There are countless reasons to visit the rolling hills of the peak district, and Callow Hall (The Times’ Hotel of the Year 2021) is one of them. With its grand Victorian exterior and views in abundance through deep, mullioned windows, you will be transported to a slower, more peaceful pace of life.
Following a no-expense-spared renovation, Callow Hall is a polished and gently contemporary spin on antiquity – the ultimate country hideaway for couples, with top-drawer food and some of the UK’s most spectacular walks (which begin on the imposing stone porch).
Set the scene:
With its rich hues and warming colours, Callow Hall immediately evokes a home-from-home feeling. Guests are greeted at an understated (almost hidden) reception area before entering the shared spaces, where eyes are drawn to the antique furniture and beautiful works of art adorning the walls. A maze of cosy, warmly-lit rooms (some book-cased, some wood-panelled) host several rounds of tea or martinis, while a large stone window at the centre of the drawing room frames a nostalgic view of sheep-filled meadows. The house’s historic frame has been shaken up in the dining room and bar, which feel more Soho Home than traditional country home.
Honeymooners should pine for the ‘Fabulous’ room in the main house, should emperor-sized bed and free-standing roll top baths be high on the list of priorities, or perhaps go for something a little left field. Submerged in woodland, its stilted Wildhives could be a nod to childhood adventure or simply the sense of losing oneself in nature (from a luxurious perch), but there’s something quite exhilarating about staying in these intricately designed wooden structures. A lovely blend of rustic and modern, these one or two-bedroom treehouses, with their safari-style wrap-around balconies, peer out of the trees and over Callow Hall’s austere-yet-handsome main house and grounds.
Food and drink:
Every effort is made to source the freshest local produce in the modern garden room restaurant, which, along with the bar, enjoys bucolic views over acres of green. Having mused over the exact provenance of a local Derbyshire Rib Eye (a must-try) or cheeses turned up a few notches with local chutney, the bar beckons, with its creative cocktail menu carrying thirsty guests well into the night.
Head to the beautifully renovated Coach House to plan your Peak District adventure in the quaint and unusual ‘map room,’ or challenge yourself in the interactive cycle room and yoga studio. Feeling a little less energetic? Why not treat yourself to a relaxing sauna and massage in the small but perfectly formed spa.
Planted firmly on the English Heritage Register, Callow Hall is a house of great historic significance. Built in 1849 by H. J. Stevens for John Goodwin Johnson, a local magistrate, it was a private residence for over a century becoming a hotel in 1982. For the last year, Charles Randall and Ed Burrows, have been quietly restoring this hotel to its former glory, with an eccentric (and velvety) twist. The back-to-nature hives and treehouses separate Callow Hall from any surrounding country hotels, while the main house’s overhaul set a playful and laid-back tone. With its exceptional food, pampering Coach House Spa and ‘Gateway to Dovedale’ location, it’s the stuff of UK staycation honeymoon reverie.
Doubles from £179, Callow Hall Hotel: www.wildhive.uk
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