I’ve visited the historic city of Lincoln on many occasions but until recently I’d never heard of a little village that stands on its boundary called Washingborough.
Here, just three miles away from the famous cathedral, lies a hidden gem in the form of a Georgian Grade II listed boutique hotel.
Washingborough Hall is a family-run venue that oozes grandeur, warmth and good old-fashioned hospitality.
I was lucky enough to enjoy an overnight stay at the hall, complete with three-course evening meal and breakfast.
Its location makes it desirable for those wanting a city break but without the constant hustle and bustle.
Like us, visitors can head to the vibrant city of Lincoln during the day for shopping and sightseeing, and then retire to the peaceful hall for an evening of tranquillity and indulgence.
There are 12 suites and bedrooms at the hotel, all individually designed with country-house style décor.
After a warm welcome we were shown to one of the spacious superior rooms, which featured a beautiful four-poster bed and, in the bathroom, an inviting free-standing bath.
Before dinner in the 2 AA rosette restaurant, I enjoyed a blissful soak in the tub and tried to mastermind a plot to take it with me when I left.
We browsed the evening a la carte menu over a glass of prosecco and found the delightful sounding dishes difficult to choose from.
Close to some of Lincolnshire’s finest farms, the kitchen staff, including award-winning chef Dan Wallis, create their culinary masterpieces using high-quality, local produce.
Sitting in the grand bay window the restaurant we devour our starters - kiln roast salmon and tarragon scotch egg with fennel and apple salad and a duck liver and pistachio parfait with toasted brioche.
Next, mains of Lincolnshire fillet steak with café de Paris butter, greens and fries and honey glazed Gressingham duck breast with celeriac dauphinoise and blackberry and ginger jus.
For dessert we shared a lemon and blackberry posset with shortbread.
All courses were a treat for the eyes and palate, beautifully presented and bursting with flavour.
Full and satisfied we returned to our room where I had a wonderful night’s sleep, in between hatching a plan to also take the bed on our departure.
The following morning a comforting cooked breakfast gave us ample fuel for our second day in Lincoln’s centre.
We checked-out - with neither the bath nor bed in tow - wishing we could repeat the whole experience.
Pre-Christmas breaks at Washingborough Hall
Washingborough Hall is giving visitors the perfect opportunity to make Christmas shopping a joy rather than a chore by combining gift buying with a cosy two-night winter stay.
By day explore Lincoln’s many retail outlets, including high street stores and individual designer and artisan boutiques, and book shops and galleries clustered around the city’s famous Steep Hill.
During December visitors can enjoy some extra seasonal magic with ice skating at City Square throughout the month and the traditional Christmas market between December 4 and 7.
The two-night ‘Gift of Winter’ break is available at Washingborough Hall throughout November up until December 19, for £90 per person per night, subject to availability. It includes a private car transfer to the city, a welcome cream tea with mince pies, three-course fine dining in the hotel’s restaurant on both evenings and full English breakfast, plus a festive bone china mug gift by designer Sophie Allport.