The top 10 experiences to tick off on your visit to Hampton Manor.

Hampton Manor is a family run Restaurant with Rooms in the quiet village of Hampton-in- Arden, just 12 minutes outside Birmingham. Craftsmanship is at the heart of the house. The team have developed relationships with the best suppliers in Britain for Michelin-starred Peel’s Restaurant’s tasting menus, and looked to the Manor’s past to design 15 Arts and Crafts inspired bedrooms. These are the 10 experiences guests must try at Hampton Manor.

1. Meet the Family Owners

Jan and Derrick Hill bought the Manor back in 2008. Since then their son James, and his wife Fjona, have stewarded the development and renovation of the building. With James’ culinary intuition and Fjona’s eye for design, they have created a unique and homely environment for their guests, inviting a team of craftspeople in to run the house alongside them. Today they’ll welcome you at the front door or greet you over your afternoon tea or dinner.

Meet the team: James Hill, Managing Director, ‘my life in hospitality started around a very long table in my parents’ pub, The Pear Tree. Every Sunday after service we’d gather the team together for a big roast dinner followed by a game of rounders or cricket. The reason we get out of bed every morning and open Hampton Manor is because of our passion to create those memorable moments around the table for our guests.’

2. Hunt for Craft Pieces

At the end of 2017 Fjona renovated the Manor’s public rooms, looking to its Arts and Crafts history for inspiration. She commissioned British artists to fill the rooms with their wares, creating spaces both steeped in history and contemporary charm. Chris de Souza’s drawing, entitled ‘The Manor’s Table’, is the first piece you’ll meet on your craft treasure trail.

Meet the team: Fjona Hill, Creative Director, ‘I love to sit with a group of friends eating at the hand crafted table in Peel’s, knowing that my four year old son planed a section of it. Every week we’d visit Will Self as he worked on it, watching the table slowly coming to life.’

3. Dine in Michelin-starred Peel’s

In 2016 Peel’s Restaurant was awarded a Michelin- star and its fourth AA-rosette. Head Chef Rob Palmer sources the best seasonal, British produce and cooks it using modern techniques. Each dish focuses on just three main ingredients, giving them an honest simplicity. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday and seats 28 guests. Four or seven course tasting menus are available with optional accompanying wine flights.

Meet the team: Rob Palmer, Head Chef, ‘the dish that I’m most excited about at the moment is the asparagus. It’s always the first dish that we put on the menu for Spring, and this year we’re sticking to the same key three ingredients as last year: asparagus, burrata, chicken.’

4. Opt for Adventure From the Natural Wine List

Wine Director Sam Olive runs his business, Wine Freedom, from the Manor’s cellars. Sam has over a decade of experience in the industry, specialising in natural, organic and biodynamic wine. All of the wines on the Peel’s wine list give a true sense of place, letting the land and fruit speak for themselves. Most are made by small independent winemakers who know that healthy grapes make delicious wine.

Meet the team: Ross Morton, Head Sommelier ‘I’d recommend trying the Naoussa Red from Northern Greece 2013. It’s 100% Xinomavro, is rich, full bodied and full of unexpected tannins. It’s the standout adventure wine to pair with our wagyu beef dish.’

5. Watch the Chefs at Work

The Tasting Room is the most sought after table in the house, bringing guests into the heart of the action offering both privacy and theatre. An opportunity to see the chefs at work from the comfort of their own private dining room. Reservations for 4-8 guests

Meet the team: Luke Parsons, Restaurant Manager, ‘our guests always say that the kitchen’s nothing like Gordon Ramsay’s! Our chilled, passionate chefs work hard to debunk the myths of the angry kitchen.’

6. Join a Drinks Tasting at The Maker’s Table

Pull up a stool at The Maker’s Table for gin, sparkling wine and whisky tastings. Running at set times throughout the evening, this is all about sharing, tasting and storytelling one sip at a time. The table is shared and has eight stools available by reservation only, Tuesday to Saturday.

Meet the team: Loic Cretel, Bar Manager, ‘for the past four months I’ve been infusing forced rhubarb from Yorkshire with London dry gin in large Demijohn’s. Bottles are now ready to buy!’

7. Take Tea Like a Foodie

Forget finger sandwiches, this is afternoon tea for the foodie. Head Chef Rob has re-imagined his tasting menus for the afternoon; ‘Crab, XO Sauce’ and ‘Middle Pork, Black Pudding’ make way for ‘Chocolate, Sherry’ and ‘Parsnip, Whisky Raisin, Arlette’. It all begins in the Parlour with a chef demonstration and garden welcome drink. Served 3pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Meet the team: Joshua Oakes, House Manager ‘I grew up on a vineyard in France, and in French the word ‘Parlour’ translates as ‘the place to talk’. That’s really what people come here to do; the afternoon tea tables are places where conversations happen.’

8. Wander Down to the Walled Kitchen Garden

2018 marked the beginning of the restoration of the Victorian Walled Garden. First completed in 1891, this charming plot will soon become home to Peel’s Restaurant’s seasonal friends: beetroot, carrot, asparagus and tomato. Herbs will be developed to garnish Loic’s cocktail creations, and hives erected to house the Manor’s honey bees.

Meet the team: Craig Newman, General Manager ‘I think that having a kitchen garden for the team to forage from will tell them something about seasonality that’s difficult to teach. It’s about seeing produce come into season, knowing when to pick it and watching it go from ground, to plate, to restaurant.

9. Unwind in the Pamper Rooms

Guests are invited to unwind with a selection of aromatherapy massages, facials and reflexology treatments in the treatment rooms.
Meet the team: Komal, Beauty Therapist, ‘‘later this month we’ll be starting our pink Himalayan salt rock massages. These are going to be popular for Spring. Take the rocks home with you and melt in your bath or rub onto aching joints.’

10. Stay the Night

Why haul yourself home after dinner when you can just tumble upstairs to bed? Hampton Manor would say that their 15 Arts and Crafts inspired bedrooms are homes away from home, but with homemade cookies, 100 Acres Apothecary toiletries and fresh Has Bean coffee to grind, we think you might just never want to leave.

Meet the team: Alice Scott, Communications Manager ‘we released Romi’s top secret cookie recipe on the blog earlier this year. Anyone who’s stayed the night, or had a coffee with us will remember these cookies. Now you can make your home a little more like Hampton Manor.’

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