Heckfield Place – Hook, Hampshire
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Like the water lilies on its two lakes that unfurl in the afternoon sun, this new country house hotel has elegantly blossomed into life. You can swim in the lake, picnic in the woods and wander around the hotel’s own soon-to-be certified biodynamic greenhouses, market garden and farm. Inside, there’s a sense of warmth and flop-down homeliness, with lime plaster walls in natural colours, linens, English oak floors, handcrafted furniture and matting woven from sweet-smelling River Ouse rush. Heckfield Place, once home to Charles Shaw-Lefevre, who became Speaker of the House of Commons in the 19th century, is artistic (fine 20th-century English pictures from the owning Chan family’s private collection), literary (a library of interesting books in the Morning Room and bedrooms) and entertaining (The Assembly is its curated programme of films and events). There’s also a discreet wellness spa, and the authentic and delicious cooking of celebrated chef Skye Gyngell at the Marle and Hearth restaurants, plus afternoon tea in the beautiful Glass House. As for the bedrooms, they are simply lovely and include six distinctive and original Signature Rooms.
Doubles from £350
+44 (0)118 932 6868; heckfieldplace.com