Maison? Mais oui!

PUBLISHED: 12:14 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 February 2013

The new bedrooms have a modern look which highlights Geraldine's talent for interior design

The new bedrooms have a modern look which highlights Geraldine's talent for interior design

Rejuvenated and rejuvenating, Maison Talbooth at Dedham now has blissful treatment rooms and a cool outdoor pool to enjoy. Robyn Bechelet discovers these new delights

NATURE provided the location. Glorious Constable Country. Nurture has, over 40 years, created a landmark destination. The Maison Talbooth Hotel. Now see the results of a nourishing new treatment. Plus, the new treatment rooms too - heavenly.

With their even newer venture also freshly unwrapped (Kesgrave Hall), the Milsoms must surely be first family of hospitality in Essex (and now they've moved into Suffolk too at Kesgrave).

Those in the know may have already put this magazine down and beat a path to the door of Kesgrave Hall (or mKH, if you are really in the know).

So, just how do they do it? How do they make the places where we want to be? Geraldine Milsom, who has a way of naturally wow factoring all she touches, took a break near the end of the Maison Talbooth project to share her secrets.

Well it wasn't really so much as a break (I don't think Geraldine does stopping), more of a wellied walk and talk - there's so much to get excited about. A two-floor thorough refresh to see and a whole new world waiting at the top of the building.

All 12 suites are individual, as you would expect, each is named after a writer; Keats, Betjeman, Shakespeare, Eliot and Newbolt (managing director Paul Milsom insisted on Newbolt after lengthy discussions with Geraldine, his wife).

Giant-headed round raindrop showers, deep, deep baths to sink into, earthy tones, Farrow & Ball colours, sumptuous fabrics and clever touches to delight. That's what Geraldine's designs are made of.

There are so many stories to tell. Lengths of Gainsborough silk bought at a charity auction have been put to good use in one of the rooms, the rest of the material you might see if you visit Badminton.

The house has become, through her attention to every delicious re-defined detail, a sublime destination for a house party, with a gorgeous outdoor pool, tennis courts, hot tubs, an inspiring and airy garden room to enjoy post, during, or pre-spa refreshments.

Flat-screens, yummy Molton Brown bathroom products, the whole pool complex, and that's before you've left the site to eat al fresco or dine inside at nearby milsoms or Le Talbooth, the hotel group's famous riverside restaurant.

Good times
Constant investment in the experience is what keeps excellence as standard at all the Milsom Hotels venues which also include The Pier at Harwich.

Setting the scene for life's good times is an essential part of the offering. And the philosophy is honest and true. Because, what is here is precisely the kind of hospitality that the Milsoms themselves like to enjoy.

Geraldine put it this way: 'You do what you believe in. In creating the spa and choosing the products I have thought about how I would love a spa to be run, we love casual dining so that's what we do at milsoms. This is the approach we take to everything, now we hope our like-minded friends will enjoy what we have done. You have to take pride in what you do.'

And it's that inspiring desire to create a shiny future which is so infectious - to all who become involved. For instance, the brass in the house has been hand-polished by Jack Read, 82, who lives nearby and is clearly pleased to be part of this amazing success.

All that is left to do now is create the joyous occasions this hotel was reborn to host, and that, of course, is where you come in.


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