checking in | stoke park

We certainly do love getting out of the city for a country break but sometimes we want to keep the travelling to a minimum. Five-star country house hotel Stoke Park ticks both boxes – set on beautiful grounds with a lake and lots of rolling green, it feels a world away from London but in reality is only just outside the M25.

The most spectacular part of the property is the Mansion, which was originally built way back in the 1790s before being turned into the UK’s first country club in 1908. With a sweeping staircase, grand chandeliers and beautiful tapestries, it really is quite the building. You may even recognise it from silver screen appearances in two Bond films (Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies), and Layer Cake.

The rooms are just as ornate. Ours, the Edward Coke room, has a giant four poster bed, a velvet sofa, and plush furnishings; a massive bathroom with a free-standing, claw-footed tub, separate rain head shower, two sinks and Aromatherapy Associates products; and a shared balcony that overlooks the championship golf course.

Given that the spa, along with the swimming pool, indoor racket courts and games room, is in the newer Pavilion building, you can’t get straight into that robe as you have to walk across from the Mansion. We know, it’s a tough life. It also means checking in for your treatments takes a little longer as you have to be directed to the correct changing room to access a specific locker so you can shed the clothes and robe up. From then on it’s chill vibes all the way. We had a Thalgo Marine Wellbeing full body massage, which was just what the doctor ordered after days spent hunching over a keyboard. There’s even a relaxation room, with large beds, ambient music and low lighting should you feel the need to nap post-treatment.

With Italian brasserie San Marco in the Pavilion and both The Orangery and Humphry’s in the Mansion, there’s actually a lot of choice for food relative to the number of rooms. The 3 AA Rosette Humphry’s is Stoke Park’s fine dining restaurant, and with white tablecloths and 1920s-style music in the background, it’s all a bit Downton Abbey. Head Chef Chris Wheeler serves up a classics-with-a-modern-twist menu, including dishes like scallops with pork belly; pan fried red mullet with pak choi and carrot; roast duck with artichoke puree, kale and orange & ginger jus; and plum souffle with muscovado ice cream. All the plates are presented beautifully and you get little treats of canapes, amuse bouches and pre-desserts even if you go a la carte, so dinner here really does feel like an occasion.

The Orangery, right next door to Humphry’s and overlooking the grounds, is the more relaxed option and is where breakfast is served. The spread is decent, with both a continental and hot buffet on offer plus other hot dishes like eggs benedict and pancakes available to order.

From the spa to the hotel service, Stoke Park really delivers on the R&R front, and at less than an hour from London it’s easy to treat yourself to a night of luxury.

Stoke Park, Country Club, Spa and Hotel, Park Rd, Stoke Poges SL2 4PG
stokepark.com