Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury, Review
Tewkesbury Park has an illustrious history dating back to the Wars of the Roses in 1471; the Battle of Tewkesbury was fought on land adjacent to the hotel. Whilst appreciating the wonderful views of the rolling parkland to the far distant hills of Malvern you can imagine you still hear the thunder of a thousand hooves, the clank of heavy armour and the clash of pikes as the bloody battle between the Yorks and Lancastrians was played out. Fast forward to the present day and all is bucolic and peaceful; the hotel nestles in a superb golf course (designed by Frank Pennink in 1976) and has been sensitively restored and expanded by the McIntosh family since 2014.
As the hotel is independent and family-owned it does have a lovely feel to it, Wellington boots lined up by the front door to borrow in case of inclement weather, wonderful friendly staff, and you are invited to do as you do at home, relax, read the books, play games in the lounges, and try croquet on the lawn. We were staying in the King Edward IV suite which boasted some very luxurious home comforts, an enormous Hypnos bed, fluffy bathrobes and slippers, commodious armchairs and squashy sofa arranged around the bay window to take full advantage of the splendid view to name just a few. The bathroom was the stuff of upper crust Sunday supplement magazines; a free-standing double ended slipper bath with accompanying ice bucket stand by the side to encourage you to take a glass of champagne whilst deeply soaking and watching the waterproof television mounted on the wall (which changed to a mirror when turned off).
I couldn’t wait to have a go at this but first I had booked into the Spa which does a myriad of treatments to unknot muscles, massage cares away, and pamper you to within an inch of your life, as well as manicures. My nails were looking distinctly the worse for wear after too much gardening and I visited the delightful Abbie who in the calm of the Spa buffed and filed, polished, and painted so my nails now a delicate shell pink were transformed beyond recognition. With strict instructions to wait at least an hour before immersing them in water I tripped back up stairs to await my urgent appointment with the slipper bath and a glass of champagne.
The attention to detail in our suite was so nice, good reading lights, fresh milk in the mini fridge for your tea and coffee, interesting books on the table and on arrival, a beautifully presented plate of fruit, the sweetest strawberries, blackberries, sliced pineapple and melon; maybe to tempt you away from the biscuits also provided but I’m afraid we ate those too. After a good two hours relaxation, we were ready for dinner in the restaurant, Mint, in which the autumn menu was just rolled out.
The restaurant runs over two floors with both the upstairs mezzanine and lower floor having views over the parkland. The décor is contemporary, quietly colourful with muted teal and browns, and it has a rather country kitchen vibe to it. The arrangement on two floors works well so that big parties (hungry golfers looking for the 19th hole) are arranged on the lower level with cosy tables for two above. We were shown to one of these and settled down to peruse the menu.
To start there was a selection of bite size dishes and those a little bigger – we ordered a mixed bread board noting it came with Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil as well as aged balsamic vinegar and butter, together with two bigger starters : slow roasted monk fish with a red pepper and garbanzo (chickpea) bean salsa with Parmesan bacon crumb and lemon jelly, and guineafowl marinated with basil, mint and buttermilk.
The menu contains some surprises for a relatively traditional hotel; Himalyan goat curry, ham hock and kale pakoras and potato samosas were on offer and as I do like a hint of spice I chose Gressingham duck two ways : tandoori spiced duck supreme and confit duck leg bhaji with heritage beetroot and makhani sauce. My husband surprised me (and after many years married this is difficult) by-passing the pan-seared sirloin of Herefordshire beef and choosing chargrilled butterfly king prawns with coconut and lemongrass prawn shell bisque with spiced autumn squash and pickled kolrabi.
They have a good selection of wines with quite a few sold by the glass; we chose a Spanish dry white (2021 Blanco Sobre Lías) to accompany our starters and as a rather nice touch each was served in a small carafe, perfectly chilled and ready to pour as you wished. We enjoyed our starters very much; the juicy pillows of white monk fish together with the garbanzo salsa was a great combination and my guineafowl was tender and tasty. Both were quite large portions so I can understand the other choices of smaller starters.
Our main courses followed suit and hit the spot but even so we felt we could justify a pudding; saffron-poached pear and lime posset for him and a mighty local cheese plate with a selection of cheeses, honeycomb, homemade chutney, grapes, and celery for me. The pear and lime posset was a melody of sweetness especially the hibiscus sorbet served with it, and the cheese plate a meal in itself. The cheeses maybe lacked bite and taste as they were served too cold, but that’s the rules of Health & Safety, I guess.
We had a truly wonderful weekend; the hotel couldn’t have been more comfortable, the staff more accommodating, or the location any better. Tewkesbury Park is a great base to explore the surrounding countryside, which is stunning especially in autumn, or if you want a spot of retail therapy, Malvern the Spa town is a short distance away, full of charm and interesting independent stores.
Tewkesbury Park, Lincoln Green Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 7DN