It was a typical British day as we drove through the pouring rain. Luckily for us, the rain began to peter out with glimpses of blue peeking through the clouds as we turned into the immense Coworth Park estate. We pulled up outside the grand Georgian mansion, dating back to 1776 and an integral part of Ascot’s aristocratic history, the land was granted by Edward the Confessor back in the 11th century. We were immediately welcomed by one of the hotel’s friendly staff, who arranged for our luggage to be taken up to our room and valeted my car for me.
We were shown to the stately Derby Suite, named after one of the previous owners, as are the five other Mansion House Premium Suites. We decided to walk up the impressive wooden spiral staircase which revealed the marvellous slightly anamorphic panelled mirrors reflecting down from the ceiling.
The Derby Suite evoked a timeless understated luxury, with soft hues of Chantilly lace and eggshell throughout and walls covered in a simple botanical themed tapestry. Vast in size, the suite includes an extensive reception room complete with a magnificent marble fireplace and beautiful Georgian windows that lead to the only terraced balcony in the building, offering unparalleled views of the beauteous lime grove, meadows and polo fields, the only hotel in the UK offering polo facilities.
In the summer, we can imagine how spectacular the sights of green fields and meadows covered in brightly coloured wildflowers must be. Until then, we retreated to settling by the roaring fire with lively conversation and flutes of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.
The commodious bedroom was modest with a small dresser, bedside tables and an ornamental four-poster bed reminiscent of bare winter trees. The spacious dressing room featured an ample walk-in wardrobe and dressing table. The cavernous bathroom was an oasis in itself, complete with a rainfall shower room, heated floors which were absolutely gratifying and the highlight, a glorious copper bathtub. You would think the excess in amenities would be environmentally irresponsible but it is one of the UK’s most ecological hotels, incorporating renewable and low energy technologies.
Feeling rather peckish, we headed down to the grandiose drawing room for some lunch, where majestic chandeliers coruscated down from the high ceilings and immediately spotted boxing legend, Prince Naseem, deep in conversation with his acquaintance. He is not the only illustrious character to frequent Coworth Park, with the royals regularly attending the annual Audi Polo Challenge Cup, which the princes often compete in. It is also where Prince Harry and Prince William stayed the night before Prince Harry’s extraordinary nuptials to Meghan Markle.
The walls were coated in an enchanting mint green tone. Furnished with plush settees and armchairs surrounding glass coffee tables, some with a minimalist rose gold structure and others, a glorious trio of carved swans. it was the perfect place to enjoy the Reuben Club for Monicha and handmade pappardelle pasta for myself and the incredibly appetising truffle fries.
Coworth Park is not just a luxury hotel, it is a retreat full of convivial activities. Head over to the equestrian centre and familiarise yourself with one of the elegant horses. Saddle up and take a ride around the estate, there is nothing more gratifying than feeling the wind in your hair and breathing in fresh air around the 240-acre estate, the best way to explore the ancient woodlands. Riding lessons are also offered for those just starting out.
For more leisurely activities, indulge in the luxurious award-winning eco-spa facilities. The building itself is an incredible sight to see as it blends into the bucolic landscape seamlessly with the Living Roof with plants and ambrosial herbs such as thyme, chamomile and lavender flowering. Take a dip in the incandescent amethyst indoor pool, relax in the eucalyptus-infused steam room and unwind in the private sun terrace with spectacular hillside views.
Despite all the luxuries that the hotel offers, the crown in Coworth Park’s Jewel is undoubtedly the Michelin-starred fine-dining, Restaurant Coworth Park. Creating an intimate atmosphere, the restaurant emits a warm glow as soon as we walked in. The intricate oak leaf chandelier creates a halo around the room and sets a tone of gilded elegance in the restaurant. We were seated by the elaborate fresh floral centrepiece at one of the intimate round tables.
Our waitress, Andrea was incredibly helpful in helping us to choose from the ‘Best of British’ menu curated by award-winning Executive Chef, Adam Smith, who is considered one of the UK’s most talented chefs under 30.
To start, I chose the Asparagus Soup, poured onto the most delectable mushroom dumplings and a dash of curry oil. Monicha opted to begin with the Cheeseboard served with homemade bread and marinated figs, one of the post-dinner offerings, which Andrea was happy to cater to.
For the main course, I was undecided between the Courgette Flower or the Braised Turbot, in which Andrea immediately recommended the fish. She said, “The Turbot is much more special with unusual flavours, it is one of my favourites on the menu.” And she was right, thinly sliced celeriac and truffles were presented on top of a fillet of fresh turbot, garnished with sea herbs soaked in a delicious butter sauce.
I recommend the 62% Single Estate Valrhona Chocolate dome adorned with gold leaf and thin slices of chocolate served with hazelnuts and tonka bean ice cream for dessert.
We headed back up to our suite and immediately fell into a deep slumber. When we awoke, a beautiful breakfast assortment of fresh fruit, juice, pastries and avocado with poached eggs on toast had been laid out on the table in the reception room. We tucked into our breakfast with pure glee as we enjoyed the incredible views and as if by pure magic, a pair of birds soared into the sky whilst singing their morning song.
We reluctantly left the haven of our suite and headed down where Benjamin had my car ready for our departure.
Blacknest Rd, Sunningdale, Ascot SL5 7SE