Escape To Eslington

Issue 45

At the end of a typically hectic working week, my wife Lisa and I booked in for an overnight stay at Eslington Villa - Low Fell's luxury hotel & restaurant.

Set on the banks of the Team Valley, the hotel is well placed for businesses whilst its secluded, leafy setting offers an oasis of calm to visitors. The building itself is a renovated Victorian mansion steeped in character and home to 18 gorgeouslyappointed bedrooms and a AA Rosette restaurant.

After a dash through Friday’s teatime traffic, we were soon unwinding in the hotel’s genteel surroundings. On hand to meet us was Tony, the hotel’s front-of-house manager who greeted us like long lost friends and looked after us superbly throughout the duration of our stay.

Accommodation wise, the hotel scores very highly. The individually-decorated bedrooms each possess their own charms and have seemingly been designed with the guest’s comfort and wellbeing in mind.

We’d bagged the highly-prized apartment suite at the apex of the building which is available for short term lets. This is a private, highly spacious living area complete with master bedroom, adjoining living room, kitchen area, spare bedroom and two en-suite bathrooms. This would be ideal for a travelling business executive or for those relocating to the area and requiring a stopgap until a permanent property is found.

Bowled over by our night’s abode, we each sampled a glass of fizz before a quick blast in the shower and changing for dinner.

As we knew from experience, dining at Eslington Villa is a real class act. The kitchen is spearheaded by Jamie Walsh, a former North East Chef of the Year recipient who has created an exemplary menu punctuated by moments of real culinary brilliance. Dishes carry a modern British/French focus and are always fresh, innovative and neatly presented.

To kick off, Lisa chose the salmon gravadlax with sweet mustard dressing, watercress and cucumber whilst I opted for the local pork press paired with brown sauce, black pudding and shoots.

Following on, Lisa enjoyed the braised beef cheeks with creamed potatoes and savoy cabbage in an onion sauce. I chose the local chicken breast with onion cake, young spinach, crispy onions and curry essence. This was marvellous, smile-inducing food which really showcased the calibre of cooking this restaurant is capable of.

Of course, sat in the candlelight of the conservatory restaurant, all of this was set against a backdrop of easy elegance, further enhanced by a “golden oldies” soundtrack featuring all of our favourites – The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bread et al.

After a sumptuous meal, we retired to our “super suite” for what was a restful, well-earnt eight hours sleep.

The next morning, we breakfasted regally on a spread of cooked/continental favourites, suitably re-energised and ready for another fun-packed weekend.

We’re definitely adherents to the view that you needn’t travel far to have a good time and this classy venue appears to have all boxes ticked for business and leisure travellers.

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