Antonia Peck reviews a 17th Century boutique Bed & Breakfast with serious style credentials….
Hope House in Woodstock, Oxfordshire is a 17th century boutique Bed & Breakfast with serious style credentials. It has recently been invited to join Condé Nast Johansens – celebrating the best luxury hotels, spas and venues.
Despite its status as the ancestral home of the Money family (whose job it was to collect monies to build Blenheim Palace circa 1708) – Hope House is a beacon of contemporary hospitality in the pretty town of Woodstock.
The owner, operator and maître d’par excellence is Paul Hageman, a descendant of the Money family, who runs the hotel with his wife in the most accommodating of manners. Paul has years of experience in the hotel industry and as such has the foresight to anticipate your every need.
There is certainly a market for an elegant B&B such as Hope House. It stands as a clever, modern offering that does much to update our interpretation of the local B&B. With Blenheim Palace as the main draw and Bicester Village’s famous fashion outlet nearby, you can see why Hope House is attracting the right sort of crowd.
Who Stays Here?
With so many brides choosing Rousham House & Garden or Blenheim Palace as their wedding venue (a booking every weekend for years at the latter) means that Paul is accustomed to hosting the bridal party. However, he is just as adept at hosting Formula 1 drivers and their entourage (from the nearby training site), loved-up couples looking for a luxurious place to rest their heads or jet-lagged tourists hoping to explore one of Oxfordshire’s finest towns. All guests relish the Hope House experience, enjoying the exquisite pleasure of having both privacy and top-notch service – making it the perfect choice for special occasions.
All the rooms at Hope House have a unique interior character and are of generous size (80-85sqm). Guests can stay in one of four apartments:
The Marlborough Suite on the top floor has large oak beams and gilt finishes. The lower ceiling height makes it a comfortable and elegant bolt-hole.
The Churchill Suite on the first floor has high ceilings (4 meters high) and two beautiful bay windows. Its interior design is the most contemporary but with traditional features, such as meticulously restored oak paneled walls and a beautiful stone fireplace.
The Blenheim Suite is the only one bedroom apartment (making it a favourite for couples), with a large marble fireplace and some original antiques. It is the most traditional and regal of the rooms.
Meanwhile, the hotel’s Six Bells Apartment in the building next door is available for a seven night stay, and has been done up to a very high standard. The apartment has a balcony and a seating area overlooking the garden.
All In The Details
- A SMEG fridge and long glass champagne flutes just waiting to be filled!
- Heated marbled floors – what could be more luxurious than warm feet on a smooth surface?/li>
- Soft Beltrami fine linen
- Wallpaper with a pearl essence or textured quality (in The Churchill Suite and The Marlborough Suite).
- Mosaic bathroom (in The Blenheim Suite).
- Bvlgari toiletries
- A cast iron Victorian bath (in The Churchill Suite).
- Air Conditioning, remote lighting, 42 inch plasma screens, iPod doc and surround sound.
- Allocated car parking spaces.
Where Can You Eat?
Breakfast is served in the Vanbrugh Restaurant, a room on the ground floor with views of Woodstock town. It is filled with modern cubes and custom-made ottomans. Paul will personally prepare a wonderful organic breakfast with eggs, sausages, yogurt and smoothies galore, alongside the daily newspaper. If dinner is required, a bespoke dining experience is available in the Vanbrugh Restaurant (7 course taster menu for £195.00). However, Woodstock is a foodie’s town – with plenty of gastro pubs and good restaurants at both The Feathers Hotel and The Bear.
Why We Love It
After much research, I chose to stay at Hope House for two nights over my wedding weekend. It struck me as the only place that would provide the privacy in which to prepare and dress for such an important day. My mother and I took The Churchill Suite the night before. The high ceilings meant that there was enough room for my Bruce Oldfield dress (with its two meter train!) to hang luxuriously in the room. On the night of my wedding, my husband and I stayed in The Blenheim Suite. However, upon our arrival back at Hope House, we were starving and asked Paul if there was any way we could get something to eat. He went so far as to make me baked beans on toast at midnight. It was a sweet kindness that will not be forgotten!
Hope House, Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxford, England OX20 1TS
Tel: +44 (0)1993 815990