From £113
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OVERVIEW

England's first Italian garden and 13 acres of beautiful grounds beckon at this 17th-century estate, with Hunter wellies and walking sticks at the ready by the oak front door. The interior is just as characteristic. Medieval archways, vintage clocks, quirky ceramics and heritage maps adorn the public areas and bedrooms.


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Rooms available from £113 per night

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Your expert reviewer

Kathryn Liston
Travel Writer
A travel writer for more than 40 years, Kathryn has visited more than 100 countries - and has loved every minute of it. Whether she’s cycling down a volcano in Maui (Hawaii), dog sledding in Sweden or cycling along the Rhine, it’s been a fun ride! You’ll find her articles and hotel reviews in national newspapers, such as The Telegraph and Observer, national magazines, online (Silver Travel Advisor) and in the travel trade press.

OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Nestled in the Surrey Hills between Guildford and Dorking and just a stone's throw along a driveway from the A25. It's three miles to Dorking and ten minutes by taxi to the station, where trains to Waterloo take 50 minutes. Picturesque Leith Hill, Box Hill and Newlands Corner, oodles of walking trails, Denbies Wine Estate and Polesden Lacey (National Trust) are all nearby.

By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from London, 2 hours 30 minutes from Bristol and 5 hours 30 minutes from Manchester. There is free parking on site.

By train: There are direct trains to Dorking Station from London Victoria (59 minutes) and London Waterloo (50 minutes). The hotel is around a 15-minute drive from Dorking Station. Book trains to Dorking.

View in Google Maps

THE LOOK AND FEEL

Historic, characterful, and charming with contemporary, vintage and retro touches in the bedrooms and public areas that provide a nod to Evelyn's fanciful grottoes, temples and fountains in the Italian garden. The hotel is popular with weddings and groups so the foyer can be busy and noisy, particularly at weekends. The leisure club is busy with families too.

THE FACILITIES

Service is generally excellent although a little hit-and-miss here and there, especially during a busy breakfast. There's a tennis court and leisure club with a gym, classes, pool, sauna and hot tub which gets pretty crowded with families at weekends. Cycling and walking maps, walking sticks and fishing nets are provided.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym
  • Gardens
  • Terrace
  • Tennis court
  • Pet friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

The bedrooms and suites (named after plants) are stylishly appointed in greys and greens with plaid soft furnishings and smart light-wood furniture. A large heritage map of the local area above the bed in all the rooms is fascinating. Suites in the mansion house are spacious; bedrooms more modestly-sized.

Room types: Superior Room, Executive Room, Deluxe Room, Junior Suite

Key amenities: ensuite with H2k toiletries, TV, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

The menu in the 1877 restaurant covers all bases - ribeye steak with bourguignon sauce, corn-fed chicken, roasted cod and salt-baked celeriac. Dishes are well executed and attractively presented. A disappointing breakfast buffet, which needed replenishing, is saved by a good selection of fresh fruit and quality sausages and bacon.

The 1877 Restaurant: formal fine dining, modern British and French cuisine. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from £15.95.

The 1877 Bar: cocktails and light bites. Plates from £8.

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