Steeped in history and grandeur, Stoke Park Country Club, Spa, & Hotel sits in 300 acres of peaceful Buckinghamshire countryside just 30 minutes from central London. With fireplaces, four poster beds, and Capability Brown gardens, it’s a romantic’s dream and a perfect weekend escape.
Stoke Park is legendary in the pantheon of British country house hotels. The estate has over 900 years of history, including previous ownership under the family who founded Pennsylvania in the States. In 1908 the house was converted from a private home into a sports club, and the rest is as they say, history.
Today Stoke Park includes a five star hotel, a 27 hole championship gold course, state of the art gymnasium and spa facilities, 13 tennis courts, several restaurants, and 14 acres of immaculately kept, Capability Brown designed gardens. Fame was solidified by film appearances, with the hotel serving as the location for the golf tournament in Goldfinger and the location of Bridget and Daniel’s loved up minibreak in Bridget Jones’s Diary.
The hotel’s décor is resplendent and purely British: oil paintings, sweeping staircases, antique furniture, and fireplaces are fittingly grand for the main house. More contemporary sensibilities are catered to in the newer Pavilion building.
Bedrooms in the main house are traditionally decorated and gorgeously romantic, some with four poster beds, roll top baths, working fire places, and balcony access. They are perfect for romantic weekends away or special occasions. We stayed in the Sir Edward Coke suite, which was remarkable. The Pavilion bedrooms are cleanly styled, far more modern, and feature striking pop art. They are excellent for spa or sporting weekends.
The hotel’s main restaurant, Humphry’s, is an attractive space with gold and cream tones, thick carpets, and high ceilings. Chris Wheeler, of Great British Menu fame, heads the kitchen which has been awarded with three AA rosettes. Menus are either tasting or a la carte, with local ingredients and sustainability taken into account in the dishes. We ate six courses of mackerel, foie gras, bass, venison, cheese, and banana soufflé. The cooking was at a level you would expect from a three rosette restaurant, with some dishes exceeding this mark.
Informal lunches and suppers are best had in San Marco, the hotel’s casual Italian restaurant. It serves salads, pasta, meat and fish, pizza, and sandwiches, and is conveniently located in the sporting Pavilion. The orangery, an elegant light filled space, provides afternoon tea, coffee, and the hotel’s breakfast.
One of the hotel’s biggest draws, the spa at Stoke Park is regularly named one of the best in the country by various newspapers and travel magazines. It features a large indoor pool, a spa garde, steam rooms, Scandinavian outdoor sauna, an outdoor sunken hydrotherapy pool, and 11 treatment rooms. The spa atrium, overlooked by a tropical fish tank, offers complimentary herbal teas and fruit.
Guests are welcome to make use of the multitude of classes offered at the gym, which include yoga, spin, and fitness. The tennis courts are also open to guests, subject to availability. Golf facilities can be booked at an additional cost.
In the summertime, lazing on a blanket in the grounds is a wonderful way to spend a few hours, and the countryside setting lends itself to hours of walking. Nearby attractions include Ascot Racecourse, Windsor Castle, and the picturesque towns of Marlow and Henley.
Rates from £240 a night on a room only basis.
Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. SL2 4PG.