The past couple of months has been absolutely crazy! I’ve been rushed off my feet trying to juggle a hundred things without going mad. Last month I didn’t get a huge amount of sleep; in one week business boomed, I was shortlisted for Young Search Professional at the UK Search Awards and I finally submitted my dissertation for my business and marketing degree at Anglia Ruskin university. I definitely deserved a weekend of pamper and relaxation – so when Dewsall Court asked if we wanted to come to a dinner party, we obviously said yes!
Since 2012 Dewsall Court’s celebrated Dinner Party series has continually sold out, growing from its local low- key origins to becoming a foodie hot ticket. Dewsall Court’s dinner parties combine elegance and luxury with a relaxed, country house atmosphere. Despite typically being an exclusive use venue, Dewsall becomes an ‘open house’ for its dinner parties; so anyone is welcome to experience Dewsall’s charm and explore the stunning grounds. There is even the option to stay overnight in one of Dewsall’s 10 bedrooms (obviously we took up this option).
We arrived before the sun went down, which was perfect because we could experience the breathtaking grounds before exploring the property. As we approached the house, we followed a road dressed in torch flames that led up to the car park. We peeked into a door and found a warm kitchen, complete with a large Aga, a kitchen island and a dining area in front of a fire. Convinced we had accidentally stepped into a private kitchen, we swiftly went to the front of the property where we were greeted by members of staff.
The reception room was gigantic (just as the kitchen was), with three large sofas around a large open fire, multiple reading nooks and a grand wood carved staircase. The staff of the home took our bags and showed us to our four poster bed ensuite room (our isn’t pictures below – boo!). The room was delicately decorated with luxurious bedding and furnishings. Everything you needed was available without needing to ask.
Unbelievably, the bathroom was actually bigger than my lounge at home. Decorated with Farrow and Ball paint (oh, you can tell!) the bathroom oozed sophistication. The fixtures were in-keeping with the style of the home but with a modern twist – complete with a double shower, a deep bath tub and every amenity that you’d need.
I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some luxury hotels such as the Raddison, the Hilton and even the Luxor in Las Vegas; but nothing compared to the bath in at Dewsall Court. I may only be 5ft 1, but you can see from the picture just how deep this bath really is. It has a seat built in and there is easily enough room for two people!
Obviously, I sent some snaps to my friends and they asked does it actually stay warm by the time it fills? Good question! I can honestly say, it absolutely DOES! I had a two hour bath and it stayed warm the entire time, so warm I even ended up opening the window above the tub. What made it even better? It fills up from the ceiling!👌
We threw on our best outfits and headed downstairs for a mocktail before dinner party with Celebrity Masterchef judge Romy Gill MBE. Romy grew up in India; but her style of Indian cooking differs from that in most Indian restaurants in the UK; she specialises in using rapeseed oil to avoid the use of unnatural food colouring. When Romy moved to the UK she began hosting dinner parties for friends and running cookery classes: this led to her own opening Romy’s Kitchen in 2013. Romy was the first ever female Indian chef-proprietor in the UK and has been a judge on Celebrity Masterchef this year – oh la la! We were in for a real treat..
The party was held in an orangery-style conservatory, which was outstandingly beautiful. We got comfortable on a table before our first course came out; Samosas cooked with baby spinach, paneer, potatoes, chilli & spices, served with spicy chick pea salad and tamarind chutney. I’m not usually one for spicy food but this was too tasty to turn down. The combination of flavours worked really well together and the starter went down a treat.
We were then served spicy mackerel marinated in tandoor mix, ginger, garlic and kashmiri chilli and cooked under the grill, served with raw papaya salad. I’m a huge fan of mackerel, and I even catch my own in the summer – so I’m pretty fussy when it comes to serving fish. Romy certainly didn’t disappoint, the marinate was gorgeous and the raw papaya salad complimented it beautifully.
For main we were presented with aanardana gosht, lamb cooked in onions, ginger, garlic,chilli, spices and pomegranate, served with jeera rice and dal. The meat was incredibly succulent and there full of flavour. Sometimes when you go for a four course meal the portion are quite small, but I can assure you, this isn’t the case at Dewsall Court – there was plenty to go around, so nobody was left hungry.
If that wasn’t enough, the dinner was rounded off with rose petal ice- cream served with cardamom brownie. This was a hit with everybody on the table we were seated at. Hands down, the best ice- cream I’ve ever tasted! We spoke about how we’d try and make our own at home, but I don’t have any high hopes..
We retired to the lounge where we drank tea and let our food go down whilst snuggled up on the big squishy sofas by the fire. The atmosphere so relaxed, we felt completely comfortable just like we were at home.
In the morning we made our way back to the conservatory, which had a completely different feel to it in comparison to the night before. The misty fields and perfectly kept gardens really sets the tone of the property, and the dining area with spanning glass overlooking the gardens really brings the outdoors in. The household is against plastics, the home & garden plastic alternatives they use really show their ingenuity and willingness to adapt.
Looking across the gardens, we enjoyed a full-english breakfast cooked by the staff at Dewsall Court. We were spoilt with a huge range of berries, cereals and croissant, too. Once we’d refuelled we explored the rest of the house before heading outside to take some snaps of the gorgeous gardens.
Overall, we had a luxurious stay.The staff were absolutely incredible and we felt very well cared for during our stay; the family were all very friendly and seemed like lovely people who cared about us and the house. We loved the furniture, and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into furnishing the home.
It’s hard to narrow it down the best part of our stay; but the initial approach to the house leaves a great impression, the food was incredible, and the enormous bath in the four poster room was certainly a talking point!
We completely fell in love with Dewsall Court, so much so that we inquired about prices for an exclusive stay there. Perhaps in the future it’s somewhere we will be able to visit again for a special occasion, such as New Years, Christmas or hey.. maybe a wedding.
If you’re looking for an intimate experience with family and friends in comfort and luxury, this is the place to go. We left our heart in Dewsall Court; go experience it for yourself.. I dare you!
Tickets cost £57 per head and £155 for dinner, bed and breakfast.