Last Updated on June 20, 2018
Stoke Place – A Country House Hotel getaway just a stone’s throw from London.
The trouble with many country house staycations is the distance you have to travel from London. By the time you arrive, you are exhausted. After battling with rush hour traffic followed by a long drive, you don’t have any energy left to enjoy yourself! But imagine if you could get from the centre of London to a stunning 17th century Queen Anne Mansion-house situated within a 26-acre estate of beautiful parkland in just 30 minutes…
Stoke Place Country House Hotel is located in Buckinghamshire and is one of The Cairn Collection group of hotels. It has 39 unique bedrooms as well as extensive wedding and event facilities. Originally built by royal chef Patrick Lamb in 1690 after hosting his legendary coronation feast for King James II, it is perfectly placed in Buckinghamshire between Windsor, Gerrards Cross, Beaconsfield and Heathrow and excitingly I have been invited to review.
The initial impression on arrival at the property is of laidback stylishness. Beautifully maintained gardens surround the house and when we were shown to our room – the refined Queen Anne suite – there was a wonderful view onto the lawns. The substantial suite is an elegant octagonal shape decked out in chocolate brown with long heavy damask curtains draped across the grand bay windows which framed the grounds perfectly. It is easy to lose yourself and think you were in a period drama. Though, with a large comfortable bed and flatscreen TV the Queen Anne suite isn’t lacking in mod cons!
A freestanding claw-foot bath in the spacious bathroom adds to the sense of glamour.
The gardens were created by iconic gardener ‘Capability’ Brown who was commissioned by Field Marshal Sir George Howard to landscape the estate grounds of Stoke Place in 1765 creating the signature parkland with its lake and islands that remain today. It’s the perfect place for a stroll before dinner with many romantic vistas to appreciate.
Before heading to the hotel’s King and Lamb Restaurant, we popped into the Butterfly Bar for a suitably spicy Bloody Mary. With outdoor seating on the lawns, it’s a great place for a drink whatever the weather.
And then for dinner in the brand new King and Lamb Restaurant. It pays homage to legendary royal chef Patrick Lamb who built the country house in 1690, cooking for the likes of Queen Anne and King James II. Lavish fabrics, stunning hand-crafted lighting and antique ornaments combine with hardwood floors and modern fixtures combine to showcase the simple and traditional British cuisine with French flavours and cooking methods. Fresh produce is sourced from three beautiful, walled kitchen gardens, which supply ingredients for each of the dishes for the menus in the King & Lamb.
We started with a crisp bottle of Pulpo Albariño. It was creamy, with melon and lemon notes.
It was absolutely necessary to have a plate of asparagus (in season right now), served with grated truffle, lberico chorizo and a luscious confit egg yolk. A rich and delicious early summer plate of food with the delicate flavour of a pea purée combining with the crunch of the young asparagus and the saltiness of the chorizo.
Cured mackerel was beautifully cooked with the accompanying apple, pickled cucumber, radish and dill cutting through the natural oiliness of the mackerel.
Pan-fried silver bream was perfectly seared and served with saffron, mussels, and sea vegetables in a beautifully balanced dish.
Brill had a crispy exterior but was light and tender on the inside, and served with a soft wilted lettuce and a creamy cheesy polenta with added smokiness coming from the bacon.
For dessert an apple and almond Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream was beautifully executed with the almond adding a sweetness to the caramelized tartness of the apple.
We also sampled the well-kept cheeseboard, served with Stoke Place Homemade Chutney and a selection of English cheeses, and grapes.
I personally think Stoke Place could make more of their restaurant. With friendly service from waiters Ossi and Paul and a kitchen delivering at a consistently high standard and with a commitment to fresh seasonal products, it should be the local destination restaurant!
After a great night’s sleep, it was time for breakfast. There was a sumptuous selection of pastries, fruit, yoghurt, cereal and fruit with a wide selection of teas and coffees also on offer.
From the cooked menu we tried the Eggs Benedict – English muffin, Parma ham, poached eggs and an eggy hollandaise sauce – and Eggs Royal replacing the ham with smoked salmon. It was a luxuriously perfect way to set you up for the day.
Other options include a Traditional English breakfast, kippers, and French toast with maple syrup and bacon.
Stoke Place is a great destination as a peaceful and pleasurable’ staycation’ venue. With beauty of the building and gardens, the quality of the restaurant, the friendliness of the staff and its proximity to London it becomes a very viable option for a night or two away and an excellent option for those looking for a country house hotel in England
Stoke Place also has a thriving events programme including
* Summer Garden Party – Sunday 1st July
For the second year running, Stoke Place Hotel opens its famous ‘Capability Brown’ designed gardens to host a Garden Party with a ‘festival feel’ for all the family from 12pm to 5pm.
There will be live music, archery, mini-golf, face painting and a bouncy castle will be available for all the family to enjoy. New Head Chef David Jarman will also be providing a selection of hot and cold food at the event including a BBQ, pizzas and heavenly homemade ice-cream.
Local celebrity and TV Presenter Johnny Ball will also be attending to announce the winner of a local primary school children’s writing competition, which has also been sponsored by Stoke Place Hotel.
§* Open Air Cinema – Sunday 12th August – £12 per person
Watch the ‘Film of the Year ‘The Greatest Showman’ starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Effron at Stoke Place’s open-air cinema, beautifully located in its 26 acres of serene Capability Brown landscaped parkland. Cinema-goers are invited to bring along deck chairs and rugs. Delicious drinks including Champagne cocktails, home-made fresh popcorn and hampers of picnic treats will be available to purchase on the night. Arrive from 7 pm with the film due to commence at sunset.
* Bonfire Night – Sunday 4th November – £10 per person. Under 12’s go free
Stoke Place will host its annual sell-out Bonfire Night celebration on Sunday 4th November featuring dazzling fireworks set to music from classic Disney movies. Beautiful parkland, the lake and the Grade 2 listed Queen Anne Mansion House combine to make a magical backdrop to a memorable evening. Hot baked potatoes and delicious drinks will be served from 5 pm onwards. Fireworks get cracking at 6 pm.
Interested? Here’s a pin to save for later
Stoke Green, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4HT, United Kingdom.