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Keythorpe Hall: There is a Time for everything!

Keythorpe Hall in Leicestershire, a luxury English country house from 1783, is a magnificently restored haven of gastronomy, sustainability, and entertainment. Situated in the picturesque English countryside, it boasts expansive formal gardens, enchanting woodland areas, and vibrant meadows. For almost five years, the dedicated owners personally undertook the replumbing, rewiring, and repainting, as well as installing stunning bathrooms and luxurious bedrooms. Meticulously curating furniture and art, they transformed the manor into a captivating retreat for themselves and their guests to relish.

Keythorpe Hall: There is a Time for everything!

Keythorpe Hall in Leicestershire, a luxury English country house from 1783, is a magnificently restored haven of gastronomy, sustainability, and entertainment. Situated in the picturesque English countryside, it boasts expansive formal gardens, enchanting woodland areas, and vibrant meadows. For almost five years, the dedicated owners personally undertook the replumbing, rewiring, and repainting, as well as installing stunning bathrooms and luxurious bedrooms. Meticulously curating furniture and art, they transformed the manor into a captivating retreat for themselves and their guests to relish.

“Love and effort create magnificent places. Genius inhabits them. People go to them because they know such places and landscapes offer consolation for the soul, and the soul is not fooled by substitutes. We let those places turn our moods; we want them to; they do so easily” – Simon Sarris.

Keythorpe Hall has been designed to create unforgettable memories. According to owner Barbara van Teeffelen, this luxury English country home is the perfect venue to gather with loved ones and forge new bonds over exquisite artisanal banquets. These culinary masterpieces are crafted by skilled chefs using the finest hyper-local ingredients sourced from the on-site garden. For those seeking the thrill of prestigious events, Keythorpe Hall is an unparalleled accommodation choice, nestled close to renowned spectacles like the Silverstone Formula 1 Circuit and Burghley Horse Trials. This distinguished establishment also prides itself on curating bespoke experiences tailored to each guest’s desires. To the dedicated staff, no request is too extraordinary, ensuring a truly personalised and indulgent stay.

Falling in Love One Step at a Time

Falling in Love One Step at a Time

With a shared vision and unwavering commitment, Barbara van Teeffelen and her husband, Giles Godfrey, have meticulously crafted Keythorpe Hall into a testament to their discerning taste and attention to detail. Every element has been thoughtfully chosen, from the carefully curated furnishings to the harmonious blend of original and modern artworks. This results in a space transcending mere accommodation, becoming a living embodiment of refined elegance. Yet, the true essence of Keythorpe Hall can only be fully appreciated through personal experience, as it offers much to explore. As notable travel writer Bill Bryson said, “London isn’t a place at all. It’s a million little places.” Keythorpe Hall is similar, inviting you to explore its many details and discover its unique charm. The origins of this luxury property trace back to the garden, where Barbara fondly recalls, “We’d come up from London every weekend to stay and make improvements to the property.” It was a labour of love as they meticulously cleared sections of the garden, unearthed the original floors of the glasshouses, and cultivated their vegetables. The couple’s extensive travels and experiences at some of the world’s most esteemed hotels influenced the creation of this inviting stately retreat. Their efforts have imbued Keythorpe Hall with an aura of global sophistication and timeless elegance.
Gastronomy, Gardens & an Exceptional Team

Gastronomy, Gardens & an Exceptional Team

Nowadays, most of us need help figuring out where to start when building a property like Keythorpe Hall. We can easily replicate countless everyday buildings, but creating something like Keythorpe Hall is a different story. If we highlight one standout feature of Keythorpe Hall, it would definitely be the gastronomic experience enhanced by its magical garden. The rejuvenated walled garden, free of pesticides, produces homegrown vegetables and cut flowers, some of which were chosen for King Charles’ coronation. This ambitious project is patiently executed by a dedicated in-house team committed to making every guest’s stay exceptional.

