As you know, I love travelling around England – oh gosh, how many cities have we visited over all those years! I haven’t posted a lot about those trips but here are a few to mention: Oxford, Bath, Eastbourne, York, Durham, and some others. But it has never occurred to me that we have so much to explore not very far from the London city centre.
Recently we were invited to stay at The Grove, a five star luxury hotel set in Hertfordshire, less than 30km from central London sitting on the Grand Union Canal and very close to The Warner Bros Harry Potter studio. It’s a fantastic family friendly residence with a spa, park, baby club, a few restaurants, and a huge golf course famous for hosting a World Golf Championship in 2006 and British Masters in 2016.
If you’re into the golf, the meticulously designed golf course considered one of the best in Europe is waiting for you. You can also book a tuition (the Grove has a team of professional instructors) or even take part in a tournament!
The brief history of The Grove
The area where The Grove Hotel is situated has been inhabited for many centuries. Excavations on the estate in 2002 revealed evidence from all periods of human culture with the archeological findings going as early as the Neolithic era. The first mention of the title ‘Grove’ as ‘La Grava’ goes back to the late 13th century. The manor is mentioned in the 15th century and has been changing owners pretty frequently until it finally became the land of the Villiers family who were granted a title of Earls of Clarendon in 1776. During the 19th century and the life of the 4th Earl of Clarendon, the manor has been frequented by Queen Victoria, her eldest son Edward VII and Lord Palmerston the Prime Minister.
The Grove was sold in 1920s (after the introduction of death duties tax) and served as a home for many organisations including National Institute of Nutrition and College of Dietetics, management training centre for TFL and various types of school such as for the gardening and riding school.
The estate became a hotel in 1996 and has been transformed under the guidance of the architect Jeremy Blake, landscape designer Michael Balston and Kyle Phillips who took care of the golf course.
Since then, The Grove has been frequently chosen as a seat to hold important meetings, and it hosted G20 London summit 2009, 2019 NATO summit, and many others.
Our room at The Grove
Our room was located in the recently refurbished West Wing and was perfect for a stay with a baby. It has a large bath, lots of space for George and a beautiful balcony overlooking the garden. Have you seen this lovely photo of us there on my IG page?
Sequoia Spa at The Grove
The Sequoia Spa at The Grove is currently under refurbishment but the pool with a lovely jacuzzi, relaxation room, and steam rooms were still open to the public. Also I had a very nice Oskia glow facial (although the spa uses the ESPA products the most, I went for this brand because I’ve already tried it at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and loved it a lot).
Restaurants at The Grove
There are a few dining options you can choose from such as the Glasshouse, Glasshouse bar, and The Stables. As we were with our baby, the Glasshouse buffet was a perfect option for us (you never know what little ones would prefer for dinner, so a buffet covers all options at once) with a few stands of different cuisines (Asian fusion, British cuisine, Italian cuisine) and the dessert table was the grandest of them all!. And we were really lucky to try the St Patrick’s dessert selection too.
Our breakfast was served at the Glasshouse too.
The Walled Garden
Walled Garden is another sight of The Grove that seems to be at its best in summer. The Jemima’s Kitchen Garden, tennis court, volleyball court, and a heated outdoor pool.
Nature of The Grove
If you love the natural sights and the English countryside, the Grove is a place for you. There are a few trails to explore with the unspoiled but well treated surroundings where you can easily spend a day walking different routes such as the musical, wildlife or the cycle one. There are lots of activities you can do on the way such as to practice in archery!
And of course, exploring flora and fauna is another must do at The Grove. For instance, we’ve been lucky to see a magnificent trained falcon and green woodpecker not to mention the ducks that occupied the ponds near the hotel buildings.
Hope you enjoyed my new blog!