This post is hard to start. If I am truly honest (which is of course the route I am going to go down) I will be sure to incite a little of bit of envy when I tell you about my whistle stop trip with my mother, to Lucknam Park near Chippenham in Wiltshire last Thursday. You have to know about this hotel (if you don’t already) and add it to your bucket list. Here is why…
After an easy journey from the M4, we meandered up the tree lined entrance to Lucknam Park at midday. I was struck by its grandeur.
This 10th Century building was home to various Airstoctratic families until it was turned into a hotel in 1987. In 1994 the hotel was bought by a European shipping family who operate Lucknam Park as a single private hotel property. Below is a picture taken of inside the courtyard.
We started with a quick coffee in the Brasserie before we explored. Yes, you can tell I was pretty happy to be here!
We wondered around the landscaped gardens. There were gardeners beavering about in every corner. I was suprised not to see them cutting the edges with nail scissors – it was immaculate.
There were numerous pretty pathways and secret gardens throughout (which you are allowed to enter). It is a wonderful destination if you are a keen gardener.
One of my mothers highlight was the Orangerie – not because it was a designated smoking room (she doesn’t smoke but it was quite novel) but because it was so stylish and would make a fantastic garden room if you had the space and money!
Not only is Lucknam Park part of Relais & Châteaux exclusive 500 of the finest hotels and gourmet hotels across the world due to its beautiful setting, this 5* hotel boasts an excellent Spa, Cookery School and one of the only on site Equestrian Centres with her 500 acres to explore.
The Cookery School was in full swing – I could have happily joined in!
I loved the home from home feeling, especially in the drawing room where you could have afternoon tea or drinks that felt like in the comfort of your own home (obviously without the antique furniture and interior designed rooms!)
My mother loved the multitude of fresh flowers and the clever way they were arranged.
The Spa is accessible to all hotel guests or you can book for just the day. They use ESPA products which always make me feel like I’m at a spa due to the lovely lemony wafts from the oils and diffusers that are omitted through shout the spa and your treatment room.
We had an excellent deep tissue massage with Abi and Tania and felt well and truly pummelled and preened afterwards. We were instructed to rest and drink camomile tea in the rest room afterwards! We didn’t complain – it was the first time I have lied down during the day in a few years (unless I have had a heavy night the night before 😉
The tranquil pool was utilised by many of the guests but never crowded and I couldn’t believe I actually forgot my swimsuit. (For those who ambitious to use all the facilities they did have s mall shop where you could buy swimsuits and aids…)
I loved that the indoor pool continued on outside. This would be even more incredible in the summer when its slightly warmer and all the flowers are out.
Now for food. An important topic for me and many!
There are two dining options, a Michelin starred restaurant – Hywel Jones (see below) or the more informal Brasserie.
(BTW If you want a taste of old school opulence but cant stretch to Michelin prices, breakfast is held in the same room as Hywel Jones).
Before supper, we had a lovely drink in the old school drawing room. On the left hand side of the photo there is a permanent puzzle that you can add to or plenty of wooden games on the side tables and sills to keep you occupied.
After our evening drinks, we headed to The Brasserie which is in close proximity to the Spa (so a perfect suit stop for lunch in-between treatments too).
We chose to share the sirloin steak (golly, doesn’t that sound gutsy and unladylike but it was delicious!!)
We stayed midweek so there were a mix of guests both local, international and many staying due to the nearby Cheltenham racecourse.
I have no doubt, on the weekend there would be many couples enjoying the tranquility of being somewhere so beautiful and grabbing a quick couple of days away from their kids.
Whether you come on your own for some solo recuperation, fancy some cooking lessons, participating in some riding clinics or for a family gathering with multi generations – you really couldn’t beat it.
It is world class.