One of the great pleasures of hotels is that they’re often very special buildings to which ordinary mortals would never normally have access. One shining example is Hartwell House, a Grade I listed stately home that was once occupied for five years by the exiled Louis XVIII. Inside, there are beautiful rooms with Rococo ceilings, antique furniture and paintings and an extraordinary Jacobean staircase, lined with statues of the knights of Europe guarding the way. The king’s wife, Marie Joséphine of Savoie, had them removed because their candlelit shadows frightened her. But worry not, if you think all this grandeur means pomp and ceremony. As with fellow National Trust-owned Historic House Hotels, Bodysgallen Hall and Middlethorpe Hall , the hospitality is natural and easy-going, the bedrooms as comfortable as they are grand and the food
as delicious as you would expect. And the hotel’s spa is a classically-themed delight.
Doubles from £325
+44 (0)1296 747444; hartwell-house.com
National Trust Waddesdon Manor, built in the style of a French chateau by the Rothschild family in the 1870s to display collections and entertain the fashionable world.
Little is more indulgent than taking Traditional Afternoon Tea in the elegant surroundings of the Hartwell House Morning Room, Drawing Room or Library overlooking the 90 acres of gardens and parkland
Enjoy luxury shopping at nearby Bicester Village, home to more than 160 designer and fashion brands with savings up to 60%. Ask at Hartwell House reception for an exclusive VIP Shopping Invitation for an additional 10% saving.
CLAIM TO FAME
When Hartwell House was home to the court of the exiled King Louis XVIII, the rooftop was converted into a miniature farm for his small animals.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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