Set in 300 acres (yes, really) of beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside, a stay at Stoke Park feels like you're in the middle of nowhere. Incredibly, however, it's just an hour's drive from central London. And luckily for me, my dear friend Jenny has a car, so making our way to Stoke Park last Saturday was a breeze.
It was beautiful.
The main Stoke Park building is the gorgeous Georgian mansion.
As soon as we stepped inside, we were wowed. The interior is plush, ornate, traditional and sumptuous. Every sofa seemed to invite you to curl up with a book, and I actually loved the fact that the fire was roaring despite it being an uncharacteristically hot day.
As well as the grand old Mansion, there's also the Pavilion, which is newer, but I'll tell you more about that when I show you the facilities.
We were lucky enough to to be staying in the Lancelot suite, and sweet it certainly was (sorry.)
Come on in...
The mini-bar was as well-stocked as one would expect in a five star hotel, but there were also lots of complimentary teas, coffees and water, which was all replenished when our bed was turned down that evening too. The service was faultless.
As an extra treat, Jenny and I were welcomed with a bottle of champagne, a lovely fruit bowl and a box of delectable chocolates. I mean, could it get any better?
If you're a golfer, you need to go to Stoke Park. But actually, golfer or not, you'll love exploring the grounds of the hotel.
I got very excited as we walked round that pond (you know, where they go boating in Bridget Jones), but the further we walked, the more beauty we found.
Through gardens, round fountains and past churches we ambled, enjoying the countryside vibes and the stark contrast to city life. It was literally lush.
Dinner at Humphry's
After refreshing ourselves in our suite, reenergising with cups of tea in our fluffy robes, and slipping into a couple of pretty dresses, Jenny and I were ready for the evening ahead.
What with it being such a summery evening, Jen and I decided to enjoy another glass of bubbles and some nibbles outside in the garden.
The restaurant is beautiful and the cuisine 'modern British', created by the wonderful chef Chris Wheeler, whom we had the pleasure of meeting. Given Humphry's has won 3 AA Rosettes, we were very excited about what the evening held.
Our glasses were filled (Sauv, natch), and after placing our starter and main order, we tucked into warm bread rolls from a selection, with butter of the perfect consistency.
First up, came our pre-starters (duhh):
On to our starters - Jen stuck with the fishy theme and got stuck into the scallops:
Oh my days, it was amazing. How can a simple risotto be that fantastic, you may be wondering? Well this one was. The consistency was the perfect balance between sticky and creamy, and it was just so damn flavoursome.
Main time! I stayed veggie with this incredibly dreamy caramelised fig and goat's cheese tart on a bed of green and yellow courgettes:
More fish for Jen, and because I'm not a fish fan I can't even remember what it was, soz, but I'm assured it was divine.
And of course, there was a pre-pud pud. Hello, little lemon posset:
And then came our actual puddings. Witness the chocolate box of dreams:
I mean srsly tho.
So yes, by this point we were pretty full, but that didn't stop us (well, me at least) demolishing the petits fours we were so kindly brought with our beautifully served tea.
Breakfast in the Orangery
I don't know about you, but I always find that the morning after a huge dinner, I'm EXTRA hungry. Which literally makes no sense.
However it did mean that I was jolly excited to hit up breakfast on the Sunday morning of our stay at Stoke Park.
Served in the beautiful bright Orangery, where guests sit in plush armchairs at tables covered in linen tablecloths
Oh, there was a hot menu from which one could order an array of cooked breakfasts, but Jen and I were more than happy with the buffet.
With so much on offer, I made myself a huge bowl of goodness (lots of nice healthy options, yay), before making the most of the pastries too.
A wonderful start to the day it was indeed.
OK, maybe not everything - we somehow didn't quite fit in a trip to the gym or a game of tennis ("don't put me down for cardio") - but, you know, it was sunny, and um, there just wasn't enough time.
And there are just so many inviting places to lounge...
Stoke Park has a gorgeous indoor pool, where we had a little dip - not gonna lie, it was more chatting in water than swimming - but even better, given the weather, was the new hot tub.
But even more of a treat was our visit to the spa...
Just like the rest of Stoke Park, the spa lounge was tastefully decorated, complete with giant fish tank to add to the overall feeling of zen.
There was fresh fruit, dried fruit, three little pots of herbal tea (the Stoke Park blend was our fave), and water on the table, to which we enjoyed helping ourselves, and various magazines dotted around the room.
And not only did we get to enjoy this lovely oasis of calm, Jen and I each had an hour long treatment, both choosing the lava relax massage.
Now I'd never had a hot stone massage let alone one with hot lava shells, but it was great. My fab masseuse really worked at all my knots (appaz I'm actually a very stressed person who carries a s*** load of tension in her back), leaving me slightly exhausted whilst also relaxed. I loved it.
And as spa guests, we had the privilege of using the spa changing room, complete with hair straighteners, facial cleansers and snazzy hair products.
Lunch at San Marco
Naturally, we spent the day in white robes and slippers, which was pleasingly acceptable attire for dining at San Marco, Stoke Park's relaxed Italian brasserie.
And all too soon the evening came round and it was time to head back to London. So I guess that concludes my Stoke Park post! Good thing I kept it brief, eh? If you've made it this far and are still reading, I salute you. But like srsly, I could wax lyrical about this place. YOU MUST GO! I'm desperate to go again already.
It was heaven.
Jenny and I were fortunate enough to be welcomed as guests to Stoke Park and some aspects of our stay were complimentary, but we treated ourselves to other parts.