Wanting to unwind from the constant hustle and bustle of city life, then The Grove in Hertfordshire is the perfect escape. The sweeping driveway of this magnificent 300-acre country estate boasting lingering views either side of the rolling countryside, championship golf course and the odd Supercar, instantly transports you to the finer things in life. Looming over these glorious grounds is the beautiful Grade II-listed Mansion House where a tranquil and well-earned break is guaranteed.
From its centuries-old red-brick exterior to a more contemporary interior, The Grove effortlessly blends period décor with modern art and furniture throughout. Within the Mansion House there are 26 elegant rooms or suites and in the more contemporary West Wing 189 spacious, luxury rooms perfect for family breaks. Our Deluxe Room with French windows opening onto a small balcony, overlooked the perfectly manicured gardens with its towering ancient trees.
Indulgent ESPA toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and slippers just some of the nice boutique touches in the room plus a bathroom fit for royalty with free-standing roll top bath and walk-in shower.
But for my 8-year old son and 11-year old daughter it was the free Wi-Fi, an iPod docking station and huge television with Movies on Demand at the touch of a button that caught their eye.
For those wanting to be pampered from top-to-toe, a must is the Sequoia spa. Soothe and stimulate all your senses with some fabulous treatments from a carefully selected menu of Natura Bissé and ESPA treatments. Or simply spa to your hearts content using the fantastic facilities including pool, pool-side Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and vitality pool.
Tantalise your tastebuds:
There’s various five-star dining options both a short stroll through the gardens or by speedy transfer by golf buggy (which can be organised by the concierge).
The Glasshouse showcases the best international cuisines. Tuck into mouthwatering seafood platters, succulent roast meats to stir fry using your own choice of ingredients freshly prepared and wok fried by the chefs in front of your eyes.
The Stables, once the Stables for the riding and carriage horses of the estate is now a smart bar and restaurant with a country chic atmosphere. Simple food served to perfection includes succulent steaks, delicious home-made pies various fish dishes including beer battered fish and chips, our choice from the menu and a tasty one at that!
Out and about:
It may be the home of golf for many golf enthusiasts who come from far and wide to play on The Grove’s championship course, one of England’s finest, which hosted the 2016 British Masters. The 7,152 yard course was designed by the distinguished international course designer Kyle Philips.
However for those not handy with a club, worry not, as the grounds of this magnificent place will keep you busy exploring for hours. Reminiscent of a secret garden there’s discoveries around every corner. From contemporary artwork on the lawn, cast iron sculptures dotted around the gardens, sun catchers hanging from gigantic trees, topiary art including a huge giraffe sculpture which peers its long neck over the wall of the Walled Garden to a stunning water feature display ‘The Grand Canal’ which overlooks the golf course. Within the Walled Garden built in 1878 there are Tennis Courts, a heated Swimming Pool; and on the left a Croquet lawn, Bowls green and Vegetable area – not forgetting the eye-catching plants, flowers and herbaceous borders planted throughout.
The Grove’s new outdoor nature trails which launched this summer are great for adventurous kids. There’s the Wildlife Walk which takes you through Heath Wood, a woodland that has been at The Grove since the 17th Century, a 4-mile Cycle Trail which winds through woodland, parkland and along the tow path of the scenic Grand Union Canal and the Musical Meander Trail – each one can be explored by bike or on foot.
After a hearty breakfast we hired bikes (free of charge) from the Golf Shop and set off on the Musical Meander, following the trail map. Through the Formal Gardens around the Walled Garden into the magical woodland we followed the sign posted path to discover one by one a series of clearings with musical instruments. A Didgeridoo, Xylophone, Bamboo Bells, Pan Pipes and Organ Pipes to name but a few, each one made from bamboo and wood or various pipes and metal to make lots of different sounds when played. And played they were, noisily each one!
Room rates at The Grove start from £340 per room per night on a B&B basis.
Stay at The Grove this October half term for a short break with the family and enjoy 3 nights for the price of 2. Children can enjoy a whole host of Halloween themed activities including pumpkin carving, spooky treasure hunts and Halloween sponge painting, as well as the children’s indoor pool, bike hire, junior golf clinics and more. Dates apply between 16 – 29 October 2017.
The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG
For more information visit: www.thegrove.co.uk or call 01923 807807
Review by Charlotte Civil