This weekend I became a queen.
I slept in a hand-carved, super king-size bed, sipped tea from vintage china and dined in the same room as Winston Churchill spent many-a-mealtime. Cliveden House, built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, has remained a venue filled with intrigue and glamour and this Saturday hosted me and my boyfriend for one fantastic night.
The places I’m privileged enough to visit are never taken for granted. Each of them create new memories and adds another amazing story to my day/month/year. This one, however, was one of those places that I could tell the moment we approached the main entrance was sure to secure a prized position.
This Grade I stately home turned five-star hotel knocks the air from your lungs as you approach down the long pebbled drive. There are too many gorgeous features to feast your eyes on and simply not enough time in which to do it.
Once inside, the rich tones of velvet, worn books and mahogany furniture have you drowning in regal antiquity. Before our bottoms even hit a seat, we couldn’t help but run around the whole ground floor like excitable kids, peering through closed doors, gawking at portraits of previous owners and stroking as much original pieces of furniture as we could find.
The hours in London seem to fly by like seconds. Everything feels rushed and my daily schedule seems to work like some sort of checklist. When I go away, I try so hard to switch my mind out of this mentality and slow things down. Take time to just sit and do absolutely nothing without feeling guilty or wasteful. Cliveden House’s plush, squishy armchairs overlooking some of the 376 acre grounds permitted the perfect place to do just that.
Once we’d adequately settled into our picture-perfect surroundings, we strolled over to get better acquainted with the spa.
Steam, sauna, indoor pool, outdoor pool, indoor hot tub, outdoor hot tub. A few well-spent hours were guaranteed to be spent here.
With white brick, soft lighting and even softer robes, every box on a good spa checklist was ticked. Twice. Prune fingers ahoy.
We got ready for dinner in our suite, listening to classical music and peering out over the rolling countryside. In essence living out my majestic fantasy.
Dinner in Cliveden House’s Andre Garrett’s restaurant was an absolute pleasure. We were talked through the wine menu and even given a tour of the cellar before settling on our dishes for the evening. Three courses of indulgent bliss which involved oysters, truffle risotto, beef wellington (classic!) and lemon meringue pie alongside several generous glasses of red.
Sitting under a glimmering chandelier with an 18th century oil painting third wheeling our dinner is something I could most definitely get used to. I find it so sad how rare it is to be able to get dressed up for dinner these days. My grandparents talk about getting dressed up for dinner and dancing. I’m so up for bringing those times back. Who’s with me?
A night spent within a pitch black room, in soft fluffy sheets with not one single siren or drunken rambler to be heard outside is a novelty that I really need to become a reality. We slept like logs, naturally waking at 9am when our breakfast arrived at our suite door.
With the drawing of our floor to ceiling curtains we enjoyed breakfast in bed, which I must say was extremely blissful before my boyfriend insisted on putting on match of the day….
We rose slowly and had a final explore of the grounds (including a run around the maze like the children we try and so hard convince ourselves we no longer are!) before jumping back on the 30-minute train to recommence our life in the concrete jungle we call London.
Cliveden House, you were the most delightful pleasure. Thank you so much for your amazing hospitality and creating such an amazing place to rest our heads.