Travel Tribe – Follow Me!

The continent calls with a bevy of reimagined historic estates, buzzy city hotels in London and further afield to Marbella. All in the name of seeking the most luxurious pillow menus, fine dining, and museum offerings. Clients demand it, and I decamp!

Inspired Estate. Heckfield Place is the very latest in countryside lodgings, albeit fairly close to London, but far enough removed, resting amidst 400 acres of secluded Hampshire grounds. A parkland setting of formal garden terraces and provocatively described pleasure grounds. The epitome of Georgian excellence, gently evolving for over 250 years, the property consists of walled landscaped gardens, an organic farm and extensive woods. Dig out your wardrobe for country pursuits: wellies and tweeds, and your herringbone woolen flat cap. Great British countryside at is best, activities include farm and orchard tours, fly fishing, ribbon wrapped posey bouquet class, horseback riding nearby, clay pigeon shooting. Discover the gardens and the hidden historic follies with one of the residential experts.

Heckfield Place, Hampshire heartlands.

Every month a selection of courses is offered in the ancient crafts and pursuits of happiness: create connect to craft this month its rush weaving and papermaking. Upcoming essential oils with too scent creators; master class in wooden spoon carving; oenophiles offered a tutorial tasting with senior sommelier; speaker events, circuit training; for kids: mud and guts outdoor activities. A plush screening room offers a curated program of films.

Heckfield Place soaking tub
Heckfield Place The Long Room offers complete seclusion, unrivaled views across the lakes and grounds, and luxurious spaces for entertaining under a Georgian vaulted ceiling.

Each signature room tells its own story, offering a connection to Heckfield history, a late Georgian Mansion. The rooms are split between the main house and the Corridors, reflecting the flawless design of Ben Thompson, who trained under Ilse Crawford, illustrating the brilliance of British interior design.

The emphasis on self-sustainability has been essential to the reimagining of the estate. From the website description: here it begins with the soil. The kitchen garden, greenhouses, and over 700 apple and plum trees in the ancient orchard on the five-acre farm will supply vegetables, milk, cheese, fruit, honey, and flowers to two on-site restaurants, Hearth and Marle. The restaurants are at the helm of celebrated chef and culinary director Skye Gyngell. Menus will rotate according to the season’s bounty. At the main restaurant, Marle, Gyngell devises a menu of just five daily-changing main dishes. 

The Little Bothy spa offers three spaces for personal training, yoga, and Pilates classes. Offering all-natural products from the Wildsmith Skin range. A perfect place to unwind and invigorate after a day of exploring the arboretum, the lakes and the walled gardens in the Hampshire heartlands.

Heckfield Place Screening Room

When the sun sets, follow me to the Moon Bar. Nestled in the center of the mansion, inspired by the lunar phases, Moon Bar Cocktails are unique to Heckfield in concept, presentation and most importantly in flavor. A unique list of handcrafted cocktails uses liquors, tinctures and infusions created with fresh ingredients from the Home Farm and gardens. The spirits range from exceptional classics to incredibly rare small batch discoveries.

Best sipped after sunset!

Moon Bar, Heckfield Place.

Journey Dispatch in April! Locations on my itinerary, sleeping over at: Heckfield Place, the newly opened Belmond Cadogan, The Dorchester, Cliveden House, and of course, at my little home at The Beaumont. Visiting the Four Seasons at Trinity Place and Firmdale’s Ham Yard. Marbella will include some site inspections, including a splendid Villa, but mostly meetings – but who complains about gatherings in the Costa del Sol? Oh, also winging through New York and slumming it at The Lowell, hopefully the fire will be crackling on my arrival. Yes, it’s work!

Travel Tribe – Follow me London Tales

There was a time when hotels and dining in London was never something to look forward to, in the past 20 years, the city has become one of the best foodie and hotel centric cities in the world. My London fixer is always the first to advise us on the current and best restaurants and I’m astonished that each time we inquire, he has a long list of new must dine settings.

Upcoming stay at a few new hotels and stopovers at my all-time favorites. Schlepping my light weight French bags isn’t always convenient by moving from hotel to hotel, but I’m eternally curious. New properties by old guard firms like Belmond always intrigue me, unique countryside properties whisper to me, especially if they are plopped riverside with vintage wooden water craft.

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Belmond Cadogan, London

Belmond Cadogan Hotel, proper city hotel with fresh opening in March and I will sleep over. Step inside and discover an indulgent city hideaway where every detail weaves together past and present. A longstanding boutique hotel in the fashionable Knightsbridge neighborhood will also grant you access to the lavish and secluded Cadogan Gardens and tennis courts.

If walls could talk, Cadogan would have some captivating stories to tell. The address has long been a playground for socialites and bohemians like Oscar Wilde and Lillie Langtry. Today they celebrate their past and heritage while offering modern, understated luxury. From the world-class restaurants and tranquil garden to quirky design details and in-room libraries, this is London living perfected.  

Belmond Cadogan, London

At a glance: 54 rooms and suites. Fine dining British restaurant, elegant bar, tea lounge and small café. Features: exclusive access to Cadogan Place gardens, fitness suite and library. Activities: shopping in Knightsbridge and Chelsea, privileged access to key London galleries and museums. An elegant garden featuring ornamental planting, sweeping lawns and tennis courts, Cadogan Place Gardens have remained relatively unchanged since it was laid out in 1886. Today it also boasts a selection of impressive trees, adding to the sense of privacy and exclusivity. We’ll provide blankets, deck chairs and board games; all you have to do is sit back, and let the time slip by. I hope to enjoy a sunny spring in London!

And out to the countryside to Cliveden House, a country estate quite well known for who has recently stayed, including Meghan Markle and her mum the night before the Royal Wedding!

Cliveden is a National Trust-owned estate in Buckinghamshire, on the border with Berkshire. Located in the heart of the English countryside, Cliveden is a luxury country house. 

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The Italianate mansion isn’t the only draw. The grounds surrounding the estate feature manicured lawns and gardens, picturesque gazebos, and even sculptures. The mansion was built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and is decorated with antique furniture and period features. It sits on 376 acres of National Trust grounds, which means it is protected by charity. Cliveden House has played host to every British monarch since George I and has been home to three Dukes, an Earl and Frederick Prince of Wales.

Several gardens overlook the River Thames, including the Japanese Water Garden, the six-acre Parterre garden, and the Rose Garden, in which 900 roses bloom during the summer. In the Cliveden Boathouse on the River Thames, you will find a lovingly restored flotilla of vintage launches.

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Cliveden House, UK

A jaunt down the River Thames in one of these exquisite treasures, whether for a glorious afternoon tea, a lazy picnic lunch or an indulgent champagne cruise to Henley, offers the ultimate in sheer effortless enjoyment. The most luxurious boat trips on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames you can imagine.

Both locations deserve more than a one-night visit, but a little appetizer for a lengthier sojourn!

Dispatch and review in April!

Cliveden House UK