Harley Denham visits the luscious estate, located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Hartwell House can be accessed through a private drive leading into the grounds, with ample amounts of parking available and a turning circle located outside the front, where coaches can pull up to allow passengers to unload their luggage and enter.
Guests will then be kindly greeted by staff. On our right was the main reception area, where guests could check in and collect their keys – with morning tea and a newspaper available upon request. We were guided to our room by a member of staff who advised us on where to find the restaurant and the two bars on-site, providing further information about its surrounding gardens.
Our room overlooked the front of the house, with bay windows overlooking the grounds to the right where the cattle graze. The room consisted of a four poster bed, dressing table and deluxe lounge area. In the bathroom, there were complimentary robes and fresh towels, with a large sink area and deep bath to soak. Once settled, we headed to the café bar for afternoon tea overlooking the spa, pool and jacuzzi. Afternoon tea consisted of a selection of salmon, cucumber, egg and cress, mature cheddar and balsamic shallot chutney sandwiches, accompanied by fruit scones, traditional pastries and cakes – all served with a traditional English tea.
The main restaurant is located towards the back of the house overlooking the lawn, where guests can enjoy a traditional English breakfast, lunch and famous fine dine dinner. Private dining is available in The Octagon Room, which can hold up to 26 people and the Doric Dining Room, which can hold up to 36 people. We decided to explore the 90-acre stretch of land around the property, heading over the stone bridge and walking around the lake, where we found plenty of places to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Highlights included a bench overlooking the lake, a large tree stump, a jetty and a small bridge with water overflowing from the lake into a river via a flowing waterfall, where we could also observe the abundant wildlife living on the grounds.
The following day, I was booked in for a 55-minute Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience treatment around 1200hrs, with further use of the Hartwell Spa. My therapist Alice was fantastic.
Firstly, she launched into a few questions to determine the best oil to use, with the product chosen reminding me of childhood visits to Scotland with my Mum and Nan. Whilst in the treatment room, calming music played, with the smell of scented oils and a soothing massage leaving me feeling completely relaxed and refreshed. Afterwards, I made use of the spa facilities. I noticed there was an outside heated pool, which even in the cold weather, was still being used by hotel guests. To conclude our visit, we embarked on a final walk around the grounds, resting in front of the fire in the main lounge to dry off before leaving.
Hartwell House is located an hour’s drive from London and other attractions such as Waddesdon Manor (a National Trust property), Blenheim Palace, Aylesbury Waterside (Theatre) and Bicester Village.
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