Beaverbrook – Leatherhead, Surrey
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Beaverbrook is a magnificent addition to Britain’s crop of must-visit country house hotels. We’ve been, we’ve seen, we’ve stayed, we’ve played (several times) and it’s fabulous. Originally Cherkley Court, the former mansion of Lord Beaverbrook has weekenders falling over themselves to revel in the 19th-century wedding cake architecture and Susie Atkinson interiors: grand yet homely, romantic, floral and fun – and underpinned by historical photographs of the newspaper magnate and his famous visitors, like Elizabeth Taylor and Rudyard Kipling. There’s Japanese cuisine in the dining room – try the incomparable black cod – stunning views across formal gardens, a 470-acre woodland estate including a treehouse for the kid’s club, and the separate brick and flint Garden House, offering a bar, Anglo-Italian restaurant, cookery school and 11 bedrooms, bringing the total to 35. But the crowning glory is the new holistic Coach House Spa, designed by stained glass artist Brian Clarke, with bespoke skin products and treatments. All this so close to London, in the heart of the Surrey Hills.
Doubles from £370
+44 (0)1372 571300; beaverbrook.co.uk