Lord and Lady Northampton are relaunching the Grade II-listed Falcon coaching inn located in their 11,000-acre Castle Ashby estate as a 22-bedroom, wellbeing-focused hotel in March.
Built in 1594 and the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton, the property has been renovated by owners Lord and Lady Northampton, into a country retreat focusing on wellbeing with activities including yoga, foraging, cycling and guided nature walks.
The property has been redesigned with rest and renewal in mind, drawing on Lady Northampton’s professional experience as a psychotherapist, counsellor and yoga teacher. Prior to their stay, guests will be consulted on what they would like to take from their visit, for which a bespoke selection of books, podcasts and music will be provided.
Eight bedrooms are located in the main hotel with a further 14 in the adjacent ‘farmers cottages’.
The hotel’s Restaurant Eyas (meaning a young falcon learning to fly) will have 56 covers inside with a further 32 on a terrace, and a private dining room for 16 covers. Under head chef James Gordon, previously head chef at the Lucky Onion in Cheltenham, the menu will focus on Northamptonshire produce with dishes such as hay-baked celeriac with purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens and thyme cured egg yolk, and a salad menu.
Gordon said: “I would love the restaurant to be known for the respect it has for its produce – from the mushrooms we forage to the deer that have been raised. It’s a must for me that the restaurant team understand where each ingredient is from and what makes it special.”
The east wing of the property will host afternoon tea and cocktails and leads to a terrace which overlooks a triple-tier lawn which can accommodate marquees for up to 130 wedding guests, an orchard, woods and hammocks.
The Cellar bar will hold up to 30 people and an additional meeting and event space can be found in the Stables, to which a juice bar will be added in the summer.
As well as regular garden tours and cookery classes, there will be an events programme including talks and demonstrations, guided meditation sessions breathing classes and digital detox programmes. A stand-alone wellness centre is also hoped to open in spring 2021.
The interior of the Falcon has been overseen by designer Jackie Blakey. Much of the design has been inspired by nature, with botanical wallpapers, petrified log furniture and wooden effect tiles, as well as prints of drawings by Capability Brown.
Lord Northampton said: “I would like guests to come away having discovered something different from their usual experience of life. Whether it is listening to a lecture or experiencing the beauty and sacredness of nature first-hand; attending a workshop or walking round the formal gardens, I want them to have an epiphany moment and see an alternative way of being to the one they are used to. If they go away having experienced that then we will have succeeded!”
Lady Northampton said: “I would love people locally and from all over the world to come and enjoy the Falcon. I would like to invite them to experience something new, and that represents us and the things that we enjoy.”
General manager Douglas Cooper added: “We want our guests to feel like they are at home, relaxed and content with great food, high quality accommodation and a team that feel like family.”
Blakey added: “Every bedroom will have a different aesthetic - there is little uniformity and symmetry. Beautiful fabrics and textured wallpapers have been used to cocoon guests and make them feel able to sit back and take some time out from their busy lives.”
Room rates will start from £360 for a two-night weekend retreat including a full breakfast.