Kilworth House hotel

Drama and country house charm during a stay at Kilworth House hotel

You don’t often hear the cast of a West End musical warming up when going for a walk in the grounds of a country house, but that’s what you’re likely to get during a stay at Kilworth House hotel.

The unique outdoor theatre in the grounds of this Leicestershire Grade 2-listed building means that not only can you enjoy all the delights of a night or two in a country house hotel – fine-dining, stylish rooms, great hospitality and country walks – but just a few minute’s walk through a wooded glade (or a buggy ride) takes you to a 550-seat auditorium which hosts productions throughout the summer months.

back of Kilworth House hotel
Kilworth House hotel is set in 38 acres of Leicestershire countryside and has 44 bedrooms – and a theatre in its grounds
The West End comes to Kilworth

World-famous musicals Cats and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Last Night of the Proms and tribute concerts to George Michael, the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond are scheduled for the summer of 2019 and Kilworth House does a range of great value theatre packages including a pre-theatre dinner or dinner, bed and breakfast (see the fact box at the end of this review for prices).

To book directly with the hotel, go to: Kilworth House hotel
To compare prices for Kilworth House hotel click on: Trivago 
HotelsCombined – Booking.com
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to go
to Kilworth House hotel on TripAdvisor

Guests who stay at Kilworth House hotel are more likely to dine at the the hotel but theatre-goers who would rather bring their own food are able to bring their own picnics to enjoy in the grounds, and there’s also a bar for pre- and interval drinks.

Kilworth House hotel theatre
The theatre at Kilworth House hotel has a 550-seater auditorium (with padded seats) and is sheltered from the elements by massive canopies
Arriving at Kilworth House

I had plenty of time to immerse myself in the charm of Kilworth House before the evening’s performance, having arrived unexpectedly early due to its handy location just five minutes from Junction 20 of the M1 (just the other side of the motorway is the village of Lutterworth, where Frank Whittle invented the jet engine). A winding driveway leads through Kilworth House’s 38 acres straight up to the front door where friendly reception staff were able to check me in, in spite of the early hour.

The terrace at Kilworth House hotel
In sunny days people can enjoy coffee or afternoon tea on the terrace at the rear of the hotel
A historical hotel

The hotel, built as a family home at the end of the 19th century, was home to just two families in 120 years before being restored and turned into a hotel in 2003, and the atmosphere is still very much a classic country home, with high ceilings, antique furnishings and stylish carpets.  Lunch and afternoon tea were being served so I I enjoyed an excellent salad Nicoise before heading up to my room.

Main lounge at Kilworth House hotel
The main lounge at Kilworth House hotel was a great place for lunch or afternoon tea
lounge at Kilworth House hotel
This lounge, just by the entrance, is a lovely, classic country house room
Luxurious bedrooms
Bedroom at Kilworth House hotel
My bedroom was smart, immaculate and contained everything I needed during my stay at Kilworth House hotel

There are two levels of room at Kilworth House – garden rooms and luxury rooms – and while I was in a garden room it felt extremely luxurious to me. There was a vast bed, tea and coffee-making facilities (you could order up fresh milk to your room), complimentary water, magazines, fruit and an immaculate bathroom. The hotel also has a small gym but I preferred to explore outside, from the ha-ha at the rear of the hotel to the lake  at the front.

bedroom
The neighbouring bedroom to mine at Kilworth House hotel

A lovely aspect of a stay at Kilworth House hotel is the air of luxury which runs throughout the hotel, so everything from the corridors to the loos was immaculately decorated and maintained. The original building has been extended several times but you can’t see the join as the style is seamless throughout, and instead the hotel is far bigger than it initially appears.

corridor
The upstairs corridor leading to the bedrooms
downstairs corridor
The grand corridor leading up to the reception and the main entrance
ladies loos
The downstairs ladies – seemed too smart not to include a picture!

 

Pre-theatre dinner in the Orangery

Dinner was early due to the evening performance, so at 5.30pm we were ushered into the beautiful Orangery restaurant, which still has part of its original tiled floor and which offers great views of the grounds.

Orangery at Kilworth House hotel
The Orangery restaurant is vast and stunning and took several years to restore to its original glory

The menu was charmingly styled in ‘Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat’ colours and offered a simple but good range of dishes. We started with the fish cake with curry emulsion and prosciutto and melon, before breast of chicken with fondant potato and fillet of sea bass: all dishes were excellent, served quickly and piping hot by friendly and efficient serving staff, and we didn’t feel over-full even when enjoying fruit pavlova and strawberry frangipani tart.

fish cake at Kilworth House hotel
Starter of fish cake and curry emulsion – I liked the personalised plates
fillet of sea bass
Main course of fillet of sea bass, prawn risotto and sauce vierge
fruit pavlova
My fruit pavlova dessert
Curtain up!

