Withunrivalled views over the stunning Shropshire countryside, and just a short walk from the historic market town of Ludlow, is the privately owned boutique country house hotel Fish more Hall. Built in 1810, the property was once used as a grand residence, before becoming a highly respected school in WWII. The building then fell to ruin until the present owner brought it back to life and opened it as a hotel in 2007, making it the ideal place to spend a couple of days recharging your batteries, which was just what we intended to do.
After a month that had seen me working round the clockmost days, the thought of dragging hubbie (well he didn’t actually have to be dragged) and cocooning myself in Fish more’s recently opened spa, indulging in delicious food and breathing in some fresh country air,sounded perfect.
Walking into the entrance, is just like stepping into your very own country house, with dark wood floors, a cosy atmosphere, friendly staff and high ceilings, you half expect to see Mary Berry appear from round the corner, (her latest TV offering is Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets).
There was just time to drop our bags off in our room, have a quick caffeine fix from the Nespresso like coffee machine and drool over the fact there were Elemis toiletries in the bathroom before heading over to the spa, for some pampering.
The spa is a newly built, free standing log cabin to the side of the hotel that houses four treatment rooms and a tranquil outside space with a cedar wood hot tub, loungers, over sized hammock, and if you’re feeling brave an outdoor bucket drench shower, such aserene space almost like your very own Zen garden. Nothing quite beats luxuriating in the hot tub, bubbles massaging your aching limbs, listening to the silence as you gaze at the stars twinkling in the sky above(we visited late November) – if only time could stand still! But unfortunately it couldn’t as I had a treatment calling me in the form of a Lava Shell Thermal Rescue Massage.
This is one of the spas signature treatments where hot lava shells are used as an extension of the therapists hands to massage your body and work deep into the muscles, helping relieve tension, rejuvenate your skin and leave you completely relaxed in a tranquil bubble of calm. All too soon it was time to rejoin hubbie who was melting away in the steam and sauna rooms, before we both headed off to get ready for dinner.
If the spa is the jewel in Fish mores crown, then their 3AA Rosette fine dining restaurant Forelles must be the Piece de Resistance. A pre dinner glass of prosecco was accompanied with a selection of canapés including a goat’s cheese cone and pork scratchings with apple sauce, if the rest of the meal was anything like the canapés we were goingto be in foodie heaven.
We began our journey (it was a nine course tasting menu) with wild mushroom mixed with blue cheese, pickled walnut and pear, a mesmerising amalgamation of tastes and textures that were a real treat to the palette, as were the croquets of rose veal mixed with sweetbread, oyster mayonnaise, and watercress. Next came the strong flavours of smoked eel that blended perfectly with acrispy chicken wing, and crunchy pieces of cauliflower, shallot and apple. Followed by wood pigeon that was cooked to perfection (so hubbie told me, sorry I just can’t bring myself to nibble on pigeon).
Next came the cod served on a bed of chickpeas and tomatoes, which enhanced the delicate flavours of the cod perfectly, making this my joint favourite, dish with the Iberico Pork both dishes mouth wateringly delicious.
Surely they can’t get it so perfect on every dish? But yes they can even with the desserts, a lemon and vanilla mousse topped with honey and meringue accompanied with a rosemary gin and tonic jelly, was absolute heaven as was the chocolate pudding served with hazelnuts, coconut, amaretto, and a raspberry mousse – not only did all these dishes taste delectable the presentation was just as delightful.
That was it, I couldn’tpossibly eat anymore and politely declined the cheese and biscuits, but couldn’t resist the petit fours that were served with our coffees, and even these didn’t disappoint – the food here had certainly lived up to its reputation, from start to finish it was a fusion of flavours that tempted the palette and never failed to deliver.
After a restful nights sleep breakfast had a lot to live up to, and it did – starting with the fabulous views from the conservatory as we sat enjoying our breakfast, fuelling our bodies with a selection of fresh fruit and pastries as well as freshly made eggs Benedict, before setting off for the day to explore the surrounding countryside
Whether it’s long country walks, a little shopping in a quaint market town, a romantic weekend away, Fish more Hall has it all; it really is a luxurious country house retreat.
A Valentines Cupid Package starts from £350 per room per night in a standard room and includes a Valentines tasting menu, glass of Pre-dinner fizz, homemade chocolates & flowers in your room, use of Spa facilities, full English & continental breakfast and 10% off Spa Treatments (available Saturday 10th February – Saturday 17th February 2018.)