The Big Six: British hotels with gardens
Saturday 07 May 2011
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
Raymond Blanc took over this historic Oxfordshire manor house in 1984 and turned it into a 32-room hotel and a two Michelin-starred restaurant. For much of the year the kitchen is stocked with produce from Le Manoir's walled garden of 90 vegetable varieties, 70 herbs and a mushroom valley. The scene is embellished with perfect rows of lavender lining immaculate lawns, an orchard and a Japanese water garden.
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire (01844 278881; manoir.com). Doubles start at £480, including breakfast.
Barnsley House, Cotswolds
The grounds of this 17th-century, Grade II-listed mansion contain a secret: a temple, giving guests the opportunity to dine amid the resplendent formal gardens. Alternatively, there is the contemporary Potager restaurant, named after the 1950s vegetable garden which still supplies the kitchen. The Cotswold-stone hotel had a sleek makeover last year, with interiors inspired by the gardens in plummy purples, russet, dove grey and rose. Special events for the summer include horticultural talks from guest gardeners.
Barnsley House, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (01285 740000; barnsleyhouse.com). Doubles start at £275, including breakfast.
Waldorf Astoria, Syon Park
On the outskirts of west London, this newly opened hotel in Syon Park combines the 18th-century estate's history with modern luxury offering everything from a mosaic-tiled swimming pool and trout fishing to an ice-cream parlour and butterfly walk. Rooms overlook the Capability Brown gardens.
Waldorf Astoria, Syon Park, London (020-7870 7777; londonsyonpark.com). Doubles start at £311, room only.
Boath House Hotel, Scotland
This Regency hotel near the Moray Firth has extensive grounds, including an ornamental lake, croquet lawn and woodland area. It also offers seaonal foraging courses, where guests can hunt for St George's mushrooms and native Highland berries.
Boath House Hotel, Nairn (01667 454896; boath-house.com). Doubles start at £230, including breakfast.
Swinton Park, Yorkshire
When lakes were dug out at Swinton Park in the 19th century, the coffins of Saxon nuns were uncovered. Now an ancient quarry and orangery add to the atmosphere of this coverted castle. In the spring garden, the gothic theme is replaced with a colourful array of bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons. A bed of wild flowers is cultivated for decorating the hotel, while produce grown in the walled garden features on the restaurant's menu. And, as well as old-fashioned luxury bedrooms, there is a centrepiece suite built within a turret.
Swinton Park, Ripon, North Yorkshire (01765 680900; swintonpark.com). Doubles start at £180, including breakfast.
Bowood Hotel, Wiltshire
The Marquis of Lansdowne opened Bowood House to the public in 1975. Since then, four million visitors have enjoyed its grounds, first laid out by Capability Brown. They feature 700 types of tree and a 30ft waterfall. Within the estate, Bowood Hotel offers contemporary rooms, a spa and golf course.
Bowood Hotel, Calne, Wiltshire (01249 812102; bowood-hotel.co.uk). Doubles start at £150, room only.
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