There’s something all a bit Pretty Woman-esque about waking up to see a bath in your bedroom. No, not in a seedy prostitute kind of way, but more that feeling that you don’t quite belong in the swanky setting you’ve found yourself in and have somehow teleported into a life far superior to your own.
I very much doubt I had the tousled hair beauty of Julia Roberts when she wakes up in that penthouse suite with Richard Gere when I woke up in my own sumptuous room at the High Field Town House but I definitely had a similar mix of slight confusion followed by marvellous delight at waking up in such delicious surroundings.
Now we all know Mr M and I like a sneaky break away, whether it’s in a tent, a B&B or a nice hotel. It doesn’t even need to be that far, it just feels so blimin nice getting in the car and disappearing away from home for a night – away from washing, ironing, mowing the lawn and now since I work at home, work!
You might remember the last cheeky little night away we had was to the Ragged Cot at Minchinhampton, a lovely little coaching inn in the Cotswolds where we spent a sunny Friday afternoon enjoying their gardens, had a yummy dinner, then mooched around Minchinhampton the next day. Our latest break was somewhat different, as we headed into the middle of Birmingham to enjoy one of the latest additions to the second city’s overnight accommodation offering.
The High Field Town House in Edgbaston is the brainchild of the guys at Peach Pubs – them of the Rose & Crown in Warwick, the Almanack in Kenilworth, and the Star and Garter in Leamington Spa. While all fairly different in style, I’ve never been disappointed by them – quite the opposite in fact. So that, coupled with some other rave reviews from some fellow bloggers, meant I was pretty sure the High Field Town House would be a goodie.
The High Field itself, next door on Highfield Road in Edgbaston, is a firm favourite and one of what is now a fairly spoilt-for-choice part of the city, with The Edgbaston Hotel and Simpsons both just across the road, and Norjske next door. The guys at Peach Pubs have cleverly taken on the Victorian villa next door and converted it into a glamorous yet understated boutique hotel.
It’s a kind of perfect mix of modern and traditional. In keeping with our modern age, there’s no reception and no keys. Before your stay, you get sent your room number and key code to get in, and simply let yourself in. From that point, there are instructions for anything you might need, from your parking permit to how to use the honesty bar in the lounge if you fancy a G&T or a vino, and your little invitation to enjoy a free drink next door in the High Field.
Yet amidst such up-to-the-minute technology, along with the modern, bright and light decor, they’ve managed to keep the soul of the building – the original features like sash windows and big chunky skirting board (yes, that’s the kind of thing Mr M notices).
I knew the room would be good, but it really did blow me away. First, there was the bathtub which, yeah, is massively unnecessary and over-the-top but just the kind of thing that really makes you feel like you’re having a wonderful special treat. I’ve already mentioned the decor but it really was gorgeous – bold yet delicate, bright yet not too OTT.
Of course, first impressions can always blow you away then what follows after can be a tad disappointing. Not so at the High Field Town House. I think what left a lasting impression on me was the attention to detail, right down to tiny things like the little handle on the edge of the wooden toilet lid that somehow feels so much more hygienic to touch than popping your fingers underneath.
Of course, there are the lovely little toiletries, the coffee and tea-making kit along with homemade biscuit, the uber-comfy bed and the shower that actually works rather than giving a lacklustre dribble that trickles frustratingly down your back.
And all that’s before you get to the towels – all six of them (two for the shower, two for the bath, two hand towels) along with two bath mats, and all of them wonderfully fluffy and soft. For me, it’s those kind of things that make you feel pampered and like someone actually cares that you don’t have to lift a finger.
I mentioned the key fob entry and the honesty bar. Not only was it again beautifully-decorated and well thought out, but the fact that you’re pretty much left to your own devices kind of adds to the feeling that you’re having a getaway from the real world.
For kids like me and Jamie, we couldn’t help but feel a bit excited that we were being left unsupervised and enjoyed an afternoon drink at the High Field before heading back to our room for a chill out (a bath for me, obvs – when else do you get to have a bath in your bedroom at 5pm?) and to get ready for dinner.
In keeping with the rather luxury element to our night away, we treated ourselves to pre-dinner cocktails at The Edgbaston (which I can highly recommend) followed by dinner at Rofuto which I’ve been desperate to take Mr M to since I reviewed it. I won’t go over it all again here, but I was as impressed the second time round as I was the first.
Afterwards, we ambled back the short walk from Five Ways to Edgbaston to enjoy a very peaceful night’s sleep, disturbed only by the people in the room next to us who seemed to have an early wedding to get to prompting a noisy 7.30am start but hey, what can you do?
After my wonderful wake up and efforts to sort out my less-than-wonderful mane, we headed over to the High Field next door for breakfast. Lucky for us, it was a glorious morning and the perfect weather to enjoy its beautiful gardens and outside space. You can have your brekkie brought over to you at the Town House, but with such beautiful outdoor space, if you have a sunny morning it’s worth taking the short amble across the car park to enjoy your morning coffee while admiring the view.
There’s a clever indoor-outdoor thing going on at the High Field, with impressive bi-fold doors leading to a few different terraces to choose from. Added to that, the garden – complete with its outdoor barbecue area – stretches a long old way behind the High Field and is a great place to begin your day with one of their rather tempting breakfasts.
It’s a good breakfast menu, I’ve got to say. From a Full English to pancakes, steak and eggs, BBQ brisket and sweet potato hash, and smashed avocado and poached eggs, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy.
Mr M went for the Full English, complete with Jimmy Butler sausage and bacon, mushroom, black pudding, eggs, tomatoes, beans and sourdough. I’m told it was excellent and it certainly looked the part. Generous but not gluttonous and seemed to smack of quality, not quantity.
Even I can have too much of a good thing at times, and after the previous night’s gluttony, couldn’t quite face some of the more indulgent choices. I went for Almond Milk Porridge with crushed pistachios, honey and apple and have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed every virtuous, smug mouthful of it. It came beautifully presented and was something I don’t think I’ve seen on many other breakfast menus, and nice to see a bit of imagination put into the slightly more healthy options.
We left the High Field for a day of fun in Birmingham feeling rested, refreshed, and a bit like we’d just been treated to a night in someone else’s life. And in my view, that’s what a night away should be all about.
Yes, the High Field Town House is beautifully decorated, with a top quality finish that has obviously had a lot of money spent on it. But I’m not sure it’s that alone that makes it feel so special, but the time, effort and thought that’s gone into trying to allow for your every whim and making sure you don’t have to ask for anything, worry about anything, or go to much effort at all, other than kick back, relax, and enjoy your night pretending to be someone else.
We were invited to a complimentary night at the High Field Town House to review on this blog. I wasn’t asked to write a positive review, just my thoughts.
If you’d like to read another blogger review, here is one from Positive Fridays.
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