Kesgrave Hall

Exterior of Kesgrave Hall

What’s Kesgrave Hall like?

This relaxed 4* hotel, just outside Ipswich, is housed in a Grade II Listed Georgian mansion. Kesgrave Hall has been part of the Milsom Hotels group since 2008 but over the years, the building has been a school, a wartime officers’ mess and a shooting lodge.

How dog-friendly is Kesgrave Hall?

Extremely. Pets are allowed in many of the 23 bedrooms but the best ones for dog owners are the Deluxe courtyard rooms, near the lawn. Up to two dogs can stay at a time and there are no restrictions on size.

A charge of £10 per pet per night applies. Beds and blankets are not provided but staff are always on hand with water bowls. If you’re lucky, your pooch might also be treated to a sausage or two at breakfast.

Dogs are not allowed in the restaurant but you can dine with your pet in the bar area or lounge. Alternatively, the covered terrace outside is dog-friendly and a great place to enjoy a relaxed drink or meal.

Bedroom at Kesgrave Hall with zebra print sofa

Tell me more about Kesgrave Hall

There are five grades of luxurious rooms – Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Principal and Top – and whichever one you go for, you won’t be disappointed. We stayed in Room 19, a Deluxe courtyard option away from the main house. It was clear we were in for a treat when the friendly receptionist handed us a huge fairytale-style key at check-in.

With its high ceilings and large windows letting in lots of light, the spacious room looked like it could have once been a stable. It was decorated in neutral tones with pops of colour coming from the curtains, feature headboard and quirky zebra-print couch at the foot of the comfy bed.

The room was kitted out with Sky TV, Suffolk magazines and posh tea and coffee-making facilities (think cafetieres and artisan biscuits). The large bathroom was equally impressive with a rolltop tub and separate rainforest shower, plus luxurious Aromatherapy Associates toiletries.

Fish and chips at Kesgrave Hall

What’s the food like at Kesgrave Hall?

Amazing. The brasserie menu is packed with traditional dishes that have been given a contemporary, upmarket twist. The hotel champions local produce too, so you can enjoy beef brisket from the Dedham Vale or chicken from nearby Sutton Hoo.

The sea bream (£15.50) was a hit with my friend and it was great to see imaginative veggie options, too. The pour-your-own mushroom soup (£7.50) had an element of food theatre, while the butternut squash, ricotta and sage cannelloni (£14) was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I have ever had.

The restaurant doesn’t take bookings but hotel guests are always given priority. You are encouraged to write your order down on a little notepad, which is then handed to staff and cooked from scratch. It’s a quirky approach, but makes your meal even more memorable.

Are there resident dogs at Kesgrave Hall?

No, but if your pooch is the only one staying at the hotel, it will be very unusual! Chances are you will encounter at least a couple of other holidaying doggos.

The Scallop sculpture at Aldeburgh Beach

Where are the best dog walks near Kesgrave Hall?

Start with the hotel grounds. Kesgrave Hall has 38 acres of lush lawn and shady woodland with a trickling stream running right through the middle. Much of this can be explored off-lead.

The hotel is also close to the historic town of Woodbridge, where you can enjoy some lovely waterfront walks. Take in all the sights on this four-mile stroll along the River Deben, as recommended by the AA.

Suffolk also has some great dog-friendly beaches where your pooch can let off some steam. The likes of Dunwich and Aldeburgh are all less than an hour from Kesgrave Hall. Check out my Ruff Guide to the Suffolk Heritage Coast to read more.

Ernie admires the lawn at Kesgrave Hall

What Ernie loved about Kesgrave Hall

Exploring the grounds, having his own sausage for breakfast, meeting the other four-legged residents

What I loved about Kesgrave Hall

The sunny terrace, the delicious food, the cool interior design

How to book Kesgrave Hall

Rooms start from £140 per night. Look out for deals such as the Super Sunday offer, where B&B stays cost £55 per person, including late checkout. For more information, call 01473 333741 or visit the Milsom Hotels website.

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