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The new Paddocks House Hotel, Newmarket | House Collection

I love the fact that the new Paddocks House Hotel in Newmarket was financed by Eastern Counties Finance, a private lending company which supports agricultural and rural businesses.

Why worry about seeking support from hostile banks when savvy Matthew Smart and his team are willing to help, believing in the House Collection vision with its launch last year of Poets House in Ely, and now Paddocks Hotel. He described it as “a triumph for independent lenders”.

I was keen to see the former Swynford Paddocks Hotel as my husband and I spent our wedding night there – it will be 25 years in September. We slept in a grand four poster bed in the honeymoon suite. In keeping with the hotel’s modern style, this has been replaced with a contemporary bed and the room includes the House Collection signature feature copper bath.

We were attracted to the 18th century country hotel for our wedding night by its beautiful setting and history; it was once the former country home of Lord Byron’s sister. Over the years I have returned to the hotel, usually for fund raising events held in marquees in the grounds, and noticed it needed some TLC, which it has now had in abundance.

House Collection MD David Toulson Burke told launch party guests last night how he had dined there 15 years ago and set his heart on owning it. When his original bid fell through in 2008, he was devastated, but the property came on the market again enabling him to seal the deal he had set his heart on.

Like Poets House, the elegant decor in Paddocks House Hotel is black and grey with beautiful chandeliers. Some find this too cold, preferring a splash of colour. But that is the way of boutique hotels and Paddocks House Hotel is modern, airy and has a touch of class which is sure to be popular with racing enthusiasts who visit the town and as a venue for wedding parties in its conservatory Garden Room.

I’m keen to see where the House Collection will be opening its next hotel; I hear they plan to open two a year and are looking overseas, as well as London, meaning Eastern Counties Finance could be going global!

In the meantime, my husband and I are planning a trip to Italy to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary, but who knows, I may get to try out that copper bath later this year by paying a return visit to our old honeymoon suite.



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