Sleepover: Stoke Park Club

A bed in Buckinghamshire
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The Independent Travel

Where is it?

In the Buckinghamshire village of Stoke Poges, immortalised in Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". These days it's a 35-minute drive from central London (junction 6 of the M4).

What does it look like

The magnificent country estate has 350 acres of parkland and 1,000 years of recorded history. The Palladian mansion, which has 21 bedrooms, was designed between 1792 and 1808 by James Wyatt, while the grounds were laid out by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton.

Does it have a USP?

The world-famous Stoke Poges golf course was called "the most stylish club in Great Britain" by Golf International. It's the setting for one of the most famous golf matches in film - when James Bond catches Auric Goldfinger cheating. The club also has a new £13m spa, health and racquet pavilion.

Is it comfortable?

Our enormous room was fabulously opulent, with beautiful shuttered windows overlooking the grounds, antique furniture, brocade curtains, old-masterly oil paintings and a magnificent four-poster bed.

What's in the bathroom?

Everything you'd expect, including Hermès toiletries, but bigger - plus a touch of the Jazz Age in the black-and-white marble décor. Bertie Wooster would feel at home here, lolling around in the white towelling robes.

I'm hungry

Try The Park, the club's new restaurant. The kitchen is run by Chris Wheeler (formerly of Maison Novelli) and specialises in updated British classics; signature dishes include aubergine and cherry tomato risotto, sea bream with mascarpone polenta and rack of lamb with chickpea salsa.

What are the people like?

A good impression of the clientele can be gleaned from the ranks of shiny new German sports cars lined up outside. Hugh Grant has been a regular since scenes from Bridget Jones's Diary were filmed on the lake and in the Pennsylvania Suite. Staff and guests alike made us feel welcome and the air was friendly and relaxed.

Is there anything to do?

Windsor Castle is close by, as is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames. Other day trips include a walk among the Burnham Beeches, a stroll around the village of Cookham (home of the artist Stanley Spencer) or a visit to Cliveden, or lunch at the Fat Duck at Bray, where Heston Blumenthal's challenging cooking attracts a cult following (booking essential).

Is there access for all?

The club has a ramp to a separate entrance leading to the lifts to the bedrooms. The spa is all on one level.

What's the damage?

Rooms from £270. Suites from £390. The Luxury Weekend Break (valid to 23 December) includes two nights with full English breakfast, plus one three-course dinner and use of the health and racquet pavilion for £250 per person, based on two sharing.

What's the address?

Stoke Park Club, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG (01753 717171;