Words Pendle Harte
Formerly the home of Lord Beaverbrook, the past owner of the Daily Express, Beaverbrook House has a visitor’s book that reads like a Who’s Who of the 20th century. This was a site dedicated to entertaining, and Winston Churchill was a regular guest. It’s a beautiful building surrounded by spectacular landscaped grounds, complete with a folly. A vast new spa set to open this summer when the main hotel is unveiled. At just 19 miles from Piccadilly Circus, this is as close to home as a country weekend gets.
We are in the 11-bedroom Garden House, which is the first part of the new hotel to open. Beautifully decorated in muted shades throughout, it has a focus on plants and fresh produce. Window sills everywhere are filled with pots of greenery. Our adjoining rooms Lovage and Rosemary are fully equipped with shelves of vintage Penguin paperbacks and Ladybird books as well as lovely Bamford products and Apple TV in a stylish mix of the traditional and the cutting edge.
This is a foodie spot and has its own cookery school (it’s a stylish and spacious room fully equipped tech-wise while retaining an organic feel) as well as a vegetable garden and a kitchen with grand plans. The dining room is pure joy: flooded with sunlight, there are lots of cushions and everything is in stylish shades of sage. Food is fresh, healthy and creative – and the restaurant attracts non-residents from all around.
Not many hotels can offer up Sharky and George to entertain their guests’ children, but Beaverbrook has an entire hidden encampment in the woods dedicated to play. It’s headed up by this duo behind all the kids parties that count. At 10am on a drizzly Sunday morning, our children are greeted by two enthusiastic faces, instructed to don raincoats and wellies, and whisked away to the treehouse. They return fed and happy several hours later. Which gives parents the ultimate luxury: several hours of quiet and the Sunday papers. Genius.
Beaverbrook, Reigate Road, Surrey KT22; 01372 571300