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.
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.
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.
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!
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!