Set at the heart of the 10,500-acre Castle Ashby estate, the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton, sits e Falcon – a Grade II listed coaching inn built in 1594. September saw the unveiling of the newly renovated property, which has been lovingly transformed and completely reimagined by Lord and Lady Northampton, into a country retreat with 22 bedrooms and a destination restaurant. Originally a resting place for weary travellers, Lord and Lady Northampton have redesigned The Falcon with this in mind, creating a haven for those in need of calm, rest and renewal. Drawing upon Lady Northampton’s professional experience as a psychotherapist, counsellor and yoga teacher; as well as their joint personal lifestyle centred around physical and mental wellbeing, they have created a totally new hotel concept that marries mindfulness and activity linked closely to nature. This connection will be at the core, with The Falcon’s surrounding restorative landscape, forming the inspiration for the guest experience, cuisine and interior design. Guests can unwind in peace while bene ting from special access to the nearby Castle Ashby Gardens (designed by Capability Brown) and a multitude of wellbeing and meditative activities including wild swimming, yoga, cycling and designated private nature walks. With health and wellbeing of paramount importance at The Falcon, all government guidelines and safety procedures in regard to protecting the public and staff from Covid-19 will be followed meticulously. As well as eight calm and comfortable bed-rooms which are located in the main hotel there are a further 14 rooms set apart in the adjacent cottages.
The bedrooms in the cottages vary in size and design but are all filled with natural light and a sense of calm. Some have the ability to be taken individually or together depending on the size of the group and the space required. e bedrooms in the main hotel are all unique. Bedroom Five has a private terrace and wonderful views down to the fishing lakes and ivy laden woodland beyond. A roll top bathtub, period features, and a palette inspired by the surrounding countryside complete the restorative experience. e hotel’s Restaurant Eyas (meaning a young falcon learning to y) will have 56 covers inside with a further 32 on a large sun-filled terrace, and a private dining room within the restaurant for 16 can be requested. The menu inspiration comes from the local Northamptonshire landscape and all that it provides. The kitchen will work hand-in-hand with local farmers, estate gamekeepers and nurseries, creating a menu that is gentle on carbon footprint and sensitive to its surroundings, wherever possible.
Lord Northampton says: “We hope to give people a new culinary experience. It is not so much about what will be on the menu but why it is on the menu. Wherever possible, the food will be organic and focused around produce with a nutritious value.” e East Wing is where afternoon tea and cock-tails happen, for those looking to indulge. It can be privatised for weddings and events, with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows and views over the roll-ing landscape. The room leads directly on to the picturesque East Wing Terrace which overlooks a triple-tier lawn, an orchard, woods seasonally scattered with bluebells and tulips. Marquees can also be constructed on the lawn. The quaint Cellar Bar hidden beneath will hold up to 30 people providing guests and locals with a cosy bolthole, as it has done for generations. The interior design of The Falcon has been overseen by interior designer and personal friend of Lord and Lady Northampton, Jackie Blakey. Jackie sought to create an environment where guests can connect deeply with nature whilst honouring the legacy of the property’s history and origins. She selected an earthy colour palette comprising of three main colours – sienna, ochre and green, in various comforting tones. The colours have a strong in Influence on promoting a sense of rest and renew-al, green being the colour most associated with growth, re-birth and renewal and a great balancer of the heart and the emotions. Jackie said: “ The interior design was created to provoke the senses and provide an atmosphere where guests have a different experience from any other hotel. 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.”
Lord Northampton added: “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 alter-native way of being to the one they are used to. If they go away having experienced that then we will have succeeded.” The Falcon is a long standing and recognised landmark in the Castle Ashby area and the county of Northamptonshire. The idyllic village, which dates back to the 16th Century, is less than a two-hour drive from Central London or accessible by train to Northampton or Wellingborough stations with a quick journey time of less than an hour from Euston or St Pancras. Whether guests are looking to immerse themselves in a spiritual journey of renewal or simply indulge in a curative getaway, The Falcon, Castle Ashby is the new destination retreat, offering a physical and mental recharge.The Falcon rates start at £400 for a two-night weekend retreat including a full breakfast. Find out more at thefalcon-castleashby.com/