History and Charm Combine at Poets House
Ely, famed for it’s Cathedral and considered the second smallest city in England, (which makes it easy for visitors to explore), has another attraction to add to the reason’s to visit, boutique hotel ‘Poets House’. Re-launched last November under new owners and originally three Grade II listed townhouses it is now a luxury stylish hotel with 21 bedrooms including eight master suites, in the most enviable location, opposite Cathedral Close, the path that leads direct to the Cathedral.
Driving through the walled archway into the neat courtyard, you are met by a sleek modern glass single storey building, with more glass leading into the reception area, showing already that this hotel is combining traditional and modern perfectly, none of this large conveyor belt type reception area but a small intimate one, with deep slate coloured walls, black and white square floor tiles, and a check-in that was simple and quick – I was certainly impressed.
Check in complete, we headed across the courtyard to our suite. Opening the door my eyes were drawn to the corner of the room, to the luxurious copper freestanding roll-top bath (I was already dreaming of soaking in it, bubbles not only in the bath but also in a glass!) A real focal point amongst the contrasting deep grey’s, plush carpets, silver accessories, and crisp white bed linen, this room was the perfect place to indulge in a little bit of luxury.
An hour or two later after luxuriating in the copper bath, I was a little closer to looking like a lobster but at least I was also a little closer to knowing what it felt like to be a movie star! Now it was time to head over to The ‘Study’ Lounge Bar, a relaxing space with sofas that you sink into, a sleek bar the whole length of the back brick wall with shelves stocked full of bottles, gilded gold mirrors with poetry written on them, all come together to create a space that was just calling out for us to enjoy a cocktail or two.
Cocktails finished we headed into the ‘Dining Room’ dark hues, silver accessories, stunning black and crystal chandeliers and grey velour dining chairs made the dining room into an elegant area to enjoy food from a menu that offers both traditional and modern British dishes.
We started our dining experience with seared partridge – this came with a potato croquet and beetroot, a dish that was delightful in both presentation and taste – The crab ballotine, with confit artichokes, saffron dressing and pork scratching was just as tasty, with an amalgamation of tastes and textures that were a delight to the palette.
Mains were cod supreme with crushed cauliflower and pickled cockles and pork tenderloin smoked belly, with sauerkraut and Savoy cabbage, served with seasonal vegetables. Both dishes were creatively presented and a culinary delight.
The creative flair continued with the desserts – Caramalised Banana with a mango sorbet, rice pudding and poppy seed cake, and Poached rhubarb with caramel sponge and fennel sorbet both a heavenly sweet treat at the end of a delicious meal, taken alongside impeccable service with an atmosphere to match.
Coffee was taken back in the Study Bar, before we retired to our suite for a sleep so sound, that I would have liked to have enjoyed it for a little longer, but hubby had other ideas and was tempted by more food – this time ‘Breakfast!’ Needless to say, this was just as tasty and indulgent as everything else at Poets House, with a selection of mouth-watering options including fresh pastries, continental meats, poached eggs, smoked salmon and of course a traditional ‘English Breakfast’.
Ely may be small, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do, whether it’s visiting the Cathedral (quite a few Hollywood Stars have filmed movies in here, the latest being Marion Cotillard and Jeremy irons for Assassins Creed), Oliver Cromwell’s House, a boat trip along the River Great Ouse or wandering around the cobbled streets and shops, Poets House will provide you with the perfect base to do all this from.
Time to leave came around far too quickly for us – We had been spoilt by a team that certainly knew the importance of great service, in a building full of original charm and stunningly innovative interiors – I just wanted it to continue for just a little bit longer.
A Spring Break, which includes afternoon tea, overnight accommodation, and full English breakfast starts from £130 per person. Per night in April, May or June.
A Summer Break which includes a boat trip on the River Cam, 3 course dinner, overnight accommodation and full English breakfast starts from £130 per person, per night in July, August or September.