Last month, my husband and I were invited to a wedding in the countryside, near Norwich. It took place in a beautiful, oh-so-English mansion, decorated in the most delightful way. After a walk in the gardens, feeling the drizzle but magically unaffected by it, we both agreed that the colder weekends were best spent away from London.
And so, a few weeks later, to make the arrival of November a celebration rather than a very sad story, I packed my little family and off we went to Coworth Park
for a rather luxurious break. Coworth Park is part of the Dorchester Collection and while it is a country property rather than a big city hotel, it adheres to the same principles when it comes to luxury accommodation and service. Everything there is perfect. From the tweed uniforms of the many members of staff, to the vast grounds, down to the equestrian apparel. The property is located a mere 25 miles away from London (it was a short 45 minutes drive from our Notting Hill flat) but it feels like being much, much further. It was a real break from the Big Smoke.
The living room in our Gardener’s Cottage
A wonderful welcome for little kids, complete with balloons, colouring book, games, bathrobe and cute little slippers. Luxury isn’t just for grown-ups!
Mini and I had some big plans for our first day: we would make the most of the equestrian centre and go for a long ride around the magnificent grounds. When we arrived at Coworth Park, we had just enough time to put our bags down in the Gardener’s Cottage (the equivalent of a Junior Suite, perfect for a family of three or a romantic weekend), wolf down a room service burger from The Barn and it was time to jump in a buggy to the stables. There we were met by Gavin (manager of the equestrian centre) and Rosie (Mini’s instructor). We got acquainted with our horses, Oscar the stubborn – but hilarious – hunting horse for me and Dusty the show pony for Mini. We were both suitably impressed with our steeds and were promptly on our way.
Mini and me, feeling a little too cool for school in our chic riding gear
Ready to go!
Note Oscar’s lovely blanket
An hour or so later, we were back in our warm and extremely cosy room, ready to sample one of Coworth Park’s most notorious treats: a long soak in one of their stunning copper tubs.
Attention to detail: the hallway has a shoe rack, bench and many different hooks for coats, wellies etc.
This is possibly the best bath I’ve ever had. Nothing quite like a hot bath after a long walk or ride in the cold
Getting ready is a breeze in the large marble bathroom
Having thoroughly enjoyed a bit of girl bonding time in the great outdoors, I decided it was time for us to have slightly different pursuits for the rest of the afternoon. Mini got stuck in her colouring books and puzzles and I shared a lovely cup of coffee in the conservatory with Justin.
Coffee in the conservatory
We were having such a great time, next thing we knew we had to head over to The Barn (the more informal restaurant) for dinner. I will post a full review of that soon, for now all I will say is that it was as delicious as the rest of our stay.
A couple hours later, we were back in the room, filled with family love (and amazing food) and ready to go to bed.
The four poster bed – a dream
We woke up with a knock on the door signalling us it was time to sample yet more delicacies. Breakfast was served in the conservatory, to the sound of geese honking in the distance.
Continental vs. English breakfast
After check-out, we borrowed some Pashley bikes from the front desk and went on a little adventure around the grounds. You can also borrow the bikes to visit the nearby towns if you want, there are apparently two Heston Blumenthal restaurants very near the hotel. Once that was done, we hopped in our car and drove 45 minutes back to London, happily chatting about our horses, cosy beds and the merits of hotel bathrobes. Family adventures really are a glorious thing!
Mademoiselle Robot was a guest of Coworth Park