Home Hotel reviewsCountry house hotels Drama at Kilworth House hotel and theatre, Leicestershire

Drama at Kilworth House hotel and theatre, Leicestershire

There's an outdoor theatre at Kilworth so you can be assured of a West End experience

by Sarah Bridge
Kilworth House

A stay at Kilworth House

You don’t often hear the cast of a West End musical warming up when going for a walk in the grounds of a country house, but that’s what you’re likely to get during a stay at Kilworth House hotel.

The unique outdoor theatre in the grounds of Kilworth House, a Leicestershire Grade 2-listed luxury hotel means that not only can you enjoy all the delights of a night or two in a country house hotel – fine-dining, stylish rooms, great hospitality and country walks – but just a few minute’s walk through a wooded glade (or a buggy ride) takes you to the Kilworth House theatre, a 550-seat auditorium which hosts productions throughout the summer months.

Get my free email with offers and updates!

Sign up to receive my monthly email full of news, offers and brand new reviews!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Kilworth House hotel in the sunshine

Kilworth House hotel is set in 38 acres of Leicestershire countryside and has 44 bedrooms – and a theatre in its grounds

World-famous musicals Cats and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Last Night of the Proms and tribute concerts to George Michael, the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond have all been productions at Kilworth House theatre and Kilworth House hotel itself does a range of great value theatre packages including a pre-theatre dinner or dinner, bed and breakfast.

Looking for hotels in Leicestershire?

A relaxing spa break at Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire

Spas and history at Stapleford Park Hotel, Leicestershire

Guests who stay at Kilworth House are more likely to dine at the the hotel, but theatre-goers who would rather bring their own food are able to bring their own picnics to enjoy in the grounds, and there’s also a bar for pre- and interval drinks.

Kilworth House theatre

Kilworth House theatrel has a 550-seater auditorium (with padded seats) and is sheltered from the elements by massive canopies

Arriving at Kilworth House

I had plenty of time to immerse myself in the charm of Kilworth House before the evening’s theatre performance, having arrived unexpectedly early due to its handy location – the hotel is just five minutes from Junction 20 of the M1 (just the other side of the motorway is the village of Lutterworth, where Frank Whittle invented the jet engine). A winding driveway leads through Kilworth House’s 38 acres straight up to the front door where friendly reception staff were able to check me in, in spite of the early hour.

Book Kilworth House on Booking.com

Visit Kilworth House on Tripadvisor 

terrace at Kilworth House hotel

In sunny days people can enjoy coffee or afternoon tea on the terrace at the rear of the hotel

Kilworth House history

The hotel, built as a family home at the end of the 19th century, was home to just two families in 120 years before being restored and turned into a hotel in 2003, and the atmosphere is still very much a classic country home, with high ceilings, antique furnishings and stylish carpets.  Lunch and afternoon tea were being served – Kilworth House afternoon tea is extremely popular – so I enjoyed an excellent salad Nicoise before heading up to my room.

Main lounge at Kilworth House hotel

The main lounge at Kilworth House hotel was a great place for lunch or afternoon tea

smaller lounge at Kilworth House hotel

This lounge, just by the entrance, is a lovely, classic country house room

Kilworth House hotel bedrooms

There are two levels of room at Kilworth House – garden rooms and luxury rooms – and while I was in a garden room it felt extremely luxurious to me. There was a vast bed, tea and coffee-making facilities (you could order up fresh milk to your room), complimentary water, magazines, fruit and an immaculate bathroom. The hotel also has a small gym but I preferred to explore outside, from the ha-ha at the rear of the hotel to the lake  at the front.

Bedroom at Kilworth House hotel

My bedroom was smart, immaculate and contained everything I needed during my stay at Kilworth House hotel

blue bedroom at Kilworth House

The neighbouring bedroom to mine at Kilworth House

A lovely aspect of a stay at Kilworth House is the air of luxury which runs throughout the hotel, so everything from the corridors to the loos was immaculately decorated and maintained.

The original building has been extended several times but you can’t see the join as the style is seamless throughout, and instead the hotel is far bigger than it initially appears.

corridor at Kilworth House

The upstairs corridor leading to the bedrooms

downstairs corridor at Kilworth House

The grand corridor leading up to the reception and the main entrance

ladies loos at Kilworth House

The downstairs ladies – seemed too smart not to include a picture!

Kilworth House restaurant

Dinner was early due to the evening performance, so at 5.30pm we were ushered into the beautiful Orangery restaurant, which still has part of its original tiled floor and which offers great views of the grounds.

