Meet, greet, reunite, reform, rejuvenate, party, play, and generally get the band back together in a big period property bursting with fun and games for families and hens. Just 15 minutes from the bewitching beauty of Chester and 25 from the cheeky charms of lively Liverpool, Minton Hall looks proper posh. But it knows how to party.
Sleeping 20 in six beguiling bedrooms, Minton Hall looks like the kind of place that hosts the Antiques Roadshow. But there’s nothing antique about the pool table, Sky TV, Netflix, superfast broadband, Bluetooth speakers, kids’ play area, hot tub, tennis court, and 10-metre indoor swimming pool.
There’s space on the lawn for cricket and croquet, for wandering the orchards and woods or for belting backhands on the tennis court. But don’t be distracted by the fun and games. You can add sumptuous comfort, an Aga, bespoke kitchen and oodles of period charm. Minton Hall is party-perfect but it comes with impeccable manners.
Plenty space here for pre-prandial rambling around the three acres of lawns, orchards and woods. And the toys and games aren’t confined to the house. Kick off with a few lengths of the indoor swimming pool, heated to 30 degrees. Then chill out in the eight-seat hot tub.
Expansive lawns here invite summer cricket and croquet, and little explorers will soon discover the climbing frame and swing set. Or bash some balls around the (forthcoming) tennis court awhile. See you in a few hours. As dusk descends, head out to the terrace table and chairs for a snifter under the stars.
In a house packed with playthings, it would be easy to overlook the luxury. But Minton Hall is gracious, grown-up and proud of its past. This is a listed period property, packed with Victorian features. Even the coving, glazing and shutters have their own Grade-II listing. Minton Hall’s a playboy all right, but one with perfect English manners.
Amid the high-ceilinged ornate plasterwork, the elaborate ceiling roses, and the floor-to-ceiling sash windows, you’ll live the English dream in grand and gregarious spaces with real architectural importance. And yet, for all the period charm, Minton Hall comes with every mod con you’ll ever need.
TVs? Get around the 55” smart TV in the main living room, scroll through Sky for a movie or a match, or go nuclear on the free Netflix, binging box sets. Broadband? It whizzes around the place at 45Mbs. And you can keep the music coming wherever you wander, with the four Bluetooth speakers.
Keep the kids occupied with the toys and DVDs. Escape the madding crowd for a game of pool in the games room or for alternative viewing on the 44” TV. Keep yourself refuelled and refreshed at the bar. Or gird your loins for a sing-song around the baby grand in the dining room.
You’ll get 20 around the dining table beneath the pendulum lighting, with light flooding in from the full-height sash windows. Special occasion? Need a pianist for the baby grand? We can probably help. Sun beating down? The table in the courtyard takes 20, too. Get the gas barbie on, cover the butter and pass the wine.
Cooking indoors? You’ll ace it with the two-plate Aga, two gas rings and island oven. You can add to that two full-length fridges and freezers, two microwaves, ice machine, two toasters and three dishwashers. Peckish in the evening? The four-burner gas hob and electric oven in the annex bar means no need to interrupt your pool game.
Pop out for pub meals to The Hinderton Arms for gammon with rum and cola glaze, or pan-fried hake. Choose The Nag’s Head for lighter bites, burgers and fresh favourites. Or maybe make it a 10oz. sirloin steak or sweet-potato fritter katsu curry from The Wheatsheaf Ness.
For the best restaurants, cross the Mersey for calamari, bruschetta and tiramisu at Aldente. Maybe try a little kleftiko or spanakopita at Greek Taverna on Bold Street. Head to Röski for inventive use of homegrown ingredients from a former Masterchef winner. Or enjoy the tasting menu with a side dish of killer views at Panoramic 34.
Bedrooms here are smart, sumptuous and sleep-inducing. Pick from six, sleeping 20, of which three benefit from en-suite bathrooms.
The master Windle Suite offers a kingsize bed and one kingsize sofa bed. The en-suite comes with rolltop bath and shower. The Henson sleeps four in a kingsize and two singles. Freshen up in the en-suite shower room. The Eastman provides a kingsize and a single with another en-suite shower room.
The Mezzanine and Victoria sleep four in a kingsize and two single beds, and the Victoria adds a sink. Finally, the Bailey provides a kingsize bed. No en-suite? No sweat. Pick from three gorgeous bathrooms.
Sometimes, for children, the giddy expectation of a holiday isn’t matched by the reality. Not here. Minton Hall piles the fun high, then piles it some more. Get things going in the indoor swimming pool, 33 feet long, six feet deep and heated to 30 degrees. Splash away a few merry hours.
Head outside for three lawns built for cricket, croquet, footie, or just letting off steam, or a game of tag among the woods and orchards. Keep searching to find the kids’ adventure equipment. Climb and swing away a few hours. Or fire off a few forehands on the (arriving soon) tennis court.
Back inside, technology rules the roost. There’s a communal large-screen Sky TV in the main living room that’s good for matches and movies as well as free Netflix. Or kids can escape to the snug for alternative viewing or to plug their consoles into the 44” TV. Keep connected with the 45Mbs wifi and four Bluetooth speakers.
If that’s not enough, delve into the pile of DVDs, dig out the kids’ toys, or get a game of pool going in the games room. Minton Hall is where kids stay occupied and parents stay grateful.