Recently we were lucky enough to spend a heavenly weekend at The Grove, the beautiful luxury hotel just 18 miles from central London and a stone’s throw away from the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – the making of Harry Potter. It’s really not far for us, just a quick 20 minute drive, and I often visit to walk around the lovely gardens with my friend David, the Head Gardener. The estate gardens are utterly beautiful at this time of year, and we were lucky enough to arrive just as the most incredible sunset was lighting up the sky with a display of pinks and oranges.
The original part of the house dates back to the 18th century and was most famously owned by the 5th Earl of Clarendon, who was chums with Queen Victoria, who often popped over for a weekend break, apparently. Our ‘deluxe kingsize’ bedroom was located in this part of the house, easily accessed by a spiral staircase from the main reception. We actually did a huge double take when we walked in for the first time. How beautiful is this room? We also had a bathroom to die for, with a roll top free standing bath and huge walk in shower and marble sink unit.
Christmas is a gorgeous time to spend a weekend at The Grove. The decorations are absolutely beautiful, and there’s a crackling log burning fire to welcome you in. As we arrived there was much excitement as a huge gingerbread house was being constructed in the lobby. Friendly Harry, The Grove’s Executive Chef, constructed the mammoth building with the help of lots of the little guests and over 2,500 sweets. The smell was absolutely divine.
With a dinner reservation in The Stables restaurant – the relaxed family restaurant by the golf club – to look forward to, we headed to my favourite place at The Grove, the old Mansion Lounges for a pre-dinner drink. This snug series of little rooms is in the original part of the house and I just love it there. We had an elegant room with a roaring fire all to ourselves.
After a delicious dinner ham hock and confit chicken terrine with chutney made from produce from the walled garden, and great steaks with huge fat chips at The Stables, we headed back to the Mansion Lounges for a nightcap before calling it a night.
The weekend we visited, there was a wedding on the Saturday night in the potting shed (we didn’t hear a thing) and the next morning, as we walked through the chilly walled garden after our huge breakfast, the lawns and paths were dotted with discarded flowers, corsages and bouquets all sparkling with frost (I wish we’d picked some up, but of course they’d been cleared up when we looked again).
Everywhere you look in the gardens there’s quirky topiary, with something like 40 sculptures and works of art. It’s a lovely place to spend an hour blowing away the cobwebs.
After a restorative hot chocolate, it was time for some pampering, and we made the short walk to the spa where Mr E had a lovely massage and I opted for an ESPA Personalised facial and eye lift. I was quite surprised at the intensity of the massage and pressure point work involved, but the results were incredible and although quite firm, the facial still managed to be really relaxing. It was seriously effective as well, with some decent lifting and firming results that have lasted well over a week already. The Sequoia Spa at The Grove is an utterly beautiful space with the most incredible looking black swimming pool, which makes you feel like you’re swimming in the bottomless ocean. So relaxing!
A special offer just for you!
If you’d like to visit the beautiful Sequoia Spa at The Grove, why not take advantage of their incredible two for one special offer on Retreat and Restore midweek spa days? For £250, you and a friend can luxuriate in the Sequoia Spa, plus pamper yourselves with an amazing retreat and restore treatment ritual which includes body brushing, warm essential oils, hot stone massage and eye lifting facial treatment, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes and all included in the package. It would make the most wonderful Christmas gift (with the bonus that you get the treat too!). The offer is valid throughout January, so grab yours before it’s gone!
If you’d like to recreate our magical winter weekend at The Grove, check our their fabulous Christmas package. They also have a great 4 nights for 3 offer!