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OVERVIEW

With 205 fresh-feeling rooms spread over several buildings - the loveliest of which is a Victorian country pile - this Chilterns hideaway is ideal for couples on a weekend break, as well as holidaying families. Spend sunny days roaming the grounds, or retreat indoors for a relaxing swim or sauna, then enjoy cakes or cocktails in the sumptuous library.


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Rooms available from £98.10 per night

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Your expert reviewer

Orla Thomas
Freelance journalist and editor
Orla Thomas is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in travel. She regularly contributes to The Times and The Sunday Times, National Geographic Traveller magazine and Lonely Planet, as well as writing about travel telly (among other things) for the Radio Times. Keen on nature walks and wild swimming, you can find her on both Instagram (@orlakthomas) and Twitter (@OrlaThomas).

OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Though only five minutes in a cab from the Metropolitan Line station Chalfont & Latimer or a ten-minute drive from the M25, the De Vere Latimer estate is surrounded by proper Chilterns countryside, adjacent to an idyllic village green and with views over the River Chess and its surrounding valley. Within a 20-minute drive are two of the country's best fiction-inspired family attractions, The Harry Potter Studio tour and The Roald Dahl Museum. Pretty Amersham's atmospheric pubs are 12 miles away.

By car: around an hour's drive from central London and 1 hour 10 minutes' drive from Oxford. Free public parking.

By train: the hotel is around 1 hour from Euston Square on the tube. Book trains.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

The hotel retains many appealing original features, such as wood panelling and expansive fireplaces, though the latter aren't in use. The overall feel is traditional, but updates add a more modern sheen, mixing velvet cocktail chairs and Tiffany-style lamps with botanical wallpapers, monochrome prints and reclaimed objects such as antique typewriters.

THE FACILITIES

The hotel's biggest asset is its lovely garden, which includes rolling lawns and multiple terraces for al fresco drinks and dining. Like many grand period houses, the estate has its own church, St Mary Magdalene, just one quirk to discover among 30 acres of grounds. There's also a good-sized indoor pool, complete with a sauna and small gym. The staff are efficient and polite.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Gardens
  • Swimming pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Rooms are light and airy, their pale décor enlivened by subtle fabrics and characterful soft furnishings, such as pheasant-motif cushions. Bathrooms, though on the small side if you're booked into a standard room, are elegantly done in metro tiles. If you want anything bigger than a double bed you'll have to upgrade to one of the suites, which also have the best views.

Room types: Guest Room Mews, Guest Room Waterhouse, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Suites

Key amenities: ensuite bath or shower, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

The open kitchen at restaurant 1838 means guests can watch as chefs work on their dinner. Named after the date the house began to be rebuilt after a devastating fire, it looks a bit like a Mediterranean hothouse, filled with greenery and featuring an eye-catching chandelier made from wine glasses. The aesthetic in the Huntley Bar, which offers light lunches, afternoon teas and cocktails, is reminiscent of an old gentleman's club.

1838 Restaurant and Bar: seasonal dining, classic dishes include Casterbridge sirloin steak and smoked wood pigeon. Open daily for breakfast and dinner.

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