Given how much I loved the décor of Paddocks House which I reviewed the night before arriving at Poets House, I was happy to see that Poets House was very similar in this regard, although the exterior is quite different, the setting being three smart town houses dating from the early 1900s in the heart of Ely. The general vibe is livelier too, though still relaxed, and the staff are just as fantastic as they are at Paddocks. You enter from the road into a smart courtyard, and while the reception area is not as grand as at Paddocks House, it’s modern and attractive. Ely, one of the smallest cities in the UK, is a charming place to visit, and with Poets House being so centrally located, we enjoyed being able to walk around and explore the sights. We visited the stunning cathedral – I recommend taking the tour of the Octagon Tower for some spectacular views – as well as the Riverside and Oliver Cromwell’s house.
Another gorgeous room, all but identical to the one we stayed in at Paddocks. The only differences were in the shape and size of the room – this one was slightly smaller, but still spacious – and the view. Whereas at Paddocks we had overlooked the hotel grounds, our room at Poets had a lovely view of the cathedral. All the amenities we had enjoyed at Paddocks were here too, right down to that copper bathtub. (And yes, I couldn’t resist using it again!)
Our first experience of dining at Poets House came in the form of afternoon tea, which was my favourite meal of the whole trip. Perfect finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and cakes almost too pretty to eat – a real treat and highly recommended. This was served in their bar, also called The Study, which had a more modern, “city” sort of feel to it than the one at Paddocks House. With glass walls, comfortable but elegant sofas and a feature bar with an impressive array of bottles on show, we really enjoyed spending time in this area, and returned for after dinner drinks, by which time there was a nice little Friday night buzz about the place. The dining room, while similar to Paddocks House, was somewhat better laid out and had more of an atmosphere about it. The standout courses at dinner were the scallop and squid starter and the chocolate fondant dessert. Breakfast was very similar to the one we had at Paddocks, and very enjoyable, though the presentation at Paddocks just had the edge.
We stayed at both Paddocks House and Poets House and either would make a fantastic base from which to explore the lovely county of Cambridgeshire. These Cambridgeshire sister hotels, collectively known as The House Collection, have several things in common. To name just a few: really swish, stylish décor, impressive cocktail menus and friendly staff who pride themselves on going above and beyond to ensure the comfort of their guests. Both hotels are conveniently located for exploring some of the county’s best attractions, including Cambridge itself, but Poets House (in the centre of Ely) offers the option to leave the car behind if you want to. We spent a night in each hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Both offer luxurious accommodation and a good location, but head to Paddocks if you’re after a country retreat and Poets House, which has recently been awarded 4 AA Silver Stars, if you prefer a little more of a buzz.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.