In a sea of contemporary design, hotels with historic charm are a breath of fresh air. Hampton Manor is one of these traditional jewels and can be found on the outskirts of Birmingham, the UK’s ‘Second City’, in the village of Hampton-in-Arden. A Neo-Gothic mansion, the property was built in 1855 but had fallen into decline when married hoteliers Fjona & James Hill began an 18 month, multi-million pound restoration project to return the home to its former glory. Retaining the building’s historic features, the Hills have created a sanctuary for design lovers filled with luxurious furniture and finishes which cross the divide between old and new to become a unique stately home hotel.
Originally built by Sir Frederick Peel, son of the 19th century Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Hampton Manor was modelled on Drayton Manor where his father resided nearby. A staunch industrialist, the home reflected these beliefs with ‘industria’ engraved across the staircase and a lion crest in numerous spots around the property. The hotel’s decorative details create a stark juxtaposition between the celebration of industry and a focus on local craftsmanship advocated by William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement. The new interior continues the trend for the modern age with Fjona acting as the interior designer and drawing on her photographic background and sharp visual eye to carve out an interior scheme which draws on current trends but also celebrates local industrial and artisanal heritage.
Fjona’s unique concept drew on the building’s original features which were still intact including stained glass windows, oak panelling and the central staircase complete with intricate carvings and the aforementioned ‘industria’ insignia. The colourful 45 acre gardens inspired the colours and textures of the interior and throughout there is a distinct ‘made in England’ stamp of quality and provenance infused through the design, furnishing and fixtures. Handpicked artisans and craftsmen were involved in the unique aesthetic including Cotswolds based potter Neil Alcock and abstract painter Wendy Satchwell who have added their modern look to the traditional backdrop.
With just 15 guestrooms, Hampton Manor is an intimate retreat with sumptuous and grand public spaces which are still warm and welcoming. The palatial entrance hall is filled with an enchanting chandelier to greet guests on arrival and set the tone for their stay and Peel’s, The Parlour and Fred’s Bistro are the on-site restaurants each offering outstanding decor and tantalising menus. Peel’s is an elegant dining room boasting original wall panels combined with hand-painted wallpaper by Fromental and finished with an American black walnut wine station made by West Midland’s based craftsman William Self. The Parlour is a more informal venue and houses the hotel’s afternoon tea each day but is no less dramatically designed with Designers Guild Viola floral wallpaper mixed with geometric furnishings and leather topped tables by Style Matters.
The guest rooms themselves offer individually styled schemes with the incorporation of bespoke furnishings. The patterns found in the rooms are a vibrant blend of wallpapers and fabrics found in the William Morris archives and contemporary geometrics, zigzags and stripes. The finishing homely touches like ladder bookshelves filled with page-turners and fireplaces allow guests to feel at home whilst relaxing in an exquisitely designed environment and the rooms are available to book now via the Hampton Manor website.