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Getting away for a bit of rest and relaxation does not always mean hopping on a plane, sometimes all it takes is a night or two away from the ‘norm’ in order to restore your well being. With ‘staycations’ becoming more and more popular, I decided to head to Ripley, Surrey for a night away at The Talbot Hotel.Driving down the country roads surrounding Ripley you would be forgiven for thinking there is not too much around this part of Surrey. While it may not offer the entertainment of the neighbouring town of Guildford, rural Ripley offers traditional, quaint English countryside without straying too far from London.
With nearby RHS Wisley Gardens and Painshill Park, Ripley is a perfect location for tourists visiting England who want to escape the city. For those looking for history, The Talbot is the perfect hotel to be truly immersed.
The Talbot, Ripley Hotel Review
The History of The Talbot, Ripley
The Talbot Inn Hotel is one of England’s finest coaching inns, The Talbot Inn has for centuries played its part in history and is said to have provided the stage for Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton’s love affair to blossom in 1798.
The Talbot Inn Hotel itself dates back to 1453. Where it has been a coaching inn for people commuting from London to Portsmouth.
In December 1798 Lord Nelson went on an escapade in France to save the Neapolitan royal family from a French invasion. During this time he fell in love with Emma Hamilton – the young wife of the elderly British ambassador to Naples.
Emma became Nelson’s mistress, returning to England to live openly with him, and eventually, they had a daughter together, Horatia. But public knowledge of his affair with Lady Hamilton eventually induced the Admiralty to send him back to sea, if only to get him away from her.
Legend has it, there is a tunnel which leads from The Talbot to the old Priory, the ruins of which can be seen from Newark Lane. No one knows for sure why it was built, but could have been from The Dissolution of The Monasteries from 1546 when King Henry V111 disbanded Roman Catholic monasteries, priories and convents.
For those who believe in the supernatural, some say a lady in black walks through the courtyard and a drunken sailor walks in the main house. For those who truly want to immerse themselves in English history, The Talbot puts you right in the centre.
Today, The main building of The Talbot stays true to its traditional roots. Conversion of the old stables leads you up to the reception, inside the main stairs up to 9 hotel rooms look like they could tell a 1000 tales.
The generously sized rooms offer everything you need for a short break, including TV, extremely comfortable 4 poster bed, desk and chairs. The hotel’s history is proudly shared in each room, which I personally loved as I feel it is really what sets the hotel apart from neighbouring chain hotels.
The only downside I found with the room was noise from the areas below, however, this is the compromise for maintaining the traditional building style. It must be said, the noise was nowhere near unbearable, just chatter from the main areas below and the people passing the windows outside, luckily, being on such as quiet street this noise had pretty much diminished by 10.30 pm, allowing a comfortable and cosy nights sleep (with not one ghost sighting!)
Aside from the room, The Talbot also offers an onsite traditional English pub and modern restaurant. The quaint traditional pub offers true English countryside charm and could easily be mistaken for the pub in the film The Holiday. It would be the perfect place to spend a crisp winter’s day.
The attached restaurant is a juxtaposition to the rest of the building, with large windows allowing a flood of sunlight to look over the garden – an Afternoon Tea is available daily, which I think would be wonderful during the summer months.
We visited the restaurant for dinner where I was pleasantly surprised with the wide array of choice consisting of mainly traditional British with the occasional global dish (Thai Sweet Potato Curry), the menu also boasts a fair size of vegetarian options including a Crispy Halloumi Burger and Sun Blushed Tomato and Spinach Gnocchi.
Personally, I found the food of a good standard, however, the atmosphere does really supports to provide a lovely – the general manager Francesco is wonderful to talk to and provides excellent customer service.
For those looking for something a bit more special for their evening meal, Ripley also boats a Michelin Star Restaurant called The Clock House which is just a very short walk from The Talbot.
Overall, I had a wonderful staycation at The Talbot. For those looking for a taste of the English countryside in a traditional setting not too far from London, The Talbot is definitely an option for you.
Our visit to The Talbot in Ripley was as part of a press visit.