Having sat down at 5.30pm we could take our time over dinner and it was past 7pm when we ambled down through a lantern-lit path to the theatre to take our seats. We’d been kindly provided with red blankets for warmth although the theatre is very sheltered and I really enjoyed watching Joseph again, a musical I hadn’t seen since I was at school. The audience loved it as well, rising to their feet at the end of the exuberant performance (the boy playing the young Joseph was especially good, as was the narrator played by Carole Stennett). It was a balmy summer’s evening when we were there but if the rain comes down then the show will still go on – both stage and audience are under sturdy canopies.

theatrical programme and blanket
Our programme and warm red blanket
audience at Kilworth House theatre
The audience awaits curtain up… (well, the start of the show). The blur in the foreground was actually a smoking fire effect
cast of Joseph at Kilworth House hotel theatre
Young Joseph (front) receives the applause from the appreciative audience

A slick parking operation meant the departing audience were soon on their way afterwards without any queues and overnight guests simply jumped in a buggy or walked back up to the house for a nightcap. Guest who aren’t watching a show can dine at normal time in the Orangery or in the hotel’s more formal Wordsworth restaurant.

Bed and then breakfast

After a good night’s sleep (although to be honest, the bedroom walls did seem rather thin, or maybe my neighbours were rather hard-of-hearing, as I could hear their TVs on both sides, but thankfully I always have earplugs)  the sun enticed me outside for a walk before breakast in the Orangery where the sunshine was so bright I was glad I still had my sunglasses with me.

sun shining in the Orangery restaurant
The bright sunshine flooding the Orangery in the morning

Breakfast (£13.50 if not included in room price) was excellent value, with a large buffet selection and superbly cooked to order hot dishes, including smoked kippers, Eggs Benedict and Scottish Smoked Salmon toasted bagel. A full English for me with the daily paper was, as always, my preferred way to start any day and the excellent coffee kept on coming.

full English breakfast Kilworth House hotel
My tasty full English

There was just was time to have a tour of the hotel with Elizabeth Payne, the charming and long-serving hotel manager who has done such a great job at Kilworth House. We had a good nosy around the luxury rooms, many of which had elevated bathrooms and free-standing baths, plus the addition of port and home-made fudge, as well as the Wordsworth restaurant, Library Bar and underground Cellar Bar.

Wordsworth restaurant
The more formal Wordsworth restaurant
Four poster bedroom in Kilworth House hotel
A few of the rooms at Kilworth House have four-poster beds
free-standing bath
… while some have free-standing baths, this one in splendid isolation on a level of its own!

I finally reluctantly departed Kilworth House but I certainly hope to be back belong long.

view from back of Kilworth House hotel
The view of Kilworth House from the back of the hotel

Kilworth House hotel, Lutterworth Road, Kilworth, Leicestershire
info@kilworthhouse.co.uk

Prices

Garden Rooms for two people on a bed and breakfast basis start from £145 per night, Luxury Rooms for two people on a bed and breakfast basis from £215. 
For dinner bed and breakfast the Garden Rate is from £205 and a Luxury Room from £280 based on two sharing.
Theatre breaks at Kilworth House start from £131.50 per person including a three-course pre-theatre dinner, theatre tickets, bed and breakfast.

To book directly with the hotel, go to: Kilworth House hotel
To compare prices for Kilworth House hotel click on: Trivago 
HotelsCombined – Booking.com
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to
go to Kilworth House hotel on TripAdvisor

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My stay was provided by Kilworth House, a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels collection of 50 luxury hotels across the UK. If you like this review then check out other Pride of Britain Hotels reviewed by ALadyofLeisure.com including:

Medieval magic with a modern twist at The Swan hotel and spa in Lavenham, Suffolk

Make yourself at home at the grand but friendly Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon

Maison Talbooth: an almost perfect stay at a lovely Essex country house hotel

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Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by me, Sarah Bridge, who, when I'm not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends my time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings. Some of the links on my reviews are affiliate marketing links, which means if you click through I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. This in no way affects the independence of my reviews, but helps with website running costs and I just wanted to let you know so as to be fully transparent.
Sarah Bridge

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