Michelin-starred restaurant Pensons adds to its repertoire with artefact-filled bedrooms

Celebrating Herefordshire’s landscape and history

Guests can now stay overnight at the Michelin-starred Herefordshire restaurant Pensons, with its relic-filled dining room paving the way for a pair of new bedrooms filled with local crafts and artefacts.

The history of Herefordshire permeates every part of Pensons’s interiors, dotted with fragments of the area’s rich history. It sits with the 1,200-acre Netherwood Estate, which pre-dates the Domesday Book, and its wall-mounted curiosity boxes are filled with artefacts found by locals including medieval arrowheads and antique children’s toys.

A local ploughman began collecting archaeological finds in the early 1970s and has donated thousands of objects to the restaurant that show the site’s evolution through the stone age, medieval and Elizabethan times up until the present day.

Pensons also celebrates craft, commissioning a local blacksmith to make its knives, and laying the table with napkins woven on a loom on the estate and places and bowls made by Herefordshire potters. Even the wicker lampshades were crafted by local basket-makers, using willow from a nearby wood.

Photography: David Loftus

Earlier this year, Pensons expanded by opening a pair of bedrooms in a 16th-century barn located in its courtyard garden. Founder Peta Darnley describes them as an ‘evolution’ of the original interiors, prioritising natural textures and materials, and with much of the decor sourced locally. Guests can sit in furniture made in the estate’s joinery workshop, and wrap up in dressing gowns made in Netherwood’s nearby weaving mill and hand-sewn on site.

‘From the outset, we wanted the restaurant to reflect the sense of place of this beautiful corner of England,’ says Darnley. ‘This varied collection of archaeological artefacts that decorates the restaurant walls encapsulates this perfectly: they provide a unique insight into the culture, social and agricultural history of the people who lived and worked on this land for millennia, as well as being beautiful objects in their own right.’

Rooms at Pensons start at £400 per night and include a five-course tasting menu and breakfast.

Pensons at The Netherfield Estate, Herefordshire – Worcestershire border, WR15 8RT UK

Photography: Pensons
Photography: Pensons
Photography: Pensons
Photography: David Loftus

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