A weekend, even a night away, without the kids is equivalent to a week in the Maldives these days. So restful, so good for the soul and so essential, I think, to keeping you sane and letting you feel like ‘you’ again, that it should be prescribed to overworked, dog-tired adults everywhere. And, if you only have one, maybe two nights ‘off’ a year, then you’ve got to make them count right? You’ve got to go somewhere really, really this-is-incredible special to make the most of it. Which is where Beaverbrook, a beautiful new country hotel in Surrey comes in…
The former home of Lord Beaverbrook (press baron and big honcho in the Second World War), the Beaverbrook estate takes up 400 glorious acres of the Surrey Hills. The views, for starters, are spectacular. When sitting on the front terrace, only one other building can be seen in the distance (another country house) and at night, not a single man-made light can be seen, just stars and stars and trees and stars. It’s pretty glorious.
What’s equally as glorious is the hotel (which incorporates The House and The Garden House, a restaurant with rooms set away from the main building). The history, for starters, is phenomenonal. Nearly all the movers and shakers of the early 20th century stayed here, from Charlie Chaplin to the Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill, (who apparently put together his War Cabinet in the library). You can feel it in the walls and imagine the house parties in full swing. It’s fabulous. The decor is also fabulous. Such rich colours and furnishings, such attention to detail…Designed by Susie Atkinson (the creative genius behind Babington House) it’s totally in fitting with the house, luxurious, opulent, yet contemporary too. Our room – Diana Cooper – featured a beautiful four poster, a huge bathroom and a stunning bath placed cleverly in the corner of the room (I don’t usually like baths in rooms, especially at the end of the bed or just plopped in the middle, but this was discreet, chic and done properly). With Bamford products in the bathroom and a bottle of Sipsmith Sloe Gin as a welcome gift (in every room), everything has been thought out to the nth degree.
With wood-panelled walls and squishy sofas, the library is the perfect place to read. Whilst the 1920s-style bar with its pink walls, teal bar stools and low-slung sofas is utterly beautiful, urging you stay for just one more drink (well, I couldn’t say no…) And a quick mention must go to the entrance hall with its sweeping staircase, amazing art, grand piano and – my favourite touch – music playing from a hidden sound system. The music, in fact, was one of things I loved most about Beaverbrook. The right music can create the perfect atmosphere, and the music (in all of the public spaces) was spot on. It made you feel as if you were at a house party, a lovely, friendly, welcoming and fabulous party where you were the best guest there – now that’s a pretty good feeling, right?
What else, what else? The food in both The Garden House (the restaurant with rooms situated away from the main house overlooking a meadow and vegetable gardens with an in-house cookery school) and The Dining Room was delicious. Whilst The Garden House specialised in Italian, The Dining Room is Japanese and under the watchful eye of former Nobu head chef Taiji Maruyama, it’s no wonder it’s won plaudits from critics and guests alike. The food was incredible – and fun – my husband tried sushi with a few dead ants on top (on purpose!) and it was a great talking point.
In fact, everything about Beaverbrook is a great talking point. It’s just a fabulous hotel. And, a hotel that is set to get even better with the opening of its mega new spa, complete with 3 pools, this winter. If you’re looking for somewhere to escape to, to love and to talk about for weeks after, then this glorious hotel is just the place.
Rooms in The House at Beaverbrook start from £350. Rooms in The Garden House start from £195 per night.
I enjoyed a complimentary stay at Beaverbrook in order to review it. I didn’t pay, but everything I’ve written above is true. It was amazing!