Set a stone’s throw from Great Windsor Park, and just 45 minutes’ drive from central London, Coworth Park is an idyllic, luxury retreat. A refined country house, it is a perfect blend of English eccentricity and modern charm.
The slower pace of life begins the moment you drive into the grounds when signs ask you to drive at their 9.5 mph speed limit, alongside cautionary ‘Little feet crossing’ signs. Charming doormen dressed elegantly in tweed swiftly unload your luggage the moment you pull up to the grand entrance. In the stunning lobby, you’re greeted by enormous windows looking out over the estate’s 240 acres of beautiful gardens, parkland and polo fields.
The main house’s contemporary winding staircase led us up to our exquisite bedroom – a vast space with breath-taking views. A showcase four-poster bed handmade exclusively for the hotel was the room’s centre-piece. Through the dressing room and into the bathroom, a copper bath stood beneath the window, inviting you for a soak while you admired the gardens. Our 17 month old daughter was greeted with a ribbon-tied package, personal note and balloon. While she devoured her new book and puzzle, we scanned the Coworth Park Kids brochure. Many luxury hotels protest to be family-friendly, but to most this simply means they have high-chairs. Not Coworth Park. Almost every member of staff we came into contact with remembered her name, from the Doormen to the ladies at the Spa – a small touch which made us feel very much at home. Their Kids Club welcomes children from two years, or younger if you go along with them. For our daughter, it was heaven. A garden to play in, a quiet room with twinkling lights and a library of books, an activity room that was filled with everything from a kids’ kitchen to a giant Connect 4, and a messy room – where all the painting, gluing, drawing, sticking and baking goes on. Upstairs, the den for kids over eight has everything from an air hockey table to 3D TV room. When the weather allows, they do nature trails, treasure hunts and duck feeding, but a rack of wellies and waterproof coats means that rain rarely stops play.
We arrived after lunch and afternoon tea was in full swing in the Drawing Room, accompanied by a talented pianist. It was a very elegant affair, and while we were assured we were more than welcome to have a late lunch in there, the thought of toddler feeding mess splattering the exquisite furniture and her squeals disturbing the beautifully-dressed guests led us to discover The Barn. A short walk from the main Mansion House, or even shorter electric buggy ride (probably our daughter’s favourite thing at the hotel), The Barn is a relaxed, rustic bar and restaurant. Stone floors mean you can walk in with your muddy wellies on, or eat there with a child without fear. The menu offers delicious comfort food for grown-ups and a few classics for the kids. When the generous pasta portion proved too much for our daughter, they kindly offered to keep it and heat it up for her later.
Coworth’s Equestrian heritage is evident everywhere you look. In the restaurant, the kids’ cups and bowls are adorned with horses, and the walls with paintings of horses. Two professional polo fields, stables for up to 40 horses and an experienced team of trainers give both seasoned and novice riders (including children) the opportunity to ride in Coworth’s picturesque surroundings. As we wandered around the lake – home to swans, geese and ducks – a young girl confidently trotted by on a very cute pint-sized horse, dressed in full riding get-up, alongside her father astride a magnificent stallion.
With the little one fast asleep in her proper, wooden cot (none of that wobbly travel cot nonsense here), our babysitter arrived and we hurriedly left for a rare evening out. In the bar, the hotel’s eccentric character shines through with two portraits of horses with manes that appear coiffed, curled and blow dried. These conversation starters led us to an entertaining hour with a charming chap behind the bar who enlightened us to the world of cocktail creation, and we were lucky enough to try some of his latest concoctions using herbs from the hotel’s grounds to delicious effect. The main restaurant was closed the evening we were there for a private function, so we headed over to the Barn again for dinner. An entirely different mood at night, it felt cosy and welcoming and we spent the evening feasting from a menu of indulgent comfort food.
The next day, we headed to their eco-luxury Spa, where you could quite easily spend the entire day. It appears to grow out of the ground and a clever Living Roof keeps the bars and restaurants in supply of fresh thyme, lavender and chamomile. This tranquil haven has eight treatment rooms (including two doubles if you’re packing the children off to the Kids’ Club to indulge in some R&R together), a fully-equipped gym, sun terrace, relaxation rooms and the bright and airy Spatisserie above serving food and afternoon tea. We headed straight to the pool after a quick visit to the luxurious changing rooms. The reception is well stocked with swim nappies, so you don’t even need to worry about those. The underwater music was a unique twist that made it a swimming experience with a difference. The water was warm enough for little ones and to our relief no member of staff or guest appeared to visibly wince when we revealed garish orange baby swim seat. With our daughter worn out as planned, we headed back to our exquisite room for a group snooze.
Coworth Park offers families the opportunity to rest and relax in luxurious comfort, enjoy some well-deserved me-time while the kids are having a blast in complete safety, and grab some quality time together with some quintessentially English activities.
Need To Know:
- Number of rooms:70
- Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 11am
- Facilities: Spa, Swimming Pool, Kid’s Club
- Swimming pool: Yes
- Restaurant & bar: Fine dining in John Campbell at Coworth Park, informal dining in The Barn and healthy snacks and light meals in The Spatisserie (located in The Spa at Coworth Park).
- Location: Located near Ascot and bordering on Windsor Great Park.
For more information please visit www.coworthpark.com.