The woman behind Milsom Hotels: who is she?

Geraldine Milsom

Geraldine Milsom - Credit: Archant

Geraldine Milsom is Director of Milsom Hotels & Restaurants. She and her husband Paul Milsom live in Dedham with their two sons Charlie and Jack and two dogs. Geraldine has been the trailblazer for infusing contemporary design in their hotels and has been accredited with an award from Andrew Martin. With the recent project of Idle Waters, a self-catering cottage across from Le Talbooth on the River Stour now complete - Geraldine’s attention now moves to her next ‘mission’ … the Kesgrave Hall Spa. She talks to Gina Long, MBE

Geraldine and her family

Geraldine and her family - Credit: Archant

What is your connection to East Anglia?

It's always been home to me. I lived with my parents in Kelvedon, school was New Hall near Chelmsford and now my home is Dedham with my husband Paul, two sons, Charlie and Jack, our nutty Marley and six-month old puppy Occuy, both Cocker-Poos.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

Precious time with family and friends, we have so many close mates nearby so life is never dull… or quiet… not terribly good for the health, but hey life is short!

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

There's not much to hate… but Surf Snowdonia East Anglia - for a great East Anglian wave would be nice.

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What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Actually I've got four… I won't list them but they can all be found on

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

We are out quite a lot and I love it, but truthfully I love being at home with my boys, a fire and a movie - perfect!

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

The Essex road sign on my way back from Cornwall.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

When all the awnings go back up in the restaurants ....signalling that summer is around the corner.

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

I guess Farrow and Ball paint colours.

What is always in your fridge?

Rosé, cheese and chocolate - do any of those count towards '5 a day'?

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Making every moment count, including telling my boys I love them.

What's your favourite film?

I love so many films - but a series I was completely hooked on was Homeland - I'd even secretly watch three episodes and then rewind them - and watch them all over again with the boys.

What was your first job?

Dull. Dull. Dull - a junior clerk with NatWest Bank - and I always seemed to get put on the worst job - printing cheque books - noisy, dirty and mind blowingly boring.

What is your most treasured possession?

My boys….

Who do you admire most?

My husband - and his ability to run our business - our industry is a challenge in the current climate, but as a company we are still moving forward with new and exciting things.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Shoes… so many reasons to have so many pairs…..

What do you like about yourself most?

I worry about people … which I think is a good thing.

What's your worst character trait?

Worrying too much.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

North Cornwall when the sun is shining - and the surf is good - is the best. However, Barbados is a little more reliable for both those things.

Best day of your life?

The day I got married - after seven years together - I was worried he wasn't actually going to ask me.

What's your favourite breakfast?

A bacon butty and a mug of builder's tea.

What's your favourite tipple?

It's generally known that I love a glass of rosé but Ott Rosé has to be my favourite.

What's your hidden talent?

I guess surfing photography...well I should be quite good at it I spend hours perched on a cliff top taking pictures of my sons and Paul.

When were you most embarrassed?

Walking straight into a shut glass door - in full view of my husband and three of our closest mates - it was definitely a 'you've been framed' moment - I felt so silly.

What's your earliest memory?

Well, early memory and the funniest was sending myself to bed, when with a group of friends we knocked down a wall at their parent's house.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I have to say I haven't thought about it, buy my husband Paul would have 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I can surf.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I don't tend to dwell on those things, but we did laugh when someone said to Paul, they didn't like the new look at The Pier and perhaps he should fire his Interior Designer... we are all entitled to our opinion I suppose.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.

Our life and livelihood are here and of course, the beautiful countryside, access to London and being surrounded by family and friends.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Two exciting events this year, the amazing Midsummer Nights Party, which took place June 22 in West Suffolk supporting our close friends Gina and Andrew Long and their GeeWizz Charity, raising £75,000. I'm so proud that we 'Milsom Catering' fed the 500 guests. On Thursday September 26 I am hosting the second Charity Fashion Show for GeeWizz in the Hangar, we have just announced that tickets are available. For more details go to

Looking ahead to February 2020, we open a new and amazing Spa in the grounds of Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Suffolk.

Follow Gina Long @geewizzgee1 Email:

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