If you're looking for a countryside bolthole, or in this case, a sprawling Georgian manor house, then the Four Seasons in Hampshire is just the ticket. Set within a quintessential English country hamlet the surrounding sleepy nooks, beautiful canals and history-rich castles make for the perfect antidote to stressful city life. Better yet the hotel is a haven for families and couples alike, and even dogs are welcome.
Guests enjoying a hack on horses from the hotels equestrian centre
A short drive from London (50 miles from the centre) and you’ll immediately feel a spring in your step upon arrival. The fresh air will have you itching to explore the rolling hills and expansive trails the hotel maps out for you and for those stepping off the train, or simply packing light, fear not. Country-worthy-attire is conjured up at a moments notice and it won't be long before you’ve traded in your city-clobber for Hunter wellies and a classic Barbour jacket to feel right at home.
The 20-metre indoor conservatory pool at the spa
There are an abundance of outdoorsy activities to partake in on the hotel's 500 acres – from hacks starting at the on-site equestrian centre, to falconry and clay pigeon shooting. Or for those who want to kick back and relax the extensive spa, located in the hotel's 18th-century stable block, is the place to hotfoot it to. The indoor conservatory pool is ideal for leisurely laps (more so during adult only times), while the outdoor vitality pool will pummel away any remaining stiffness that you arrived with.
The bar area at the newly renovated Wild Carrot restaurant
Having undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment in September last year, it’s the brand new restaurant and bar, Wild Carrot, that’s the real star of the show – certainly in terms of its décor. With its rich colours, textures and fabrics the dining room-come-bar area is the sort that’ll have you hunkering down in the oversized armchairs and not leaving until bedtime calls. With a roaring fire down one end, a glorious central bar quilted in burgundy leather, and the buzzy bistro vibe of the restaurant at the other; it serves up serious interior inspiration as well as a mean negroni.
Salmon tartare with a crispy poached egg, watercress and lemon crème fraîche
The open kitchen at Wild Carrot offers a contemporary take on British classics using both locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce. Fine dining comes in the form of perfectly executed dishes such as the salmon tartare topped with a perfectly poached crumbed egg to insanely good mushroom risotto with oozey Brillat-Savarin cheese. While staple hearty grub such as steak and chips and the truffled mac and cheese all sit happily alongside each other on the menu. One thing is for sure…you won't leave hungry.
Rooms from £285 per night on a room only basis. Visit fourseasons.com/Hampshire.
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