Danielle Harvey enjoyed a wonderful stay at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa exterior

My husband and I were keen to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary with a romantic night away. We go away every year, even for a night, to reconnect, reflect and look forward to the year ahead – and this year was no exception. In the heart of Suffolk, the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa is a four AA red star hotel nestled in three acres of manicured gardens in Newmarket, the ancestral home of British horseracing. We’d popped in to the town prior to our arrival, and it was hard to believe that mere minutes down the road was a serene hotel setting. On approach, the pretty white building flanked by a grand driveway, shrubbery and trees was certainly smile-inducing, it felt in the middle of nowhere.

Offering luxury throughout, the hotel has seamlessly combined the old and the new, modern extensions and sumptuous aesthetics are sympathetic to its Georgian 18th-century beginnings. Standing in reception, stylish yet welcoming, the friendly staff gave us such a warm welcome that I immediately felt relaxed and ready to enjoy the stay...

THE SUITE SPOT
Heading through the hotel to find our little haven for the night, we ended up outside the Mews; a two-story building adjacent to the hotel – by only a few steps – it comes with its own parking space and views over the neighbouring famous trainer’s yard. The luxury Mews comprises of one executive suite, two superior rooms and a private dining area, perfect for groups. The exclusivity of it certainly got the excitement going to see what delights were in our room. With an upmarket home from home feel, our huge Executive Suite certainly didn’t disappoint with a resounding ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ upon opening the door. The staff had attentively left a welcome gift for our anniversary which made us feel super-special. The room was elegant, charming and welcoming, with more space than we could need; as was the bed, we laughed how it took a couple of rolls to meet in the middle! All bedrooms have been fitted with many deluxe flourishes including Bose speakers and a Nespresso coffee machine, and the Executive Suite also features an elegant free-standing bath, a walk-in rainfall shower and grand double sink – happy anniversary indeed! Normally we’d check in to a hotel, dump our bags and head out exploring but we were both so taken with the room we said let’s make the most of it, which says it all.

Bar at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

TO DINE FOR
The only thing that would’ve dragged us away from our suite that day was the excitement of dinner! Both complete foodies, we’d been thinking about dining in the hotel’s two AA Rosette restaurant since the morning. The award-winning Squires Restaurant has become a renowned destination; providing a modern culinary experience, the artistic décor, sumptuous furnishings and mood lighting provided the ideal ambience for such a special occasion.

Casting an eye over the menu was a delight, everything was jumping out ‘eat me, eat me’: pork belly, oysters, smoked haddock, pigeon wellington, pumpkin tortellini, Herdwick Hogget, Chateaubriand the choice was certainly tantalising those tastebuds. Using only the finest seasonal ingredients, and wherever possible sourced locally within a 50-mile radius of the hotel, we picked for starters the pork belly bao and line caught mackerel, followed by Sutton hoo chicken and poached plaice. My ever-so professional analysis of food that I love is when every mouthful is an absolute explosion of flavour, and that I’m silent immersed in the meal except for reinforcing ‘yummy’ noises. We both agreed, it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had, and we’ve been lucky to have eaten in some rather lovely places. Our waitress was a true delight, even asking the kitchen to add a special ‘Happy Anniversary’ message to our dessert plate, her whole demeanour contributed to the pleasant evening. A toast to us, with our chosen cocktails, we spent some time enjoying the atmosphere of the restaurant before retreating to the Mews!

Indoor swimming pool at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

SOME TLC
For that extra piece of luxury, the 5-bubble-rated award-winning spa sits adjacent to the hotel, boasting a rooftop hot tub, hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna, and experiential showers. The Spa also offers an extensive spa menu including massage, nails, Mii tanning and advanced facial treatments and more across 10 treatment rooms. What’s more, it can adapt treatments to suit all guests, offering a select menu to support Wellness for Cancer and spa clientele. Not only boasting luxury facilities there’s also an impressive Spa Lounge where guests can relax with a glass of fizz or favourite book on comfy loungers there’s also healthy (and indulgent!) food and beverages to enjoy in-between treatments!

The hotel itself also provides its own health and fitness club for staying guests, featuring a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment and the latest cardio and resistance training apparatus. Fully air-conditioned, the gym has a large flat screen TV and superb sound system. After a vigorous workout, you can take a swim in the tranquil 15-metre pool or relax in the spa bath, sauna and steam room. My hubby and I did take a look at the facilities, with every good intention of making use of them I packed my gym gear honest! but after mustering up just enough energy to wake up and enjoy our divine but hearty breakfast there just really wasn’t the motivation for a workout! But, my fitness instructor spouse said it looked like a really good gym so there’s an endorsement for you! We’ll be back!

Call 0800 6522 991 to book or visit www.bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk

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