Earlier this year Rockliffe Hall announced plans to develop one and a half acres of land adjacent to the Old Hall into a multi-functional parkland for guests.
Work is now well underway on the £750,000 development, which will be called Mischmasch – inspired by a periodical written and illustrated by Lewis Carroll for his family. It’s due to open at the end of Summer 2017.
Lewis Carroll, the author of the much-loved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, spent some of his childhood in nearby Croft, while his father was Rector of Croft Church and Archdeacon of Richmond from 1843 to 1868. Historians think Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat and his famous smile were inspired by a carving in Croft Church.
Mischmasch will have a strong Lewis Carroll theme, introducing a wide range of activities for younger visitors to Rockliffe Hall in its “Wonderland of Curiosities”. These will include an Alice in Wonderland Nature Trail and Sculptures (some of which will be well hidden for children to find), a large Eco Adventure Playground including climbing frames and slides, Interactive Water Fountains and a Maze. A main feature of Mischmasch will be six Arctic Pods, nestled in the woodland, featuring different indoor experiences including interactive and electronic games and the start of a journey to “Find the Cheshire Cat”.
The new development will also feature a stunning glasshouse, which will become the venue for pop-up events, dining, corporate events, children’s tea parties and an additional location for weddings. Adjacent to this will be a walled kitchen garden where chefs from Rockliffe’s three acclaimed restaurants will grow their own produce to use in their dishes. For the fitness fanatics, there will be two artificial tennis courts. A wildflower nature trail will meander around the outskirts of the new development where visitors can stroll, play and enjoy nature.
Warwick Brindle, Chairman of Rockliffe Hall Limited said: “This is a significant investment for Rockliffe Hall as we continue to strive to maintain our position as the premier hotel, spa and golf resort in the UK. We already offer so much for our guests but want to further enhance what’s available to our younger ones while also opening up opportunities to hold functions and events in a new setting. Mischmasch will offer children and parents a unique interactive experience whilst improving the facilities for all our guests whether enjoying a game of tennis, indoor activities in the pods, and events in the magnificent glasshouse.
“In addition, Rockliffe Hall is set in the most beautiful grounds and we want to take advantage of this by offering our guests more of an outdoor experience, alongside fishing the Tees, handling Birds of Prey, or outdoor concerts. There will be something for everyone when Mischmasch opens later this year.”
Rockliffe Hall has engaged the services of many local companies to help create the new development, including Wharton Construction, Darlington; Baker Mallet (Quantity Surveying and Project Management), Stockton; Billing Hurst George (Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers), Stockton; Xsite Architecture, Newcastle.
The Mischmasch development is the latest in a string of large investments into the award-winning resort, to ensure it remains one of the best in the country. The Orangery restaurant underwent refurbishment at the beginning of the year, while other parts of the hotel will also see further improvements in the coming months, and the £1 million Spa Garden was launched at the end of 2015.