What a lovely surprise to be invited to a VIP launch/ preview of the Haycock Manor in Wansford.

It’s not very often we get invited to viewing, however it seemed like a nice treat to go out and see what renovations have been done to this already wonderful hotel after its closure. So off for a sneak look at what has been done with a glass of champers and nibbles as a bonus!

The Haycock has had every single room and every space renovated and refurbished, and they are not quite finished yet, but so far from our visit have done an amazing job. I’ve personally only been a couple of times to the ballroom and never been anywhere else with the old hotel, so it was nice to get the chance to look around.

You’re greeted with muted tone rooms with added splashes of colour. The first thing to catch your eye is the bird cage design of Prevost restaurant area which is here within the hotel – it’s so grand and unique. You’d probably want your wedding in here instead of the ballroom! Anyway…. in a nutshell it’s a beautiful setting with large windows and garden views. There are large bird cage like private dining areas that draw you to them instantly. If you want to sit here you can enjoy Lee’s fantastic tasting menus to go with it starting at 3 courses £40 up to 8 courses £85.

The Haycock’s brasserie ‘Haycock Kitchen’ is very chic in colour and design serving up their a-la-carte menu here ranging from £15-£29 for a main course. The setting is lovely with some street views. The ‘River Lounge’ is another lovely room with street and garden views and pretty hummingbird wallpaper. In here you can enjoy a cosy fireplace with your drinks or take in a grand afternoon tea. The one set out for us looked fabulous; laid out on a wooden shelf setting with petit fours and sandwiches – definitely enticing. (no I didn’t eat one) For Christmastime they are serving up a Festive Afternoon tea from £37 per adult.

We were then taken on a tour of their function rooms and bedrooms. The Ballroom has had a makeover with additional rooms adjoining so you can move easily from ceremony to celebration. The bedrooms have some beautiful features that combine the old and the new both in their standard and feature rooms. There really are some rooms to die for: The best of the best was upstairs at the front of the hotel where once slept Queen Victoria as a young girl in 1832 as she was on her way to visit the Archbishop of York – The Princess Alexandrina Suite. It oozes a sort of time warp theme with its old style wardrobes mixed with a crazily large bathroom with rolltop copper bath and walk-in shower. You can’t really imagine her staying here, as it looks so modern now, but with the remains of a fireplace area and chimney breast you can imagine a servant coming in to stoke the fire to ensure the room was warm for her. A second beautiful room is the bridal suite, of course. This room has been named after the Great-Granddaughter of the Cunard Family who actually ‘owned’ the hotel. She lived here between 1914 until 1928. The ‘Nancy Cunard Suite’ is in honour of this actress, author and publisher – an incredible woman ahead of her time. It’s a large room with plenty of space for wedding preparations including another rolltop bath, this time a glorious silver colour in middle of a salmon-pink themed luxury bathroom. Everything in each room has style, luxury, furniture made from fine wood along with bathrooms that are literally fit for a Queen.

There’s an outside courtyard with a wood fire pit for those balmy summer nights (not yet) to keep you warm whilst enjoying food from their restaurant or whilst entertaining with drinks. I mingled with other VIP guests enjoying the launch of the hotel and taking tours – Councillors Steve Allen and Wayne Fitzgeral both enjoying their glass of bubbles too and the nibbles coming round. Just take a look at the exquisite tiny burger! Scrumptious.

What can I say about this visit? If you want to splash out on an amazing Christmas do or enjoy some premium quality food then this is the place – just along the A1, to visit. I certainly ‘want’ to come back for something like an afternoon tea as it looks so inviting, I just need to wait to be treated! (Hint, Hint.)

Well done to anyone who has worked and is still working on this, you’ve done the building proud. A Grand Job

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