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Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich, Suffolk
The Essex-Suffolk-based Milsoms hotel group backed a winner when they took over this large and elegant Georgian mansion just over a decade ago. Since then they've turned it into perhaps Suffolk's best and most popular boutique country house hotel. Set in spacious grounds on the outer outskirts of Ipswich, it carefully blends its grand heritage setting with a relaxed, 21st-century approach to both its rooms and dining. There are just 23 rooms that are as quirky and unique as they are contemporary, as well as an excellent but relaxed restaurant - that's as popular with locals as it is with guests. In recent years they also added a wedding venue behind the main building, and opened a brand new spa this year.
It's extremely easy to get to, but feels like a bit of a retreat. There's loads to see and do on your doorstep if you have a car.
Kesgrave Hall is right on the edge of Ipswich, about 30 minutes' drive from the Suffolk Heritage Coast and nature reserves.
By car: The hotel is 2 hours 30 mins from London, 2 hours 40 mins from Birmingham, 1 hour 20 mins from Cambridge and 1 hour 15 mins from Norwich. There is free parking at the hotel.
By train: London Liverpool Street to Ipswich takes around 1 hour. The hotel is a 25-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel suits foodies looking for a lazy weekend away with plenty to do on your doorstep. We love playing boules on the court in the grounds.
Service & Facilities
The on-message staff seem to love the hotel and provide service that is confident and unobtrusive, but always there when you need it. Dogs are welcome in all the outside rooms, and you can eat in the bar or on the terrace with your hound.
- Family rooms
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Their Top rooms are very large and have free-standing bath tubs and separate showers. All the bedrooms have full satellite TV access (including BT and Sky Sports) - a great way to relax after a day exploring the area.
Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Principal, Top
Facilities include: king-size bed, ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, fluffy towels, Elemis toiletries, free Wi-Fi, TV, tea coffee facilities, mini-bar with free soft drinks and biscuits, desk
Food & Drink
The menu changes regularly but they always have have good fish dishes, for example pan-fried cod with mussels, pancetta and peas. We love the terrace - perfect in summer for parents to enjoy their lunch or dinner while their kids run about on the lawn.
The restaurant: brunch, all-day dining, modern European cuisine, steaks, sandwiches, vegan and kids' menus. Open daily from 10am. Mains from £15.
The bar: light bites, cocktails, champagne, wine list, premium spirits. Open all day, every day.