Good Hotel Guide Review
Meghan Markle spent the night before her wedding at this ‘magnificent’ Italianate mansion in ‘glorious’ National Trust grounds on a bluff above the Thames. Built by Sir Charles (Palace of Westminster) Barry, its rollcall of past guests includes Queen Victoria, Kipling, Nancy Astor, the Beatles… A luxury hotel since 1985, now on top form, ‘sublime’, ‘a very special place’, ‘eccentric but fabulous’, ‘the definitive country house’. Even the cheapest club rooms, in the garden wing, with views over the acclaimed spa’s garden, have antique furniture, a private terrace with hot tub. Junior suites are replete with original features, paintings, fine furniture, perhaps a rococo fireplace. In a ‘flawless’ dining room dripping with chandeliers, Paul O’Neill’s ‘exquisite’ cooking includes such dishes as wild halibut, cèpe, artichoke, chestnut; loin of roe deer Wellington. There are separate menus for vegans and vegetarians; also for children, who are welcomed if not so actively catered to as at sister hotel Chewton Glen, New Milton (see entry). In the Astor Grill in the old stables, an all-day menu offers steaks, burgers, beer-battered fish of the day. Overall, ‘expensive but worth every penny’. (MC)
47. Some on ground floor, 1 suitable for disabled.
Great Hall, bar/lounge, library, 2 restaurants, private dining rooms, free Wi-Fi, in-room TV (Freeview), civil wedding licence, spa, swimming pools, 376-acre National Trust estate, public areas wheelchair accessible.
all day in public areas.
all ages welcomed.
allowed in bedrooms, public areas (excl. 1 restaurant, spa, parts of garden).
Amex, MC, Visa.
per room B&B £445–£1,535. Tasting menu £98, à la carte £73. 1-night bookings sometimes refused.