The last time I arrived as Chewton Glen, I was late. As I screeched to make the tight turn I managed to miss a bunch of people taking pictures. As I drove into the hotel, I was again greeted by about 100 people in Dinner Suits watching my arrival. This wasn’t any normal day, this was the end of Day one ‘Magnificent Seven’.
This time our arrival was a little more sedate. On the hottest day of the year, we had fought our way South to reach the hotel mid afternoon. Stepping out of the car I was greeted with the words, “Welcome to Chewton Glen, you can relax now.” Possibly the most welcoming phrase I could have heard! We handed over the car keys to the valet and wandered into the hotel. “Welcome back” came the greeting – we hadn’t even checked but they knew who we were, which is always a winning start.
The bags were despatched to the rooms and we headed to the bar. Sitting outside in the beautifully manicured gardens we ordered up some Pimms, only to be told they don’t serve Pimms but offered us a London Cup instead. Said Cup was actually a Gin based cocktail that was refreshing and slightly less sweet than Pimms. Still a great way to start the weekend!
We had booked two rooms in the main hotel, opting for the Croquet Lawn Rooms which overlooked the perfect lawn and across to the woods. More ‘suite’ than room, each one had a huge bed, massive sofa chairs and ample furniture (think sideboards and chests of drawers.)
The balcony looked out across the lawn with space for at least two chairs. The vast dressing room meant that I actually got some wardrobe space (a rarity on these travels) and there was a place for a small mirror and hairdryer. The bathroom was big enough to include a bath, double shower (one powerful shower at either end of the large cubicle) and enclosed loo for greater privacy. The plush carpets and thick walls meant we could not hear any one else around us which is always a bonus.
We dined at the hotel for both nights. The restaurant was situated across a number of interconnecting rooms and into the conservatory giving the sense of multiple intimate rooms all connected together. On both nights we had a plum location with a wonderful view across the restaurant and out to the gardens beyond. As a proper gent, I let the girls look out into the restaurant. The inclusion of subtly mirrored walls meant the I too had a view.
The extensive dining menu included an A La Carte option and a fancier tasting menu. We opted for A La Carte and dined on fresh local Oysters, Cheese Soufflé and a pumpkin curry. The wine list was a sight to behold, with a vast selection of classic ands new world wines. With a little help from our Sommelier, we chose a classic French Bordeaux and a wonderful Italian Red on the following night. Young Jamie, our wine waiter (under sommelier? He must have a better title than that) looked after us with the wine preparation. He wheeled in this large chest that wouldn’t look out of place in a magic show. He gently advised us that it had a formal name which I promptly forgot.)
The first night was hot enough to take coffee on the terrace as we watched the bats fly into the night.
A thoroughly indulgent day of snoozing, spa treatments and a delicious Afternoon Tea rounded off the second and last day of our short trip.
We’d been at Chewton Glen for less than 48 hours but felt like we’d been there for days. The hotel grounds, beautiful manicured enveloped you in luxury cocooning you from reality for just a brief period! Free, fast wifi was readily available so you could stay connected if needed.
Without exception the staff were charming, helpful and discreet which added to a wonderful weekend.
We look forward to returning to Chewton Glen soon!