SET ON THE GRASSY BANKS of the River Nene, Oundle Mill blends centuries of history with the coolest in rustic chic. This decidedly modernist mill house is anything but your traditional rural retreat.
Step inside the waterside boutique hotel, and a stunning glass floor – artfully lit up at night – reveals water rushing past below. Soaring wooden beams and relics of the ancient mill machinery are visual reminders of the building’s industrial past.
Bedrooms at Oundle Mill – currently just two – are very much 21st century comfort zones. Sleek surfaces, chic neutral shades and clutter-free walls make a striking counterpoint to the building’s historic fabric. Italian furniture, Bose sound systems, rain showers, goose down duvets and lighting to suit every mood underline the luxe factor.
Floating on air
Literally jutting out from the side of the building (make sure you have a head for heights!) is the snug Lucom room, whose bed literally seems to float on air above a scarlet carpet. With the original mill pulleys hanging from the ceiling and side-to-side views over the countryside, it’s a real original.
The sprawling Mill room has huge oak beams, a vast bed and free standing bathtub for two. We returned from dinner to find the bed linen sprayed with lavender and mood music playing in the background. That double-ended Castello stone bathtub is definitely the high point… just light the fire, turn up the music, dim the lights and you have chillout heaven.
Oundle Mill’s modern fit is appropriately neutral, and the rooms have been finished with huge attention to detail with generous Elemis toiletries and Missoni towelling robes. While we were less keen on the partially shielded bathroom/loo arrangement, we loved the freshly squeezed orange juice, a cafetiere to brew up fresh coffee and home-baked biscuits.
Diners get plenty of choice at Oundle Mill. There’s an informal gastro bar on the first floor with stylish black furniture and comfy sofas overlooking the lock and river. It’s popular with locals, with plenty of buzz and music.
More intimate and elegant is the gourmet style second floor restaurant, where low beams, exposed stone walls and candles lit along the window sills lend plenty of character. A glass partition allows guests to watch head chef Jeremy Medley and his kitchen brigade at work while you dine.
Friendly and enthusiastic local staff (who will even bring cosseting hot water bottles should you want them) are knowledgeable about the area and keen to ensure you are well looked after.
Outside, all is serenity. Watch canal boats glide past from the terrace, or stroll along the river bank – as we did – watching the sun set over lakes and meadows. Plans are afoot to add several additional rooms at Oundle Mill on stilts, with terraces overlooking the pond. Definitely a good excuse to make a return trip.
© Room for Romance
Oundle Mill was reviewed for Room for Romance by Kerstin Glasow
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Complimentary afternoon tea for two on any day of your stay.