The Falcon, Castle Ashby – Opening March 2020

Set at the heart of the 11,000-acre Castle Ashby estate, the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton, sits The Falcon - a Grade II listed Coaching Inn built in 1594. Spring 2020 sees the unveiling of the newly renovated property, which has been lovingly transformed and completely reimagined by Lord and Lady Northampton. Connecting with nature and the local community will be at the core, with The Falcon’s surrounding restorative landscape forming the inspiration for the guest experience, the interior design and cuisine. Opening in March 2020, prices start from £360 for a two-night weekend retreat including a full breakfast.

Originally a resting place for weary travellers, Lord and Lady Northampton have re-designed The Falcon to create a totally new hotel concept that marries mindfulness with activity and a connection to nature at its very core. Eight calm and comfortable bedrooms are located in the main hotel with a further 14 in the adjacent ‘Farmers Cottages’. And the magnificent bedroom in the main hotel has a private terrace and wonderful views down to the fishing lakes and ivy laden woodland beyond.

The hotel’s restaurant ‘Eyas’ will have 56 covers inside with a further 32 on the sun-filled terrace, and a private dining room within the restaurant for 16 can be requested. Under the leadership of young, dynamic Head Chef James Gordon, its menu has been developed drawing inspiration from the local Northamptonshire landscape. Local foraged produce will reintroduce seasons with pickling and fermentation used to create warming mains, alongside an inventive Salad Menu - all creating a menu of what has been described as ‘feel good food’.

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.”

The quaint spit-and-sawdust Cellar Bar hidden beneath will hold up to 30 people, providing guests and locals with a cosy bolthole. An additional meeting and event space can be found in The Stables. A Juice Bar is to be added to The Stables in Summer 2020, further connecting with nature and healthfulness by providing fresh, plant-based juices for guests and locals, that offer the power to reenergise, rebalance, and heal.

Staff are wholly dedicated and trained to provide a thoughtful, attentive and bespoke approach to service at The Falcon, considering every aspect of guests’ needs and wellbeing. With this in mind, a specific selection of books, podcasts and music will be waiting for guests upon arrival. They will also be guided towards specific activities available to them, from sunrise yoga to horse-riding and specific dining experiences.

As well as regular talks and demonstrations from experts in their field, garden tours, foraging and cookery classes, there will be an events programme that is curated, covering a spectrum of Spiritual Wellbeing. A stand-alone Wellness Centre is also due to, hopefully, open in spring 2021.

The interior design of The Falcon has been overseen by interior designer, Jackie Blakey. Jackie sought to create an environment where guests can connect deeply with nature whilst honouring the legacy of the properties history and origins. She selected an earthy colour palette comprising of three main colours - sienna, ochre and green, in various comforting tones. A connection to nature is visible throughout, seen in botanical wallpapers, log furniture and wooden effect tiles.

Jackie Blakey says: “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.”

The Castle Ashby archive provided a source for artworks with prints of drawings by Capability Brown being used to provide a connection to the historical setting. In addition, two main artists’ works are featured. Aigana Gali has produced two large pieces of work that are thought provoking, with a spiritual and ethereal feel. ‘Tomris’ holds centre stage in ‘Eyas’ and will be hung on a distressed bronze-coloured venetian plastered wall, providing the perfect backdrop. The other piece by Aigana will feature in the East Wing. Rachel Dein, who creates botanical works of art set in concrete and plaster, was commissioned to create seven bespoke pieces that will also feature in the East Wing.

Douglas Cooper says: “The Falcon is a very special property in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside. A place to pause, unwind, contemplate nature and reconnect with yourself. 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. The greatest reward for us is to create memorable guest experiences that exceed customer expectations.”

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