Paddocks House: 50 Shades of Grey

Jonathan R Jones

Whether you’re looking for a glam getaway or a simply stylish event venue, Paddocks House has everything a boy or girl could wish for.

A stone’s throw from London, Paddocks is nestled in the Cambridgeshire countryside and is ideally placed for exploring historic Cambridge or picturesque Ely. For those of an equine bent, Newmarket Race Course is close at hand (just seven minutes by car). If you’re not yet convinced, did I mention that the village where the hotel is located is called Six Mile Bottom? Moving swiftly on…

paddocks house accommodation


The hotel’s decor is decidedly monochrome. The scheme is apparent from the moment you pull up at the handsome building’s black and white facade, to when you slip between the sheets in your elegant dark grey room. Sidestepping country-house chintz, the hotel’s look is high Georgian meets twenty-first century boudoir. Black satin curtains, oversized carriage clocks and reproduction vintage prints of saddles create a glamorous masculine vibe which would make Christian Grey feel at home.

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The free wi-fi, smart TVs with Netflix as standard and Bose sound docks will keep tech-heads happy. Lounge lovers might prefer to luxuriate in the fluffy bathrobes and slippers before collapsing into the divinely comfortable pocket-sprung king-size beds. But the first thing you notice as you enter your room is the enormous freestanding copper bateau bath by William Holland. With enough room for two it simply has to be done – and offers the perfect opportunity to crack open the complimentary Hermès bathing products (Bvlgari for the ladies).

paddocks house dining


A meal in the understated elegance of the candle-lit dining room is the perfect complement to your stay and the hotel offers frequent changing dinner and stay packages. But why not start with a cocktail or two in the intimate Brigadier Bar or the smart Study? We opted for a deliciously bitter-sweet Bombay Sapphire and cherry syrup-based Six Mile Sling, and a Marmalade Mule made with Chase Marmalade vodka and Stones ginger wine.

Dinner began with a cauliflower and beetroot amuse bouche and home baked breads with truffle butter. From the à la carte menu we started with seared foie gras served with pear poached in port, artichoke puree and thyme-infused hazelnuts.

The ballotine of salmon came with an unexpectedly delicious malted crumb on the side, offset perfectly with a zingy crème fraiche. We both followed with the succulent sirloin steak before opting to share the well-balanced selection of British cheeses – including Blue Monday, a creamy Shropshire Blue from Alex James’ dairy. But we were glad we saved room to share a rhubarb cheesecake which absolutely blew us away at the end of the meal.

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We tried wines by the glass – an Argentinean Torrontés with the seared foie gras was a highlight – and finished with a fine sauternes.

paddocks house gallery 3


As well as fifteen immaculately decorated rooms and suites, Paddocks House boasts several versatile function spaces including the magnificent Garden Room. It’s a popular wedding and civil partnership venue amongst those looking for country house glamour with a contemporary twist.

We checked out on Saturday morning, just as staff were putting the finishing touches to the table settings for a wedding later that day. We resisted the urge to gatecrash someone’s big day and instead zipped into Cambridge for a day of gallery-hopping and shopping.

paddocks house accommodations

The details

A suite bedroom, three-course Menu du Jour and full English breakfast is £89.95 per person, per night based on two people sharing, until 31 May 2015. Valid Sunday –Thursday and excludes 3, 4 and 5 April 2015.

To book call 01223 653111 or email

For more options and packages see

About Jonathan R Jones

Jonathan R Jones is a freelance writer on art, interiors and lifestyle based in London and Berkshire. As well as covering food and travel for VADA, he writes for publications including Art Review, Modern Painters and Sculpture Magazine and is Contributing Editor at COVER Magazine. Find him blogging at

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