Driving up the elegant, sweeping drive in the pouring rain, I’m immediately relaxed. I love coming to Stoke Park, it’s the go-to hotel when we need a weekend away, and it always does the trick.
I’m fascinated by the history of the place, the impressive mansion, set in acres of garden, and a golf course, was designed by James Wyatt. The historic parkland, worked on by both ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton is expansive and impressive; it’s easy to see why it was chosen as the backdrop for two James Bond films and Bridget Jones’s diary.
You can stay in the mansion, in one of the period rooms, or above the spa and health club in the Pavilion. This time we are in the Pavilion. We have stayed in both, and although I appreciate the traditionally furnished rooms of the mansion, I prefer the contemporary, spacious suites of the Pavilion. Even the corridors are fab! Simple white and neutral furnishings with colour added through lighting and art.
Our room is a junior suite and is a good size, with lovely views out over the golf course and gardens.
The bathroom is huge with a separate walk in shower area, lashings of marble and quality sanitary ware. However, it does feel a little austere, some art or flowers would soften the edges a little. The lights are on a sensor, perfect for nocturnal trips to the bathroom, not so great for luxuriating in the bath, I kept having to wave my arms around to activate the sensor :)
On Saturday night, we have a fabulous meal, the atmosphere is perfect with moody lighting and antiqued mirrors reflecting the candle light. The banquettes are comfortable, and a good height, I find many restaurants don’t think about the dining experience when choosing furniture and you end up being thoroughly uncomfortable with your knees up around your ears or squashed under a table, but the designers got it just right here.
After dinner, we retire to ‘The Chapel’, by far my favourite room in the hotel. The walls are adorned with the most intricate wood carving, and the open fire is a treat on this blustery evening.
At the end of the evening and not relishing the walk back to the Pavilion in my finery and completely impractical shoes, we gratefully accept a lift. A really nice touch and great customer service.
Sunday morning comes too soon and Breakfast is served in the sunny Orangery.
We spend the rest of the day wallowing in the Spa and strolling around the grounds, a wonderful end to a perfect weekend!
To find out more about the history of the hotel (helpful for the History of Styles notebook KLC peeps) take a look at the online version of the centenary book.