By Stephanie Mason
I woke up this morning and I was unable to contain my excitement, today is the day I finally get to stay at Stoke Park Country club spa & hotel. As we turned onto the driveway leading to the hotel I was absolutely gobsmacked!!! It was like something out of a movie, well in this case it literally is…. Home to movie classics such as James bond, Layer cake, Rock and Rolla and my favorite - Bridget Jones, here’s hoping I’ll find my Mr. Darcy during my stay… one can only dream!
After having a latte on the grass terrace that overlooks part of the golf course, we are greeted by Nick who is the Hotel’s head of communications. Nick kindly took the time to show me round the hotel.
Stoke Park estate dates back over nine hundred years but it was the architect James Wyatt who worked on the mansion and monuments from 1790. The tour started off in the Mansion hotel and as we arrive in the beautifully designed conference room Nick informs me that this was the inspiration for the oval office in the White House. There is also a cozy bar with a fireplace, breakfast and restaurant room and Humphry’s fine dining restaurant – which I will be eating in later on this evening – which is named after Humphry Repton who was commissioned to update Capability Browns landscaping.
We head over to the second hotel on this 300 acre ground which is named The Pavilion, while the mansion screams luxury from the fine art on the walls to the chandelier hanging over the large staircase, the pavilion has a modern twist on luxury with amazing pop art and contemporary interiors.
They have a gym, kids games room, swimming pools, tennis courts – where a pre Wimbledon tournament called Boodles is played combining some of the world’s top tennis players and a English garden party – and a spa that I now have to head off to. After thanking Nick for his company and vast knowledge of the estate I am making my way to the spa reception for my Swedish massage, it’s a hard job but someone has to do it.
After jumping into a fluffy dressing gown and locking my goods away in what can only be described as a high tech locker that even James bond would have trouble getting into I head to the waiting room. They have specialty teas and magazines to keep you occupied whilst you wait. My masseuse comes to collect me and we head to the treatment room.
The mood is set with the relaxing soundtrack of a soft musical instrument – and not one peep from a whale, waterfall, sitar or animals from the amazon, perfect. The lighting is low and I am ready to relax, after 55minutes of perfect pressure falling in and out of consciousness while my masseuse worked out the knots in my muscles from head to toe, I’ve never felt more relaxed and content, it’s a treatment I would highly recommend, especially after a long stressful week at work.
I decide to head up to my room to get ready for dinner, I actually haven’t seen my room yet so I’m excited to see where I’ll be resting my head this evening. As I open the door the first thing I notice is the huge comfy looking bed which I so want to climb into after my amazing massage but I have a dinner date to get to. I step into the bathroom which is very generous in space, it has a stand alone bath with clawed feet to the left of me and a shower to the right, in front is two huge mirrors, perfect for us ladies to do our make up.
After ordering a passion fruit martini in the bar and browsing through the menu James and I are escorted to Humphry’s. You have a choice of eating from the A la Carte menu or the tasting menu but no matter which option you choose you really are spoilt for choice.
We decided to go for the a la carte menu, I started off with the Pan-fried Scallops with Mango, Smoked Eel Croquet and Bonito Flakes it was absolutely exquisite and just when I thought that couldn’t be topped here comes the Fillet of Brookfield Farm Beef that I ordered for my main…OMG my mouth literally started watering just looking at it. By far one of, if not the best steaks I’ve ever tasted, it was cooked to perfection and oozed flavors and it came accompanied with Truffle Potato Terrine, Sherry Glazed Onions, Watercress Purée and Red Wine Jus that really complemented the steak.
Then for the finale I had Crème Caramel with Caramelised Apple, Dehydrated Sponge and Granny Smith Sorbet. It was delicious and the perfect end to the most delicious meal, hats off to Chris Wheeler, executive chef, and the other chefs and his staff, it was really an amazing meal and wonderful service.
After dinner we decide to head back to the bar, I wanted to try something new so I went for a grapefruit martini which is a must if you like sweet cocktails with a kick. After a bottle of house red wine with our meal and two cocktails it was definitely time for bed.
As I woke up in the morning after a wonderful night’s sleep I take a moment and soak in the rich interior of the room, I then make myself a coffee that is provided in all the rooms and go and sit on the balcony. The view is stunning and helped by the beaming sunrise, as I sit here taking in the beauty of these 300 acres, it will be sad to leave but I will definitely be coming back with the girls!!
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