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Kesgrave Hall

As many Bounce readers will know we are no strangers to Milsoms after enjoying a very pleasant visit to Le Talbooth and Maison Talbooth earlier on last year.

We were delighted to be invited along to another one of Milsoms establishments, Kesgrave Hall, just before the Christmas season kicked off. Located on the perimeter of Ipswich, not far from the A12, Kesgrave Hall presents the perfect place for a weekend retreat.

As we arrived at the bottom of the long drive up to the country–style main building, it was a ‘wow factor’ moment to see aligned trees lit up with Christmas lights, the perfect showcase for what this place has to offer. We were certainly getting in the Christmas spirit.

The hotel itself is an impressive white rendered building, surrounded by green lawns and trees. The interior certainly has a ‘Milsoms’ feel with high quality designed furnishings and not missing the attention to detail that some hotels neglect.

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We were warmly greeted at reception and were lead up the winding stairs to our room. As we entered it was of good size and nicely furnished. A large upholstered headboard is the main feature of the room matching the floor length curtains. Accents of a zebra print sofa and soft furnishings gave the room its own identity.

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As we prepared for dinner we had a sneak peak at the menu – which was exciting but not pretentious. Kesgrave Hall offers many dining options including an all-day restaurant with open kitchen, the Bunker, a private dining room, a bar and a function room called The Hangar, perfect for events and occasions.

We then wander through the lounge area past tastefully decorated Christmas trees, and head to the bar to browse the cocktail menu.

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Once ready our very charming waiter seated us in the restaurant, with full view of the open kitchen.

We noticed the restaurant was busy, but the atmosphere remained calm and relaxed, which suited our mood at the time perfectly. As our classic cocktails are delivered from the bar, we are then presented with a glorious selection of breads and oils.

This certainly helped the food cravings that were born from the heavenly smells drifting from the kitchen. We then continued to browse the menu and I can tell you we were spoilt for choice.

We had the honour to meet with Head Chef Aaron Skerritt who ‘tweaks’ the menu on a regular basis with input from restaurant managers and chefs from the other Milsoms restaurants.

With experience in one of Ramsey’s London restaurants Aaron expressed to us during our meal his passion and love for food. It was wonderful that such a busy chef actually  cared enough to take time out of his kitchen to not only meet and greet us, but also other customers enjoying the delights of his menu. I have to say the staff at Milsoms are an asset!

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So how was the food? Sam decided to move out of his ‘comfort zone’ and starts with Pinney’s smoked eel, ratte potato and horseradish salad, watercress, poached duck egg whilst I opt for the wild mushroom tortellini, wild mushroom velouté and chive crème fraîche. Whilst I am not the biggest fan of eel, I did have a sample and I have to say I was presently surprised, it tasted much like salmon, however I was not disappointed with my creamy rich mushroom based pasta dish.

We were surprised with a speciality fish course of grilled fillet of seabass, coconut braised wild rice, pak choi, soy, spring onion and chilli dressing before our mains, I remember thinking I should have wore a looser pair of trousers!

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For the main event there was no hesitation in me picking the braised Dedham Vale beef featherblade, truffle polenta and carrots. The beef literally melted in my mouth, surely it shouldn’t do that? As I scoffed my way through Sam enjoyed the 28 day dry aged Dedham Vale steak served with roasted tomatoes, truffled flat mushroom and watercress.

Neither of us had any room for a pudding, however there was a plan. The staff were so accommodating they sent a small selection of desserts up to our room. Now that’s service!

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A coconut mousse, coffee cheesecake, papanash doughnut and chocolate Brownie were all up for grabs. Kesgrave Hall is a charming relaxed hotel with a lot to offer.

Everything is of a high quality and we were looked after throughout our stay. We would definitely return.

For more information visit the website www.milsomhotels.com/kesgrave-hall

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