A luxurious weekend at Matfen Hall

If you’re looking for a luxurious and indulgent escape, look no further than Matfen Hall. This historic grade II listed building is a destination that’s designed to whisk you away to a world of opulence and elegance. This is a historic grade II listed building dating back to the 19th century which is a haven for the rich and famous. Noel Gallagher has been known to rest his head here and often there will be a helicopter on the lawn. Five hours away by train from London, one can take first-class to Newcastle and then be chauffeured to the hotel which is tucked away in the Northumberland countryside.

With 65 luxurious rooms, several dining options, a world-class spa and fitness suite, and a challenging championship golf course, all one could want from a luxury escape. The rich heritage of the country hotel is evident in every aspect. It’s the ancestral home of the Blackett baronets who built the property in the 1830s and as soon as you step into Matfen Hall, you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink of rum punch, selected by the owner who resides in Antigua and led into the Great Hall where a pianist plays enchanting music underneath a huge stained-glass window. There’s a winding staircase leading up to the cloisters and a ceiling which looks as though stars have been painted on it. In the Morning Room next door fireplace which was originally intended for Buckingham Palace, but gifted to the aristocratic former owners. Now under the ownership of the Walwick Estate Group, it recently underwent a multi-million-pound refurbishment to bring it up to modern standards, including making a new restaurant space in the Cloisters, while still retaining its charm. Additionally, the hall, the dining and bar areas, and bedrooms have all been revived and refreshed and bold and beautiful paintwork highlights the impressively high ceilings and cornicing. What strikes one when entering is the Hypnos Lansdowne Cashmere emperor bed at the centre boasting 300 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sateen and lots of pillows. There’s also a beautiful seating area and a table containing a welcome bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne on ice. Stepping into the bathroom the standalone roll-top bath on claw legs is breathtaking and after a long journey guests can run a bath with the Penhaligans amenities and unwind before getting ready for dinner.

The dining experience at Matfen Hall is an indulgence in itself. Ernst Van Zyl, who once worked at Heston Bluementhal’s Fat Duck is the head chef which is putting it on the map when it comes to food. The Emerald Restaurant offers exquisite cuisine as well as stunning views of the estate. Its interior is designed to look like an expensive library surrounded by books. After being welcomed with Tattinger champagne, the meal began with an amuse bouche of caramelised onion gougere with rosemary paired with Laurent Perrier la cuvée, champagne brut NV followed by the local lobster tail with lemon, capers and dill with the Sunset Chateau Ksara from Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, 2021 and Chateau Bela Egon Muller Riesling.

For the main course, guests will enjoy Beef Wellington with forest mushroom with bordelaise jus and baby summer vegetables which melt in the mouth. This goes well with the Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Helena California (2019) and the Macan Rothschild and Vega Sicilia, Rioja from Spain, 2018. Round the meal with a Morangie Brie with quince jelly and caramelised walnut tuille that went well with the Finca Antigua Moscatel from La Mancha Spain, 2022 and a Muffato Della Sala from Umbria IGT Italy, 2019 finished with a Smith Woodhouse, 10 years old Tawny port and a Graham’s 20-year-old tawny port both from Portugal. After this veritable feast, patrons can retire to the 1832 bar to enjoy the finest Ron Zacapa rum and Hepple sloe gin by the fire.

Guests can mark a special occasion with an Afternoon Tea at Matfen Hall, served in The Orangery. Overlooking the championship golf course the restaurant area is light and bright atmosphere invites visitors to relax and catch up with friends over a selection of savoury delights and delicious sweet treats served on an elegant afternoon tea stand and china tea cups and teapots as well as a glass or two of Laurent Perrier’s Harmony Champagne.

Downstairs, the wine cellar stocks a fine selection of bubbly from Brut to the more complex and decadent Grand Cru varieties. During a fabulous champagne tasting we were treated to a range of Laurent Perrier concoctions which are some of the finest names in Champagne. Feeling seriously indulgent, we opened a bottle of Grand Siecle named after Louis XIII, followed by the Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut and Laurent Perrier Blanc de Blancs. Alongside this was a La Della Vite by Delevigne prosecco and a Lyme Bay sparkling wine.

The spa is another highlight of this luxurious destination. Germaine de Capuccini and Natura Bissé rituals, as well as Elemis products, are used to provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The eight-bed relaxation room and aromatherapy suite offer a tranquil escape, while the 15-metre pavilion pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna provide the perfect setting for unwinding. The hotel is the perfect place for a memorable stargazing experience.

And for those who like to indulge in more active pursuits, the championship golf course at Matfen Hall is set in over 300 acres of mature parkland within established burns and woodland. It is rated as one of the finest in the Northeast and offers a challenging experience to golf enthusiasts. Then there are nearby attractions like Hadrian’s Wall and the Hareshaw Linn Waterfall offering a glimpse into history and nature, respectively.

Matfen Hall is a destination that’s designed to provide a luxurious and unforgettable experience to its guests. Every aspect of this location is tailored to make guests feel like royalty, from the stunning decor to the indulgent amenities. It is a very special and memorable experience and a great way to mark a special event.

Further information

Donna Richardson – Travel Journalist