puree- This really was Summer on a plate, an array of fresh ingredients with a distinctive taste coming from the risotto and puree, I felt very pleased with myself, that I had eaten an extremely nutritious dinner, which then made me feel less guilty about ordering dessert…
My dining partner and I opted for a Selection of British Cheese, Biscuits & Chutney (he is allergic to nuts and so they swapped the crackers for bread) and the Ricotta Cheesecake, with Lemon Ice and Honey Caviar- I did have to ask exactly what the Honey Caviar consisted of with being a vegetarian, however I was safe, the dish did not contain any fish derivatives on this occasion.
After dinner we decided to go for a little stroll in the lit up gardens with the remainder of our wine and discovered a quaint little pond with a bridge and waterfall- a real oasis.
Breakfast the following morning was served between 6.30am-10am in the brasserie and offered a good selection of both continental and cooked breakfasts, both of us opting for a cooked version with fresh fruit juice, which set us up nicely in anticipation of our trip home to Nottingham.
I only have great things to say about Sopwell House and their brand new luxurious Mews Suites, they truly are an oasis amongst the existing beauty of Sopwell House and I look forward to returning again soon.
Individual suites at The Mews start from £244 per night including breakfast for two people– www.sopwellhouse.co.uk/rooms-suites/mews-suite/
Fiona Duncan, RSViP