Situated in stunning grounds in Pott Shrigley, Cheshire sits Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club. I had the pleasure of visiting the hotel for a weekend stay just after New Years (which was exactly what the doctor ordered post 2 day-hangover) and it is undoubtedly one of the most stunning venues I have ever stayed in. The grounds are idyllic, the staff polite and professional, the facilities relaxing and the food, well, we’ll get on to my favourite subject in a bit!
Shrigley Hall Hotel is embedded snugly into the little, unknown town of Pott Shrigley near Macclesfield in Cheshire. In simpler terms, it’s near Manchester. Albeit for me, coming from Berkshire, it was a lengthy 3 and a half hour journey which (as mentioned before) was not helped by the suffering of the New Year celebrations 2 nights before. Cue a stop off at Oxford services to inhale a Burger King. However, despite the journey in treacherous rain, we soon breathed a sigh of relief when our car pulled into the stunning grounds of Shrigley Hall Hotel. It was past 5pm once we arrived, and the hotel was lit up in a stunning emerald green, resembling the Emerald City of Wizard of Oz. Pott Shrigley itself is just as beautiful, with little stone cottages lining the streets as we approached our destination. The 4 star hotel is surrounded by a 18 hole golf course which is well known by golfers and overlooks the stunning Cheshire plain. The Victorian-esque hotel could be described as a modern day Downton Abbey, perched discretely on a hill and hidden by a flurry of trees.
As well as the golf course, the hotel is home to 148 country house rooms, a swimming pool, spa, treatment rooms, nail bar, beauty rooms, free car park, restaurant, gym, bar and 24 hour room service. We stayed in a double room of a moderate size with free wifi, TV and fully functioning bath and shower facilities (of which the bath got full use upon arriving after a tiring journey!). We were also greeted with a complimentary bottle of red wine upon arrival. The decor definitely had a Victorian vibe, complimenting the overall theme of the hotel. The popular modern themes often found in high end London hotels would have looked completely out of place here! Of course, as soon as we were checked in and unpacked, we donned our swimwear and headed for the hotel’s swimming pool and spa. Before jumping in the sauna (not literally, pretty sure we would have been out of the hotel as quickly as we had arrived) we booked ourselves in the following day for full body aromatherapy massages. The spa and swimming pool were amicably sized, with the spa and sauna fitting around 8 people each, despite there never being more than 4 people in each whilst we were there. If I did have one small criticism of the spa, it was that it was clearly stated in the guest directory that no children under the age of 16 were permitted to use either, yet there were several under 12s left unattended by their parents to ‘bomb’ and dive into the pool, splashing myself and several other residents who were trying to relax with a book at the sides. Staff monitoring could be a little tighter to prevent this. However, the following day the hotel seemed to have cleared out a bit, and there was only myself my friend and a handful of other guests using the spa and I was able to relax in the jacuzzi, book in hand, splash free! Despite not actually using the gym myself (I was, I told myself, on holiday and my new healthy lifestyle wasn’t to start until I was back home) I did peer inside to see a number of fully working machines, including treadmills, rowers and a few other machines I could never know the name of and looked like they had come straight from the set of Fifty Shades of Grey. That evening we made our way down to the Oakridge Restaurant for our 3 course meal. The restaurant is situated at the front of the hotel, overlooking the golf course, which of course you couldn’t see at night. Instead the emerald green lights set the romantic scene from outside. Which would have been wonderful, if I hadn’t of been sitting there with my female best friend reminding us both of how single we were. (Cue the violins).
