Our UK travel writer Rachel McAlley visited The Vicarage at Holmes Chapel in Cheshire for a recent 1-night stay and it was a wonderfully relaxing evening with excellent food, and the most fabulous bathroom she has ever had the pleasure of luxuriating in.

There is only one thing to say about The Vicarage, and it’s entirely about the unique bathroom in room 24, make sure you book this room or you will be seriously missing out on a treat.  Room 24’s bathroom in this boutique hotel is one of those rare finds of both pure comfort and total luxury.  You won’t be sorry!

We checked in to a warm welcome at reception, where the service and friendliness were both exceptional.  After being shown to our room, and shown around the facilities it was obvious that the bath was calling.  The bedroom was lovely, with a huge king-sized bed, local teas, coffees and homemade cookies to sample, a large flat screen TV, and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space to unpack. But the piece-de-resistance was the bathroom with its roll top free-standing ornate bath, open plan walk-in power rain shower, vast space, floor to ceiling window, quaint vanity unit, floor-standing mirror, and contemporary brick wall facing sink. This room was designed with the word ‘wow’ in mind. Once we had prized ourselves from the shower, the bath, and the bathroom in general we took dinner in the hotel’s conservatory restaurant.The sun was shining brightly on the warm summers evening, and the bright and airy conservatory was perfect for dinner for three.

The server who looked after us was attentive, easy to chat with, and he knew the menu inside out.  It was a pleasure to be informed of the daily specials and the children’s menu, he went out of his way to take care of all our food requirements.

We opted for nibbles, and one starter.  The nibbles included carrot, beetroot and parsnip crisps, and Williams chipolatas glazed in honey and maple syrup.  The starter was a simple prawn salad, served unusually with pickled cucumber, giving the dish something extra special.  Our main courses consisted of the children’s burger, and for the adults, corn fed chicken breast with sweetcorn puree, purple heritage potatoes, charred sweetcorn, kale and a tarragon jus, this dish was as flavoursome as it sounds and the sweetcorn packed a punch.  The unbelievably tasty vegetable wellington filled with roasted spring veg, wrapped in homemade puff pastry, asparagus, sweet onions and celeriac puree was beyond delicious.  This dish was absolute perfection, and for a non-veggie like me, it was robust, hearty, and melt-in-the-mouth wondrous.

After a short rest it was dessert time, we opted for the children’s mini cakes and tarts, and for the grown-ups a pear and almond tartin served with Amaretto ice cream, and the caramelized banana and chocolate parfait which was accompanied with roasted pineapple, rum gel, and banana loaf.  All the puds were good, but the tartin was a cut above the rest, it held its own against the beautiful delicate ice cream and the pears were sweet and juicy.

We requested some board games, which were offered in the hotel room menu and the remainder of the night was spent relaxing in the room playing scrabble and cards. An excellent night’s sleep was had by all, and morning approached far too speedily.  Breakfast was taken in the quintessentially British library room, with a cupboard filled with yoghurts, fruit jars, toast, pastries, cereal, jams and marmalades, a treasure trove of breakfast goodies to indulge.   Hot breakfasts and crumpets were ordered, and tea was served to the table.

It was a wonderful end to a lovely stay at The Vicarage, and the staff made the experience all the better.  This boutique hotel is truly lovely, the food is excellent, and the staff excels at customer service.

Prices start at £137.50 for the signature double room.  Dinner and drinks are priced separately.   www.thevicaragecheshire.com



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