A key figure is chef Bent Varming, formerly of Michelin-starred restaurants Lyles and St. John, renowned for his Nordic approach to cooking, emphasising purity, simplicity, and freshness. His dishes are hyper-seasonal and local, with most of the produce having zero food miles. Varming also employs traditional methods of preserving ingredients for leaner months. Another exceptional team member is an award-winning sommelier and author of ‘Which Wine When,’ Bert Blaize. He has curated a bespoke drinks offering featuring everything from non-alcoholic switchels to cocktails and old-world fine wines. Claudio Bincoletto, Forager and Ethnobotanist, brings a unique perspective on how plants relate to people and culture. He leads guests on philosophical and unpredictable garden tours, sharing his holistic approach to working with the land. Finally, Barbara and Giles have infused their passion for food, travel, and sustainability into Keythorpe Hall. They aim to provide a fabulous experience, whether guests want to relax and enjoy the views or immerse themselves in the farm-to-table story.

Step Inside This Grand Country Home

Step Inside This Grand Country Home

Entertaining is the essence of Keythorpe Hall. Built by Hon. Henry William Wilson, the 11th Lord Berners in the 18th and 19th century, the grand reception hall served as the heart of the home, featuring high ceilings, twin fireplaces, and a grand piano - the perfect space for hosting guests. The hall accommodates up to 20 guests, providing ample opportunities for gathering with family and friends. On the first floor of the main house, there are seven bedrooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views over the rolling hills. The spacious rooms maximise natural light and panoramic views of the gardens and hills. Intimate spaces are interspersed throughout the property, facilitating deeper conversations. A wine cellar is available for pre-dinner drinks, tastings, or dinners for smaller groups. This dynamic flow, transitioning from large to small spaces, fosters memorable experiences. Each space complements and enhances the others. Additionally, plans are underway to construct an outdoor pool for further entertainment and relaxation. Stay tuned for updates!
Enjoy Unforgettable Experiences at Keythorpe Hall

Enjoy Unforgettable Experiences at Keythorpe Hall

Discover a multitude of activities to enjoy during your stay at Keythorpe Hall. Stroll through the picturesque garden paths or challenge your companions to a friendly game of tennis or croquet. Dive into the art of sustainable living with foraging classes led by expert Claudio, or unleash your creativity in floristry workshops. Delight your palate with local flavours during pizza-making nights and wine tastings. And for moments of pure relaxation, soak away your cares in the wood-fired cedar hot tub. Whether seeking adventure or tranquillity, this estate offers something for everyone to enjoy.
Local Events for Every Interest

Local Events for Every Interest

Plan your stay around a local event for a truly immersive and memorable experience.

  • Nevill Holt Festival – 1st-26th June 2024 – Just a 10-minute drive away lies Nevill Holt’s esteemed opera Theatre, home to the annual Nevill Holt Festival. This year, the festival expands its offerings to include both opera and internationally acclaimed performances in theatre, art, and music, along with captivating discussions featuring leading figures in literature, history, broadcasting, and the arts.
  • Silverstone Formula 1 Circuit – 5th-7th July 2024 – Located just a brief helicopter journey from Silverstone, we can arrange personalised experiences or meet-and-greets.
  • Burghley Horse Trials – 5th-8th September 2024 – A must-attend event for any avid equestrian enthusiast, it is recognised as one of the world’s few 5-star equestrian competitions and a key component of the Grand Slam of eventing. We offer exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences during the event.
  • Historical Cambridge or Stratford upon Avon are only just over an hour’s drive away, or how about a tour of the battlefields of Naseby or Bosworth Field? York and its Viking history is easily accessible for a day’s excursion by train.

We spoke to Barbara van Teeffelen, owner of Keythorpe Hall, to learn more about the property and the events happening in the area.

Interview: Barbara van Teeffelen, owner of Keythorpe Hall

Interview: Barbara van Teeffelen, owner of Keythorpe Hall

How did it all begin? The project began with the walled garden, which was completely overgrown when we acquired it with the house. It took around five years to clear and renovate the garden, transforming it into a manageable space. We started planting. It was beetroot seeds in one hand, a book in the other. Everything flourished abundantly. Eventually, we had more produce than we could consume ourselves. Hosting numerous friends for weekends and dinners, we quickly realised the need for staff to assist with the exhausting tasks of cooking, tidying, and cleaning up. Despite our love for cooking and food, we recognised the limitations of managing everything independently. This realisation led us to aspire for a restaurant-quality dining experience rather than solely relying on a private chef, ensuring the highest food quality standards and sourcing transparency.

