Back on our wedding anniversary in May my husband bought a gift voucher for an ‘ultimate stay’ at Colwick Hall Hotel near Nottingham city centre. We’ve stayed once previously and really enjoyed the restaurant.
The ultimate stay voucher includes a night in Colwick Hall’s Lord Byron signature suite, a three course meal in Byron’s Brasserie with a bottle of prosecco, breakfast, afternoon tea and parking.
The gift vouchers are either Fri-Sat (£396) or Sun-Thurs (£267). My husband ordered the cheaper one, but they sent one that said “Thursday to Sunday” so I thought we’d chance our luck and try and book a Friday night.
Possibly because of the above, but booking was a right palaver. You could only book by phone. Often no one answered the phone or if they did they seemed unable to check availability there and then and it always involved a to and fro-ing of calls. Frustrating, although perhaps a consequence of the pandemic?
Anyway, back in July they said the only Friday night they had available was on the 14th January so I reluctantly agreed. Since then I’ve been on Trip Advisor and the reviews are mixed to say the least. All of which meant I wasn’t particularly excited about the stay. That said, a night away is always a treat.
Our stay at Colwick Hall hotel
I work quite near Nottingham and finish at lunchtime on a Friday so, once I had sweet talked my long suffering husband into doing the school run, it made much more sense for me to head straight there rather than drive all the way back to Chesterfield to drive all the way back to Nottingham. I could have been heading to a run down Travelodge and I’d have been ecstatic about a few hours peace and quiet.
My expectations were low. Even when the lovely receptionist checked me in and commented on what a nice room it was, I didn’t dare get my hopes up – but oh, what a room!
Lord Byron’s signature suite
Without a shadow of doubt this is the largest suite I have ever stayed in. The room was HUGE. Complete with an ornate, high ceiling and beautifully traditional decor. The bathroom was equally huge. Bigger than my living room! The star of the bathroom was a pink, roll top, standalone bath.
Definite country house vibes. Maybe in need of a bit of TLC. And actually some odd interior design choices (most notably a bafflingly awful MDF unit underneath the sink in that otherwise divine bathroom?!) and an absence of any decent coffee making facilities or swanky toiletries but the overall impression was stunning. I felt like Lady of the Manor.
After a cup of tea on the chaise longue (darling!) and then a glorious bath, I felt relaxed and really quite posh. By the time my husband arrived I felt like a new woman!
Dinner at Byron’s Brasserie
Byron’s Brasserie is the onsite restaurant at Colwick Hall. It’s also open to non-residents. It has a lovely bar area with comfy seating and a bright colour palette. The walls are decorated with Byron’s poetry.
The restaurant is brightly light (personally I think a little too bright – but then I’m picky). The tables are fairly plain but a contemporary style and well-spaced.
We really enjoyed our meal at Byron’s Brasserie last time and were really looking forward to the evening.
Our stay included a bottle of prosecco which we enjoyed as we perused the menu. I might have mentioned before but I really like to see a menu online (even a sample one). I struggled to find an up-to-date menu for Colwick Hall online. The menu on their website didn’t match the one on their Facebook page and neither really set my heart alight. But the actual menu was wonderful. I really struggled to pick a main course as they all sounded so good.
I enjoyed every single course. I started with chicken liver pâté with rich onion chutney and delightfully crispy crostini.
My main was exceptionally good. I chose a pressed blade of beef served with champ mash, spiced red cabbage, seasonal vegetables and red wine jus. Apart from wanting more jus (and honestly, who doesn’t ever want more jus?!) it was utter perfection. The meat just fell apart, the vegetables were beautifully cooked – it was just a lovely plate of food!
I absolutely didn’t need a dessert but since we had three courses included in the deal, I ordered the white chocolate cheesecake which was wonderful.
Overall the food was marvellous. I really couldn’t fault anything about the food, wine or the service which was attentive and friendly.
After dinner we retired to our sumptuous suite. We both slept well. A lie in these days is as like gold dust and we only just caught the end of breakfast service which finishes at what seems an unnecessarily early 9.30am on weekends. The breakfast staff were lovely and we enjoyed the food. There was a good continental selection, served buffet style. As well as the usual cereals, toast, croissants, fruit, yogurts etc there were also smoked salmon bagels.
We were also offered a cooked breakfast. There didn’t seem to be a menu – so it was just a Full English. We had an afternoon tea booked so just ordered a few bits off it (eg I had bacon and poached eggs) and they were very accommodating. Nor was there a coffee menu, it was just filter coffee.
Normally check out on the ‘ultimate stay’ would be at 11am but we paid for a late check out. This was £15 to extend use of the room until midday.
So after a few blissful hours chilling in the room it was time to eat again – since our stay included afternoon tea. Being frank, it was far too early to be eating again, never mind a big afternoon tea… but we’d paid for it, so were eating it! The ideal scenario would have been to have gone and explored Nottingham for a few hours – but we had to get back to pick my daughter up from my parents – so more food it was.
Colwick Hall afternoon tea in Byron’s Brasserie
Our ultimate stay gift voucher included afternoon tea. This was served in Byron’s Brasserie again, although we chose a different part of the restaurant to sit in.
I wasn’t wow-ed by the crockery. There was a good amount of food and a good selection, particularly of savoury options. There were three different fillings of finger sandwiches, plus a generously sized wrap. A small shot of soup and a tiny bit of quiche. A tiny scone with one pot of clotted cream and one tiny glass jar of jam to share. However, given the size of the scones there was actually ample amounts of cream and jam! The scone looked disappointing but was actually quite nice. Whereas I found the cake selection looked pretty but didn’t really live up to expectations. The cute little shot glass of trifle didn’t taste of much. The brownie was beautifully decorated but the corner I tried was very dry. I ate the lemon cake which was fine but nothing to get excited about.
Service at afternoon tea was friendly and efficient. We were offered refills of tea or coffee several times. However, the tea seemed to be just regular tea bags rather than loose leaf variety.
I may well be being a bit harsh, in regards that we started without an appetite… but I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think if we’d paid £18.95pp (as advertised on their website) I’d have been disappointed overall. That’s not to say you couldn’t have a perfectly nice time here. It’s a beautiful setting, the service is nice and the quantity of food is good. Just personally I would much prefer to pay a bit more and have the full luxurious experience of somewhere like the Cavendish.
Overall impressions of Colwick Hall hotel
Having now stayed here twice, overall I think Colwick Hall is a nice hotel. It could easily be amazing with a bit more attention to detail. Byron’s Brasserie is a good choice for an evening meal in the Nottingham area and some of the dishes are utterly sublime.
Lord Byron’s signature suite is awe inspiring. By far the largest and most interesting hotel room I have ever stayed in. Since getting home I have read that the Dalai Lama has stayed in that room too! But it didn’t feel ‘luxurious’. It could be with a few tweaks… but if you go with that in mind, you’ll have a perfectly lovely time here.
The ultimate stay package is great value overall and made for a lovely, really memorable weekend. We would definitely return.
Country house vibes and great evening meals at Byron’s Brasserie close to Nottingham city centre.
On this occasion we paid for the ‘ultimate stay’ gift voucher package which includes a stay in a signature suite, a three course meal with prosecco, breakfast, afternoon tea and parking.