Being a fan of holidays far and wide, I often forget how fortunate we are to have so many beautiful towns and places on our doorstep, and in my instance (for the benefit of any overseas readers!) I’m talking about the UK.
With beautiful coastlines, countryside, forest and cities galore, I’m sure we all have our favourite British hotspots that we love to go back to.
For me one of those places is the glorious resort Chewton Glen. Tucked away in the southern part of the New Forest, and yet only a 10 minute walk from the beach, which is completely unspoilt and stunning in all it’s natural glory with views of the Isle of Wight in the distance, the location for me ticks all boxes.
But the hotel and spa resort is something else, so much so I’ve been there three times now over the last few years. Every visit has been different, but so good. It’s definitely on my list of “go tos” for when I need some time out. Last month I went for a 2-night autumnal relaxing break, and it was heavenly…
On arrival up the beautiful drive to the entrance, the rain was tipping it down and we were instantly greeted by smiley faced staff with umbrellas, and the offer to park the car. The duty Hotel Manager was also there to greet me, to introduce himself and to wish us a pleasant stay. Not only did that make me feel as though I was a VIP (which I realise I’m not!) but instantly welcomed away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
The rooms in the main hotel are wonderful, but on this occasion I decided an upgraded treat was in order, to stay in one of their Treehouses! A short buggy ride away from the main house, we were quickly taken up to our Treehouse, cutely named Spruce!
The Treehouses are spaced out, so you always feel isolated, and I’ve never had such peace and quiet before – bliss! A short walkway lead us in to our new home for the next two nights.
WOW. We were quickly immersed in to a world, out of this world! A luxury home, on stilts, with views of the forest and nothing else.
My photos just don’t do our Treehouse justice! This place has all the homely touches you need for a cosy autumnal break. I was uber excited by the coffee machine, all of the different types of teas (tea heaven!) and even marshmallows for hot chocolate!
After we had fully established the ins and outs of Spruce – including the walk in wardrobe complete with hair dryer AND straightners, and I’m bummed I forgot to take a photo of the huge cosy bed and the bathroom – with the biggest bath and shower I have ever been in, and with lovely beauty treats by L’Occitane and Ren – thank you VERY much!
It’s now mid afternoon and time for some relaxing spa time. After a swim we then enjoyed the super high-tech hydrotherapy spa pool, to massage different parts of the body, top to toe. It was a little cold outside, but we braved the outdoor whirpool for a few minutes! I had a massage which was so relaxing, and then relaxed by the pool catching up on some light reading, and NOT catching up on emails (which in my job is hard to avoid).
Back at Spruce, after some chill out time in the hot tube on our balcony with a glass of bubbles, it was now time for dinner.
Being a lover of gin, I’m always intrigued in gin cocktails and Chewton Glen has the biggest gin menu I’ve ever seen, and you should see the length of the whiskey menu!! We opted for a tipple before dinner – the bar area is so warm, cosy and traditionally dark, that I felt sooo relaxed. Definitely time for food.
Being a food lover, it’s a big surprise to me that I have never had a 7 course tasting menu, until now… I’m always put off by 1 or 2 dishes on the menu, but in this hotel’s restaurant they allow you swap out some of the dishes for other items on the menu – brilliant! Below are a couple of snaps of the courses I remembered to take photos of. Crispy beef and venison. Incredible.
By the end of the dinner and a few bottles of wine, it was definitely time for bed! On the way back to Spruce, we picked up a few films from reception from their DVD library to watch in the room. I felt so relaxed I fell asleep 20 minutes in to Marley and Me.
Not only did I wake up to a beautiful view outside in to the forest, but I remembered that when residing in a Treehouse you get delivered a breakfast hamper to a cute hatch that opens straight in to your kitchen area. At 8am I ran over to see if it had arrived, and it had – it felt like Father Christmas had been!
I unpacked it all and laid everything out on the table. Check out the photo below – fresh fruit including a pot of grapefruit, pastries, fresh breads, bircher muesli, yoghurts, jams, juices, muffins and even Coco Pops! It was amazing! there was no way we could eat it all, but I kept some of it for us to snack on throughout the day.
After a breakfast fit for a King and Queen, it was time for a fun few hours of forest and beach walks. There’s nothing like fresh British clean air, combined with a long walk to get the body relaxed! Chewton Glen even have Hunter wellies (yes, Hunter!) in reception for guests to use.
After a 10-15 minute stroll out of the resort (having a quick nose around the AMAZING vegetable garden – they grow everything here and even make their own honey!), we took in the sights of the stunning croquet lawn and then strolled through the forest before ending up on the beach.
After about 7 miles of walking in the windy weather, albeit enjoyable, we were absolutely knackered when we arrived back. So we decided a quick hour in the spa was totally justified, including steam and sauna time to relax our aching leg muscles!
That night we were so chilled we cheekily decided to order room service. It was amazing. I had the lobster curry followed by a cheese board (which I grazed on whilst watching X Factor of course!). The food was delicious, and when it arrived the staff set it all up and laid the table…
After dinner, it was pitch black outside, and time to put the fire on, get the blankets out, watch films and graze on our cheese board and leftover cookies from earlier. I had now totally relaxed, just what I needed. I was also very full up!
I was thinking about taking advantage of the night owl service, to order a toastie and some ice cream (like I hadn’t eaten enough already!?). But I couldn’t, I was too full. I lasted until 10pm before I snoozed, having not felt this rested in a long time. I didn’t want this getaway to end – ever.
The next morning, after waking up like an excited child on Christmas Day again to collect my breakfast hamper, I unpacked it all and decided to brave the Autumn vibes on the balcony whilst I reflected on what a beautiful couple of days I’d had. The 5-star Chewton Glen had excelled itself again, and I was already working out in my head when I could book my next trip.
The Treehouse experience totally lived up to what it’s designed for – to make you feel relaxed, have time out and whilst enjoying all the little touches of luxury, including a tablet in the room to order room service and films, book spa treatments and for general information about the hotel and location. The staff at this resort make the experience worthwhile, with no stone left unturned and never anything but a smiley face.
It’s pretty obvious I recommend this resort. For me, it’s definitely worth saving up for, whether you stay in a Treehouse or in the main hotel. Next time I’m definitely going to try out the Afternoon Tea, it looked yummy, but I couldn’t physically fit anything else in! I was stuffed!
This mini-break was a treat to me from a very close person to me. Life happens, and things happen in life, but whichever way we look at these things, it’s always good to relax, switch off and enjoy some time out occasionally. There are so many beautiful resorts in the UK that offer that, and Chewton Glen is certainly way up there as one of the best! I hope you get to go sometime soon.