Onto my favourite subject, of course being food! As previously stated, on the first night we were invited to a three course meal in the Oakridge Restaurant. The starters, mains and pudding menus were limited to around 5 items each, which seemed fair. It can sometimes be daunting when you’re given too much choice. I decided on a chicken and bacon caeser salad for starter, carbonara for main and chocolate tart for pudding. A pudding is not a pudding unless it consists of some form of chocolate element I always say! I have to admit, I did kind of laugh when the starter was put it front of me. My ‘salad’ was no more than two pieces of lettuce, a few pieces of bacon, a few chicken chunks and a lone anchovie. Needless to say, it was polished off within seconds. The carbonara was brought out swiftly afterwards and again was of a moderate portion size, but delicious none the less. However, although we may be used to slightly bigger platefuls, I have to admit the portion sizes were just right. By the time the chocolate tart was brought out, I was already feeling satisfied, and I could only manage half of the pudding before admitting defeat. Kinda gutted to be honest. The tart was top notch. It’s actually taught me a lesson in portion control – we definitely all suffer from “eyes bigger than your belly syndrome” and don’t need half as much food as we think we do. Good job Shrigley Hall! A helpful way to start off my healthy new year… Minus the chocolate tart. Both mornings we were woken with a full English breakfast, a serve yourself buffet on the Sunday morning and a cooked-to-order service on the Monday morning when the hotel was quite empty. In hindsight, the cooked-to-order service was much better in terms of how many calories I consumed vs the self-serve buffet… I hadn’t quite kicked “eyes bigger than your belly” syndrome. Oops. Any true Englishman/woman knows the true value of a well done fried breakfast, and Shrigley Hall’s chefs nailed it. Sausage, bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, black pudding (of which, admittedly, I left), beans, egg, tomato and toast. Just the right amount of each to fuel me for the rest of the day. So much in fact, that we had to push our afternoon tea back an hour as we knew we weren’t going to be able to eat again anytime soon. For all non-fried breakfast eaters, there was a range of continental, meats, cereal and fruit available. Also a separate menu for alternative breakfast options such as smoked salmon and eggs benedict for an additional cost. After going back to the spa to swim up an appetite for our afternoon tea at 3pm, we headed back up to the piano bar where we were to be seated by the window. A tier of sandwiches (ham and mustard, smoked salmon and egg and cress), scones with clotted cream and jam and a range of desserts were brought out to us, accompanied with a pot of tea for two. We slowly made our way through it, having to leave half of the sandwiches to, of course, leave room for the more important dessert tier. One of the most appetising afternoon teas I’ve ever had, and you can add in a glass of bubbly too for a small amount. Dinner that evening was room service, both wanting to slob out in front of the TV in our PJs. Both of us ordered burgers, steak for my friend and chicken and bacon for me. The room service menu boasts a much larger selection than the restaurant and the portion sizes are considerably bigger – something to bear in mind for the real foodies! Again, incredible food and cooked to perfection. We both soon succumbed to a food coma shortly after in front of Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Shrigley Hall Hotel is well known amongst the Cheshire ‘ladies of leisure’ for its spa and treatments. Non-hotel residents can pay to use the spa facilities and range of weekend spa packages are available. We struggled to book a treatment spot because of this, having to have it booked on the morning of our departure, which wasn’t ideal, but our own fault I guess for not calling and booking beforehand. Nonetheless, our aromatherapy massages were stimulating, invigorating and relaxing, situated inside the spa’s Tranquility Room. The room boasts 5 treatment beds, ideal for a hen or group package in which you can choose to have your massages at the same time. We opted to have this, in order for us to have enough time to check out before 11am. The Tranquility Room is stunning, with a cascade of drapes falling from the centre outwards – it reminded me of a wedding setup. I didn’t want the massage to end (as you never do) and had I had more time, I would have also booked in for a facial. The treatments on offer ranged from massages (full body, neck and shoulders, deep tissue, anti fatigue, hot stone), facials, manicures, pedicures to beauty treatments including brow waxes and lash tints. It’s easy to see why the spa is popular with the locals. I’d definitely recommend booking a treatment as soon as you have your hotel confirmation to avoid disappointment!
Overall, I’d full recommend a stay at Shrigley Hall Hotel. Unfortunately the weather was horrific for the duration of our stay, so we were unable to explore the three walking routes of the hotel grounds. In drier conditions, I definitely would have donned a pair of hiking boots (pffftt, just joking, as if I own hiking boots) and stretched my legs. Considering how beautiful the surroundings of the hotel are, I’d blow away the cobwebs by going for a walk… and maybe leave the men for a round of golf. You can visit the hotel’s website here to book and they often have a range of different offers. Prepare to come home, wishing you hadn’t!