Over the summer the grounds of Samlesbury Hall have been transformed in a thrilling project that includes a new community garden alongside a newly created Heritage Café
While the bees at Samlesbury Hall have found a new purpose, the historic hall is still buzzing.
Samlesbury Hall now has a new restaurant – the Heritage Café – located in what was the old bee centre, which is a hive of activity with live jazz, afternoon teas, private dining and a legendary menu featuring locally sourced ingredients from Lancashire. Not to mention the new tapas and platter evenings, starting every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 7pm – the perfect stop off for a bite to eat and, maybe, a cocktail or mocktail?
The café will be open Tuesday through till Sunday and won’t close when weddings are taking place, which means visitors can now enjoy Samlesbury all year round.
Last year Samlesbury Hall began an ambitious plan to transform the grounds of the historic hall making them a year-round attraction, planting new trees, renovating the borders and courtyard gardens and creating a native wildflower meadow, which has been the inspiration for the botanical-themed Heritage Café, which features wildflower murals and dried-flower artwork across the walls.
Outside the café is a new community garden with a focus on wellbeing. Community groups across the region, along with Lancashire Adult Learning, will present a programme of activities from September, with a view to giving people a sense of belonging.
Courses such as flower arranging, horticulture, mindfulness, tai chi, yoga and meditation will take place in specific areas of the garden with visitors, who are interested in the hall, having the opportunity to volunteer and become part of this historic gem that has been one of Lancashire’s leading attractions for decades.
Weddings are a big part of Samlesbury Hall – during the pandemic more than 160 weddings were re-scheduled with brides and grooms showing great patience.
Josh Clarke, Samlesbury’s new wedding co-ordinator, added his skillset to the smooth re-scheduling operation with his calm demeanour, years of experience and his endeavours to build strong relationships with couples, who know their wedding is going to be the best day of their lives.
Couples now have an additional facility for weddings at Samlesbury Hall – the former restaurant, located in the old Billiard Room, has been transformed into a fabulous space where the bridegroom, best man and groomsmen can meet and get ready for the day or even have a game of billiards on the full size table on the morning of their wedding.
Tucked away in the grounds of the hall is The Hamlet, a cluster of luxury shepherd’s huts, which add to the hall’s wedding accommodation offering as well as giving visitors the opportunity of a great all-year-round staycation.
The hall has seen a busy summer at The Hamlet and potential visitors are encouraged to book early for winter staycations – curl up and toast marshmallows by a cosy fire pit and enjoy the beautiful rural setting, the gorgeous grounds with bee friendly wildlife meadows and a fantastic play area for children with plenty of country walks and activities.
Also within the grounds is Dottie’s Wafflery, which continues to be super-popular with visitors. Serving decadent desserts, from brilliant banoffee waffles to mouth-watering milkshakes, cakes, local ice-cream, speciality teas and coffee, crumpets and scones, the wafflery has become a ‘go-to’ destination in itself.
With the help of grants from the Cultural Recovery Fund, the Samlesbury Hall team has, over the past 18 months, been able to spend time planning this ambitious renovation and recovery project, which has swiftly been implemented.
Located in the perfect position just off Preston New Road, the hall dates back to 1325. Fast forward through the centuries and it is now a major tourist destination that is steeped in history yet has modern-day facilities that cater for 21st century visitors.
The hall’s attractions are many and varied – watch out for the return of the popular Pizza, Prosecco and Peroni Nights when the chefs will cook the most delicious pizzas in the wood-fired oven within the courtyard and experience the new Heritage Café – perfect for popping in for a chilled drink or cocktail, delicious tapas and sharing platters.
With free entry all year round, Samlesbury Hall is a destination that appeals to all generations with its educational and wellbeing activities, its destination café and wafflery, historic tours on Sundays (with the witch or spooky Simon) and the beautiful grounds. Go to the website to check opening times – the hall closes during weddings and private functions, activities, facilities and events.
Preston New Road
Samlesbury PR5 0UP