Travel - The Grove, Hertfordshire

March 20, 2017

The Grove is one of my favourite hotels, not far from us it's the place that we go to for special Birthdays, family Christmas dinners or anniversary's over the years. It's beautiful in the summer as well as all sparkly and festive at Christmas. Up until last week though I'd never stayed there before so it was such a treat to spend an indulgent Sunday there and escape our building work! We swam, we ate the world, we had spa treatments and really switched off. I'd love to share some photos and my adapted SYGM honeymoon review below.. 

Located in leafy Hertfordshire, it's set in the best of both worlds - being close enough to London yet also in the middle of over 300 acres of countryside. Accessed with an impressive sprawling drive, you'll drive up through part of the championship golf course that hosted the British Masters last year and there are acres of woodland and fields to roam around. It would be unfair to call this a hotel, it's a luxury five star resort with just about everything you could wish for {even a beach despite being a couple of hours from the sea!}. It hosts many a famous face, President Obama and the England football team {who I've seen there with my very own eyes on many an occasion} amongst others.

The historic building - the heart of the hotel- and grounds are beautiful and immaculately kept with some fun surprises hiding in amongst them {quirky sculptures to make you smile}. I'd been for dinner and afternoon tea at The Grove before on a number of special occasions and every single time the food has been incredible and the staff and whole experience such a treat. This was the first time that I'd stayed and I saw a whole new side to it, one that is ideal for couples wanting a complete getaway. And also surprisingly, it's very family friendly - without ruining the high end ambience.

We checked in one afternoon a couple of Sundays ago, parking in amongst the Ferraris and luxury cars and walking into the beautiful lobby. We took the scenic route to our room, looking around the grounds {the heart shaped topiary was my favourite} and taking lots of garden inspiration before reaching our room.

Filled with sunshine and looking out over the main house and gardens, our deluxe room was in the contemporary West Wing of the hotel near the Spa. There's also the mansion building, that gorgeous old original part with 26 individually designed rooms and suites for a really special occasion.

I like a room with a balcony and we were lucky that it was sunny enough to throw the doors open soaking up Spring.

If a hotel doesn't have a roll top, is it really a hotel? The Grove bathrooms pass the crucial roll top bath test - heaven for relaxing in with a glass of something before dinner.

The yummy macarons and hamper of treats left in the room was a hint at what was to come at dinner, we wolfed them down and then headed to the Spa. The most indulgent of afternoons.

I'd heard so much about the Sequoia Spa over the years with the black bottomed swimming pool and dreamy treatments. It definitely didn't disappoint and we had the best afternoon holed up away from the rest of the world swimming and reading in fluffy gowns in the lounges. There are fitness studios and a timetable of classes if you want something to burn off some energy but also saunas, steam rooms and egg chairs to just chill - something we should all try and make time for.

We were both booked in for pre-wedding facials the next day. You can't beat a facial for relaxing with gorgeous ESPA products but this one was also really informative with a UV light to look deeply into my skin to show areas that needed extra hydration or have excess oil.

Make sure you walk around the lounges, reserved for residents and those booked in for afternoon tea. There are cosy, romantic spots to have a pre-dinner drink, each room decorated with a different sultry theme oozing grandeur.

After dark the candles and fires are lit for you to unwind.

The only photo we took together! I think because half the time we were in dressing gowns.. 

Can we talk about the restaurants?! There are three to choose between, Colette's for fine dining with the 2015 chef of the year in the charge, The Glasshouse my ultimate favourite and The Stable's for simpler classics in a more relaxed setting. You'd be hard pressed to choose just one dining experience although I can't recommend The Glasshouse more.

The Grove describe The Glasshouse as a theatre of cooking. The kitchen is open and you can see the chefs preparing everything from scratch. There's no menu as such, you go up and choose whatever you like - and however much you want - from the different stations. A buffet you might think, but I think it would be wrong to describe it like that. There's giant tiger prawns, Donald Russell beef, duck confit, truffled mash potato. Mediterranean salads, fish, a wok station where you can choose what you'd like the chef to make you, curries. Almost everything you could ever wish for when dining like royalty. And that's before I've talked about the table of desserts and cheeses! You have to come hungry here. And er, the calories definitely don't count.

It's one of my favourite places to come for a Birthday treat. Dessert table of dreams..

With very full tummies after our feast we went to bed and woke up to pink skies. In a bid to make some room for breakfast I went for a run around the grounds {the hotel set up a runners station in the lobby each morning with fruit, maps and bottled water, an extra little touch that I loved} and there's the gym, the pool and bikes to hire if you wish.

The Grove is set between Whippendell Woods {famous for their bluebells} and the Grand Union Canal. Perfect for fun summer bike rides or a walk along the tow path. You're also about five minutes from the Harry Potter Studios if that floats your boat. There's so much to do in and around the hotel but crucially, it's also just heaven if you don't want to do anything at all.

Such a beautiful misty sunrise over the golf course.

Breakfast can be served in your room or in The Glasshouse restaurant. Think omelette stations, waffles, pancakes, fruit, cold cuts, pastries and juices to set you up for the day.

We had a walk across to the Walled Garden area of the resort, past the Stables and golf area - beautiful even if you don't like golf - where there's an outdoor pool and a man made beach for hot sunny days. I'd love to visit in the summer when the ice cream bike rides around and you can grab deckchairs from the beach huts with your feet in the sand.

We couldn't fault our stay and we both turned to each other when leaving and said 'Same time next week?!'. If only! For high end luxury if you want to be pampered and eat like a King then The Grove is your place. Whilst room rates can be high, it's worth mentioning that there are often spa and golf deals to be found too, or options for summer getaways where if you stay for a couple of nights you'll get one free etc.

You can find more on The Grove here.

R <3 xx

{I was a guest of The Grove Hotel but all opinions are 100% my own. We'd never recommend anywhere that we don't truly love}.

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