The Grove provided media rates for Anna’s stay. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino.
There are quite a few stately homes that have been converted into hotels within an hour’s drive of London, but the one that many Londoners choose to escape to again and again is The Grove. Why? Because despite being only a 40-minute drive from the city centre, when you arrive at The Grove it feels like you are in the depths of rural England.
From the moment you spot the pair of giant topiary giraffes peering over the wall into the car park at you, you know that this is a country house hotel with a twist. Each corner that you turn as you explore the beautifully manicured English gardens leads you to another surprise.
Giant walnuts lie scattered at the foot of one tree, swirling sculptures rise out of another patch of ground and then there is the beach piled with fine golden sand, miles from the coast.
Inside the scenery is just as enchanting. Interior designers have had fun mixing pared down luxury with subtle touches of humour.
There are a range of bedrooms and suites to choose from. A family of four can comfortably fit in one of the spacious family rooms in the West Wing or you might prefer two interconnecting rooms or even a suite. You’ll find a little toy caddy full of age appropriate toys and books and in the large bathrooms there are toweling robes and slippers for you and mini you.
If you’re here for a romantic weekend without the kids opt for a room or a suite of rooms in the more opulent mansion wing, then order breakfast in bed and stick to the spa and Colette’s fine dining restaurant and you may never see anyone of school age or under for your entire stay.
The hotel cleverly keeps couples away from families without either party being aware it’s happening.
There are four restaurants on site. Snacks and a wonderful afternoon tea are served in the lounges and gardens. Set within the original stable block, The Stables offers traditional home-cooked food such as pizza and steak. Then there is The Glasshouse, a smart buffet-style restaurant where chefs put together delicious dishes before your eyes and the best bit is you get to go back for more!
The Sunday lunch here is particularly popular and needs to be booked a few weeks in advance. Last, but certainly not least, Colette’s is the highly credited formal dining restaurant, no under 16s allowed, so you’ll need to book a babysitter for this one.
If it’s sunny the first thing you must do is grab a bike – they have them for all ages – and follow the trail that takes you through the hotel’s beautiful grounds and then out along the canal path. Stop to admire the traditionally painted houseboats moored up along the banks and if you’re lucky you might get to see how the canal locks are operated to allow boats to pass along it.
Return to the hotel for a game of golf, tennis, croquet, table tennis, football, volleyball or snooker. Follow this up with a swim in the indoor or outdoor pools or sink your toes into the sand at the beach! Situated within the lovely old walled garden, alongside the outdoor pool, is an urban beach complete with all the tools you need to make a sand palace.
The Walled Garden is also where you will find the very well equipped Anouska’s Kids’ Club. It takes children from three months to eleven years and with a large indoor and outdoor play area it will keep them busy for a few hours whilst you spoil yourselves in the tranquil Sequoia Spa.
If you’re planning a UK holiday mixing the Capital with the countryside, this is the place to base yourself! We loved The Grove so much we added it to the CB! Hotel Collection. Read the full kid-friendly review of The Grove for details and to check availability for the latest and greatest family offers. Connect with a Family Travel Advisor who will help you with your booking.
Photos by Anna Tobin unless otherwise noted
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.