Orangery restaurant at Kilworth House hotel

The Orangery restaurant is vast and stunning and took several years to restore to its original glory

The menu was charmingly styled in ‘Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat’ colours and offered a simple but good range of dishes. We started with the fish cake with curry emulsion and prosciutto and melon, before breast of chicken with fondant potato and fillet of sea bass: all dishes were excellent, served quickly and piping hot by friendly and efficient serving staff, and we didn’t feel over-full even when enjoying fruit pavlova and strawberry frangipani tart.

fish cake at Kilworth House hotel

Starter of fish cake and curry emulsion – I liked the personalised plates

fillet of sea bass

Main course of fillet of sea bass, prawn risotto and sauce vierge

fruit pavlova

My fruit pavlova dessert

Kilworth House theatre – curtain up!

Having sat down at 5.30pm we could take our time over dinner and it was past 7pm when we ambled down through a lantern-lit path to Kilworth House theatre to take our seats. We’d been kindly provided with red blankets for warmth although the theatre is very sheltered and I really enjoyed watching Joseph again, a musical I hadn’t seen since I was at school.

theatrical programme and blanket at Kilworth House theatre

Our programme and warm red blanket

The audience loved it as well, rising to their feet at the end of the exuberant performance (the boy playing the young Joseph was especially good, as was the narrator played by Carole Stennett). It was a balmy summer’s evening when we were there but if the rain comes down then the show will still go on – both stage and audience are under sturdy canopies.

A slick parking operation meant the departing audience were soon on their way afterwards without any queues and overnight guests simply jumped in a buggy or walked back up to the house for a nightcap. Guest who aren’t watching a show can dine at normal time in the Orangery or in the hotel’s more formal Wordsworth restaurant.

audience at Kilworth House theatre

The audience awaits curtain up… (well, the start of the show). The blur in the foreground was actually a smoking fire effect

cast of Joseph at Kilworth House theatre

Young Joseph (front) receives the applause from the appreciative audience

Kilworth House breakfast

After a good night’s sleep (although to be honest, the bedroom walls did seem rather thin, or maybe my neighbours were rather hard-of-hearing, as I could hear their TVs on both sides, but thankfully I always have earplugs) the sun enticed me outside for a walk before breakfast in the Orangery where the sunshine was so bright I was glad I still had my sunglasses with me.

sun shining in the Orangery restaurant

The bright sunshine flooding the Orangery in the morning

Breakfast (£13.50 if not included in room price) was excellent value, with a large buffet selection and superbly cooked to order hot dishes, including smoked kippers, Eggs Benedict and Scottish Smoked Salmon toasted bagel. A full English for me with the daily paper was, as always, my preferred way to start any day and the excellent coffee kept on coming.

full English breakfast Kilworth House hotel

My tasty full English

There was just was time to have a tour of the hotel with Elizabeth Payne, the charming and long-serving hotel manager who has done such a great job at Kilworth House. We had a good nosy around the luxury rooms, many of which had elevated bathrooms and free-standing baths, plus the addition of port and home-made fudge, as well as the Wordsworth restaurant, Library Bar and underground Cellar Bar.

Wordsworth restaurant at Kilworth House

The more formal Wordsworth restaurant

Four poster bedroom in Kilworth House hotel

A few of the rooms at Kilworth House have four-poster beds

free-standing bath at Kilworth House

… while some have free-standing baths, this one in splendid isolation on a level of its own!

I finally reluctantly departed Kilworth House but I certainly hope to be back before long.

view from back of Kilworth House hotel

The view of Kilworth House from the back of the hotel

Hotel information and to book Kilworth House

Kilworth House hotel, Lutterworth Road, Kilworth, Leicestershire
[email protected]

Garden Rooms for two people on a bed and breakfast basis start from £145 per night, Luxury Rooms for two people on a bed and breakfast basis from £215.
For dinner bed and breakfast the Garden Rate is from £205 and a Luxury Room from £280 based on two sharing.
Theatre breaks at Kilworth House start from £131.50 per person including a three-course pre-theatre dinner, tickets to Kilworth House theatre, bed and breakfast.

Book Kilworth House on Booking.com

Visit Kilworth House on Tripadvisor 

If you like this article – then Pin it!

Kilworth House pinterest

My stay was provided by Kilworth House, a member of the PoB Hotels collection of 50 luxury hotels across the UK. If you like this review then check out other PoB Hotels reviewed by ALadyofLeisure.com including: Medieval magic with a modern twist at The Swan hotel, Lavenham; Make yourself at home at the grand but friendly Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon; Talbooth House: an almost-perfect stay at a lovely luxury hotel in Essex 

If you love hotels with added entertainment then check out these hotels with cinemas:



You may also like