July 26, 2022
Thornbury Castle in Bristol – A hotel embodying the regal grandeur of its past
Thornbury Castle Hotel in Bristol is simply the most authentic and imposing Tudor castle, a testament to the wealth of Henry v111, and only acquired once it’s original owner Stafford, was found guilty of treason, Henry then took control and lived briefly in the splendour he so hankered after with his beloved wife Anne Boleyn. Of course over the centuries it fell into disrepair until recently, and even more recently a huge budget that began at three million pounds rose to a staggering ten million pounds, but it shows.
Following a lengthy refurbishment during covid the castle has undergone a vast awakening. It is magnificent, plush and palatial, with sumptuous soft furnishings, historical fineries, bespoke carpets for each and every room, artwork, artefacts and wall coverings, the entire castle is beautifully designed for comfort and to give that truly stately yet contemporary ambience.
We stayed with our well behave four legged friend and he was most welcome and treated with toys and treats, and the surrounding area was perfect for dog walks. We spent a good few hours enjoying the 15 acres of stunning castle gardens. The Rose Garden has a huge variety of over 200 stems chosen for their historical roots. In The Kitchen and Herb Garden 20 Tudor herbs are lovingly grown and used to create those flavoursone dishes in the hotel restaurant and finally The Privy Garden and Labyrinth features an abundance of white flowering foliage, reminiscent of the Tudor era, there is so much to explore, and perfect for those younger guests too.
We were warmly welcomed and shown to our suite of which there quite a few and all individually designed, we were happily ensconced in a fabulous huge ground floor Deluxe Suite. Our suite featured a stunning bathroom and large well designed bedroom and seating area. We were extremely comfortable and felt the presence of a bygone era, we did wonder if the castle was haunted, but we didn’t feel a ghostly atmosphere, just peace and quiet.
Once we’d unpacked and walked our cockapoo, again, we were treated to a truly scrumptious afternoon tea, with a glass of bubbles of course. Now it’s no secret but afternoon tea is my absolute favourite indulgence. It always seems so civilised, with delicate little finger sandwiches, tasty pastries and cake and of course the quintessentially British scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. This all served in the library on rather regal armchairs, shiny silver cutlery, crisp white linen and bone china crockery was an experience I long to repeat. We decided the castle would be the perfect venue for Christmas with its plush furnishing and huge fireplaces, I can just imagine standing infront of one of the fireplaces with a mulled wine, warm mince pie, listening to Christmas carols, and the castle lends itself to traditional Christmas decorations,what a fabulous treat that would be.
We had a little rest and a cocktail in our suite and then ventured to the dining room and as we’d had Afternoon Tea we booked dinner for 9 pm. The castle is full of history and wonderful stories and the staff are all well versed, they can answer any question you may have, there are numerous secret room and passages, hidden artwork and a heritage befitting its historical surroundings.
Our meal was superb, this was fine dining at its very best, from the pre dinner canapés and amouse bouche, through to the starter, main course, dessert and coffee. Each dish was perfect, beautifully and artistically presented, flavoursome and completely delcious. The service was impeccable, the team were well informed and knew exactly how each dish was prepared and where the produce came from, impressive and faultless.
Dining in this castle, voted ‘The Most Romantic Hotel in England”, was a huge treat and we appreciated the splendour and authenticity of this most stunning hotel.
We enjoyed a wonderful nights sleep and woke to a lovely sunny day, so we walked before breakfast and returned to find a specially laid table in a quaint dining room where dogs were welcome, We chose a full English breakfast and Eggs Benedict, with granary toast, fresh orange juice and steaming hot coffee, we were well set up for the day. But before we checked out I was treated to a body massage, this took place in an upstairs room, up some narrow ancient stone stairs, in a tower, the room had a gorgeous view across the fabulous gardens, it was quiet and relaxing and the massage was perfect, a wonderful way to begin our busy business day.
Our brief over-night stay was short and sweet, but because it was so perfect we felt the benefit immeasurably, sometimes one night in such perfection is better than three nights in mediocre!
Written by Debbie Stone Global Editor of The Luxuria Lifestyle Group
W: Thornbury Castle
T: +44 (0)1454 281182