ECR Big Blog
ECR Breakfast Blog - Upton Hall TerraceDid you ever dream of what life must be like to live as a King or a Queen? If what we are led to believe from the fairy tales and the sneak peeks into life behind those high walls, that surround places like Buckingham Palace, it must be really grand.

On Saturday, 27 March 2010 I went behind some high walls – the high walls of a place I knew very little about – Upton Hall. Imagine the history in a building that was one of the premier mansions of the 1930’s. This is a building that has only ever belonged to two families throughout all its years. Upton Hall is now a small 10 bedroom exclusive guest house that oozes elegance and pride from the moment you exit your car and approach the entrance.

I was excited by the initial invite to spend a night at Upton Hall, after all it is situated directly across the road from the Kings House (the estate supposed to be used by South African Presidents visiting Durban whilst in office). I know the chances of getting an invite to the Kings House are slim so I figured the next best thing had to be Upton Hall. Now I obviously can’t speak for the Kings House – but I can certainly tell you about what in my opinion is the most elegant and exclusive, newly established venue, to enter the hospitality arena in Durban of late.
ECR Breakfast Blog - Upton Hall RestaurantFrom the warm welcome extended to us by Davies (Food & Beverage Manageress) and the staff, who lined up to greet us on arrival with fresh fruit flavoured water and warm hand towels to freshen up with, to our breakfast on the Sunday morning with some of the most helpful and friendly good humoured staff, this was a stay I am unlikely to forget in a hurry.

After a few drinks in the bar on Saturday evening we headed into the elegant dining room or restaurant, once the library and study of the previous owners. Throughout Upton Hall you’ll find much of the original décor. The wooden wall finishes in the bar and the locks on some of the doors, to the wooden fold away desk now in the diningroom and the original grand stairway with its original chandelier presiding over it, history is everywhere.

To say the food was fantastic just wouldn’t be sufficient. Upton Hall’s kitchen, under the watchful eye of Nardia Adams, turns out the most incredible meals. At a glance, without teasing your taste buds too much, my wafer thin Kudu medallion starter was superb, my partners beef fillet cooked to perfection and the dessert to die for – I had the “Burnt Melktert” and my partner the very popular “Brownie".

ECR Breakfast Blog - Upton Hall BedroomAfter puffing on a cigar tastefully selected by Upton's manageres Kevin Collins from the cigar bar, with it’ own air-conditioning system, we retired to our room. What awaited us was what I imagine Queen Elizabeth has waiting for her every evening… no it wasn’t a corgi. Gowns had been laid out on the turned down bed, small bags containing slippers placed on a white cloth on the floor on either side of the bed. The traditional chocolate or sweet (Upton Hall use nougat) was placed on the pillows. Also on the bed was a small card with details of what to expect weather-wise the following day.

Upton Hall has a variety of facilities available: a private boardroom, a gym complete with its own sauna, swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and three inter-leading, temperature controlled wine cellars that are home to an astonishing selection of wines and French Champagne.

Leaving Upton Hall on Sunday brought with it a wakeup call as I returned to normality. Truth be told I didn’t want to leave. To stay at Upton Hall means never to lift a finger. To stay at Upton Hall means being treated like royalty. To stay at Upton Hall… is the stay of a lifetime.

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