At a time when being British feels confusing, Brexit, Prince Harry marrying an American and I recently found out Fish and Chips originates from Spain, Chewton Glen is the perfect antidote. A place that feels inherently British, but Britain at it’s best. A hotel that makes you proud to be British.
Even the drive through the New Forest to get there is special. Moorlands on either side of you, wild ponies dotting the roadsides and at times a glimpse of the sea.
We stayed in a classic room which was one of their most basic and it was the size of my London flat. A massive bed, enormous bath, the fluffiest of fluffy robes and the comfiest slippers – I was in heaven!
After we’d settled in we headed down to reception to get directions for the short walk to the sea. A meandering walk through the hotel grounds following a little stream, through a lovely forest path and you, arrive at the sea facing the Isle of White. A short 10 minutes walk but the windy cost with a little cafe feels miles away. If your feeling ambitious you can walk all the way to Lymington.
After a blustery walk, what better way to warm up than in the spa. For me, this was the only area Chewton Glen fell down. On the face of it, it had everything – hydrotherapy pool, sauna, pool, outdoor hot tub but it somehow didn’t live up to the rest of the experience. The pool and hot tub were too cold, it was busy but without atmosphere and although there were seats by the pool, it lacked somewhere you felt you wanted to sit, relax and read the paper.
Later that evening we had a drink at the bar (excellent G&T’s) and dinner in the restaurant. The restart is a long narrow room with one depth of tables on either side which meant it was either very busy or if a couple of tables left you could quickly feel like you were dining in quite an empty restaurant. The food, however, was delicious. Venison cooked perfectly with black currents followed by a perfect crème brule.
For breakfast, we treated ourselves to room service. There’s something so deliciously naughty about eating a full English in your dressing gown – especially when served with proper silver cutlery.
Whilst the food was outstanding and the location stunning, the thing that really makes Chewton Glen really special is the staff. I have never been made to feel so welcomed by a hotel and to treat it as a home away from home.
To top it all off were sent on our way with a car picnic of juice and homemade biscuits! The comfort of being sent off with a car picnic reminded me of being a child driving back from my grans as I daydreamed about when I would return….