What insights have you gained from managing this property? Every booking is unique for us due to the bespoke nature of our offerings. This is fantastic, as it brings a variety of interesting guests through our doors, each with distinct preferences. Some guests desire a schedule filled with privately arranged activities, and we cater to these needs with a wide array of experiences. Whether it’s foraging with Claudio, arranging personalised flower picking with a florist, or enjoying falconry in the local area, we provide diverse and tailored activities to ensure a memorable stay.

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What valuable knowledge have you gained through collaborating with the team? One of the key lessons we’ve learned is the importance of acknowledging our limitations and bringing in top experts to help build certain elements of our offering. Claudio has been instrumental in integrating wild food elements into our services. Bent, our chef, has elevated our culinary experiences to Michelin-star quality, making our property feel like a restaurant within a house. We’ve also recently welcomed a new gardener who specialises in soil biology. His expertise is enhancing the soil in our walled garden and improving the quality of our vegetables. He also educates our guests about these processes, adding an enriching dimension to their stay. Our approach involves finding passionate individuals with diverse expertise and leveraging their skills to benefit our property and guests.

Do guests express interest in learning more about the sustainable methods used to grow everything in the garden? Some guests are really interested, while others are less so, and we don’t want to push the conversation too hard. But we’re not shy about starting it, either. For example, we grow all the flowers for the house and also sell them to florists. This means the house is always filled with beautiful flowers, including unique floral installations you wouldn’t find elsewhere. It’s something different that often sparks conversation. We find that guests engage with these stories rather than us simply boasting about our sustainability efforts.

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Could you share the most memorable feedback or review you’ve received from guests? One that comes to mind is when someone said, “You are really a restaurant with a house attached!”

How do you support guests with events nearby? We customise everything to suit their preferences and don’t offer set packages. For instance, if guests want to attend a specific event like the Silverstone F1 Circuit, we’ll discuss it with them to enhance their experience. There’s also a unique upcoming event, the Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford. This level of event is held in only seven locations worldwide, and Burghley House is one of them. It’s a significant event in the horse racing world, and along with Badminton and Kentuky make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. We’re just 20 minutes away, attracting attendees from across the globe. Additionally, we can coordinate with event companies to ensure guests have a seamless experience.

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What culinary experience do you find yourself craving the most at Keythorpe Hall? Well, it really depends on the seasonality. Our menus are ever-changing, so what makes you crave something is when you can’t have it anymore, and you’re already looking forward to it. For example, we were just in the middle of asparagus season, but they’ll be gone in four weeks, and you won’t find asparagus on the menu. So, next year around this time, that’s when you’ll start craving it. I’m already craving tomatoes, but we won’t have them until July or August. Eating seasonally is the beauty of it because you’re having something at its very best. You can get tomatoes year-round, but they’re not as flavourful in February because they’re either imported or grown indoors. We pick tomatoes when they’re ripe, and they’re on your plate within an hour. That’s how we handle every vegetable and fruit. We work closely with local farmers and are constantly in dialogue with them. For instance, our neighbouring farm is an organic dairy farm. Sometimes, they have an old dairy cow that’s heading to the butcher and they’ll let us know because it has amazing flavour. We also work with the butcher to use lesser-known cuts, and they’ll prepare things in a specific way for us.
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What activity do you enjoy the most as part of your daily routine at the property? One of the highlights is gathering eggs from the chickens. The children love to feed the chickens and collect the eggs, especially because we have various breeds that lay blue, brown, and white eggs. Another memorable experience we’ve had in the past is putting eggs from our chickens in the incubator before guests arrive during spring or summer. This way, the eggs hatch during the guests’ stay, creating a magical experience, especially for the children. Witnessing a chicken hatching from its egg is such a simple yet incredible moment. We also make sure to customise the experience for each family by asking about their children’s interests. For example, if they’re into bugs, we might leave booklets about bug life or wildlife in England on their bed so they can enjoy bug hunting. We need to make each stay extra special in this personalised way.
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From your perspective, what would the perfect day or weekend at Keythorpe Hall look like for a guest? It’s all about finding the right balance between engaging experiences and leisurely enjoyment. The views here are absolutely breathtaking, stretching for miles and miles. Imagine sitting in our comfortable armchairs by the floor-to-ceiling windows, sipping on a glass of wine or a drink, and simply soaking in the scenery. It’s about reconnecting with the people you’ve come with and taking the time to unwind. And, of course, striking that balance by partaking in activities, exploring the grounds, and savouring delicious food.
Ready to dive deeper

Ready to dive deeper

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