The moment you turn into Chewton Glen’s sweeping drive, past the rolling lawns and glistening lake, a sense of calm descends on you.The warm staff welcome was so heartening we couldn’t help smiling. And what with our car whisked away, coats taken, and before long even our dirty boots polished to perfection, we gave ourselves up to the weekend break like docile lambs.
The privately owned 18th Century hotel is on the edge of the New Forest, just a short walk to the beach and spectacular sea views. Our Poacher suite had a sitting room, study, double bedroom and bathroom. Extraordinary space, where you can stretch out and really relax with surround speakers, DVDs or, of course, each other.
Chewton Glen is a dreamy weekend retreat, where everything feels like an occasion to be lingered over and appreciated, from the lavish afternoon teas beside the log fire, to breakfast in the conservatory overlooking the lawns. For the more energetic there’s a golf course, tennis academy and signature croquet lawn.
The staff-to-guest ratio of two to one means that you’re effortlessly carried along, with everything done for you.
And when that horrible time to leave is upon you, you’re waved off with bottles of champagne, chocolates and a detailed map. Oh what a rude bump it is when you stagger into the house and there’s that long-forgotten question, What are you making for dinner?