A mere 30 minutes from London, Stoke Place is an oasis of charm and calm in the countryside.
A 17th century manor house, the estate was built in 1690 by royal chef Patrick Lamb. Stoke Place has now been converted into a boutique hotel, combining modern luxuries with a romantic, classical style.
The hotel has many quirks that you would find in a stately home: a large library, a relaxing bar area, a giant chess set on the lawn and a large lake with forest area to explore. We loved that the doors of the hotel are continuously open, allowing guests to meander around and treat the hotel as a second home. There is a relaxing ‘home factor’ throughout, due in part to the fautless service of the staff and also to the easy charm of the hotel itself.
A mention must go to the staff who were superb. Everyone was gracious, effusive and extraordinarily accommodating. It is the kind of service that one finds in a Four Seasons hotel and in this instance it made all the difference.
A must-do is a visit to the award winning restaurant, The King and Lamb. We loved everything about the restaurant. The decor was a mix of exciting and elegant, with velvet textured sofas, smooth golden wallpaper and quirky lights.
The food itself was superlative. To start, we had the cod croquettes and quail. The quail was a tender induction to the meal and the croquettes were delectable, mingling a delicate cod with a soft, cheesy texture. Following this was the steak rump and stonebass. The steak rump was cooked to a rare perfection, with the juice of the tender meat oozing out at every cut. The stonebass was equally delicious; the fillet of fish, with a light citrus dressing, lay on top a bed of slow-cooked vegetables. The healthy combination was so moreish we considered ordering seconds!
A stay at Stoke Place is an entirely magical experience and whisks one back to their carefree childhood exploits. (It will come as no surprise to hear that Stoke Place is frequently hired out as a wedding venue; the childlike euphoria experienced here and natural beauty of the estate alone make it an enticing venue).
For an escape that is as wonderful as it is accessible, Stoke Park will tick all of your boxes. Hopefully it will leave you feeling as relaxed and fresh as we felt leaving it and hopefully, once you have experienced the magic, you too will vow to return.