When I was invited to stay at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall with my family I said yes – as long as we could take our dog with us. I was told that this was fine but she couldn’t come in to any of the eating areas. Our dog is a whippet and her preferred position is asleep somewhere warm and comfortable so I knew she’d be OK if we took her along. So in December the whole family (apart from the cat) set off for a night at Kesgrave Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian mansion and luxury hotel.
Milsom’s Kesgrave Hall is a 23-bedroom 4-star hotel just outside Ipswich in Suffolk. When we arrive we’re shown to our interconnecting rooms in some beautifully converted outbuildings. The children are pleased with their comfortable twin beds, well-stocked drinks fridge and flat-screen TV and are very impressed by the fast, free Wi-Fi. I really like the way the rooms are decorated in a modern and welcoming style and I feel instantly at home. Our dog is delighted by the room and eyes up the comfortable sofa at the end of the huge double bed. It’s great to have interconnecting rooms rather than all squishing into one room and the hotel can also provide cots and extra roll-out beds if you need them.
When we check in we’re told that we can have dinner whenever we like. The children are keen to watch the X-Factor final that evening so we opt for an early meal. The hotel restaurant is already busy when we get there but we’re shown to a table with a great view of the bustling open kitchen. There’s a pencil and notepad on the table for us to write down our order and the eldest happily takes charge of that. The dining room is adorned with cheerful red paper decorations and tastefully draped Christmas trees. There’s a homely, welcoming atmosphere and the service is efficient and friendly. There’s a snoozing baby with his parents at the next table and a pile of highchairs in the corner but it’s the kind of place which welcomes everyone rather than being aimed at families with children.
The youngest orders spaghetti carbonara from the separate children’s menu while I go for grilled plaice. My husband chooses steak, my daughter fish and chips. The food is well-presented and tasty and we all enjoy it. The children then dash back to the room to watch X-Factor with the dog while my husband and I take our time finishing our wine and choosing puddings. Our waitress kindly sends the kids’ puddings to their room for them to eat there.
The next morning we have a short foray around the hotel’s 38 acres of parkland with the dog. The grounds are lovely and it must be a great place to come in the summer. The lawn sweeping down from the mansion’s wide terrace looks like a perfect spot for football and running around.
Breakfast is served in the dining room and is very relaxed. We help ourselves from a side table laden with cereal, fruit, croissants and juice and then order hot dishes from the menu. I don’t eat meat but the staff are happy to make me scrambled egg and mushrooms even though this isn’t on the menu.
Relaxed and replete we pack our bags and head off for a spot of Christmas shopping on the way home. Our night at Kesgrave Hall was very enjoyable and I’d definitely recommend this hotel to families. And to their dogs.
We were guests at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall for review purposes. Rooms at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall cost from £125 per night including breakfast. Cots (£10/ night) and foldaway beds (£20/ night including breakfast) are available. I’ve also written about our stay for the BritMums website.