October 16, 2019
Stoke Park – a country club that is sheer perfection
You may recognise this country club from a rather special James Bond Film, Gold Finger, it’s famous for Sean Connery beating the rotund Gold Finger at golf and Odd Job, Gold Fingers minder, beheading a statue with his bowler hat. The putting green just in front of the grand Stoke Park hotel entrance is where this took place, fab for photos and ‘guess where I am?’
We had a short but truly superb overnight stay here, whether you are visiting London or nearby Windsor, Ascot, Henley or London Heathrow, the hotel offers everything needed for a relaxing getaway.
Stoke Park has 49 bedrooms and suites (21 in The Mansion, a Grade I Palladian house and 28 in The Pavilion). The Mansion bedrooms are more traditional in style, whilst The Pavilion bedrooms more contemporary, yet equally luxurious. We were lucky enough to be staying in an executive suite in The Pavillion, apparently Harrison Ford stayed in this suite the previous week, shhh, keep that to yourself! Our suite was so well designed, the lounge space was more than comfortable and the décor was reminiscent of the sixties with it’s fabulous artwork, light fittings and soft furnishings. We enjoyed a complimentary bottle of champagne while catching up on some emails, prior to a few hours in the spa and gym, probably not the right way round, but the gym seemed a little easier after a few glasses of fizz!
The Spa is situated in The Pavilion, this was ideal for us. The spa includes an indoor heated swimming pool, changing rooms with Italian marble steam rooms, a deep relaxation room, a private atrium with stunning five metre tropical aquarium, outdoor Scandinavian Sauna and hot tub, nail bar, boutique and 13 multi-surface tennis courts. The gym was so well equipped, spacious and cool, and we loved the indoor pool and relaxation loungers, where we read the papers before indulging in a treatment. I had been recommended the Lava Shell massage, so for 60 minutes I put myself in the hands of an expert therapist, the result was a feeling of complete relaxation, my skin felt warm and hydrated and felt a lovely sense of well being. The treatment rooms were cosy and warm with gentle music lulling you into a deep sense of bliss.
Following our spa visit we languished in our room for a few hours before dinner. Dressed for dinner we sauntered over to the main house to Humphrey’s for a fine dining experience in a very romantic and chic restaurant, with huge bowls of orchids, sumptuous drapery and vast windows giving a panoramic view of the grounds. Humphry’s offers à la carte as well as a three course dinner menus featuring classic British cuisine with a twist, featuring Head Chef Chris Wheeler’s famous dishes. The service is more gold than silver, smartly attired, well informed and discreet staff ensured the evening for all guests runs like clockwork. The cuisine was exquisite, beautifully presented and delicious. Our fellow diners looked to be enjoying their dining experience too, the ambience was glamorous and sophisticated, the clientele equally so.
After dinner we slept like angels in our gorgeous comfortable four poster bed, we woke to a gloriously sunny day and we were ready for breakfast, which was of course amazing, all the usual fresh fruit, pastries, breads and yoghurts, but what set this breakfast apart was the freshly cooked choices, of which there were many. A great way to set up for the day.
We spent our day whiling away the time in the spa, walking around the grounds and reading, before partaking of a little afternoon tea, my favourite. The afternoon tea of course began with a glass of champagne, followed by a choice of teas, delicate little finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, eccles cakes and a variety of delicious mini pastries, it’s an exquisitely genteel way to spend an afternoon, especially in the rather luxuriously appointed Orangery, with it’s sky high windows, numerous ornate mirrors and fabulous tableware. It really is the most delectable way to spoil yourself or a loved one, I often give afternoon tea as a gift voucher, now I will be sending my loved ones to Stoke Park.
All-in-all I challenge you to find a more complete country club. Stoke Park is in a league all on it’s own, it is a typically British class act, encompassing fine British pastimes, tennis, golf, gym, spa and now padel. The entire family are catered to, even the little ones have their own kiddies club, which includes the most amazing outdoor play ground. The carpark can be a bit intimidating though with it’s sparkly new supercars and ‘G’ wagons, but it needn’t be, guests and members are all friendly and happy, and no wonder, I can’t find fault with this country club, it is pure perfection.
The grounds are spectacular, preened and pruned, the topiary, beds, garden monuments, borders and flora are all stunning and there are numerous instagrammable hideaways.
The golf course is set within 300 acres and famous for it’s 27 hole Championship course, it is undisputedly one of the finest parkland courses in the country. Created in 1908 by eminent golf architect Harry Colt, the Stoke Park course has been the inspiration for many of the world’s most famous holes, including Augusta’s infamous 16th. A difficult but extremely scenic course, not for the faint hearted.
We have visited Stoke Park on several occasions, mainly for the huge corporate event that takes place in the Summer, a pre Wimbledon warm up, The Boodles. This involves some of the world’s top tennis players, warming up on the pristine grass courts at Stoke Park. We’ve seen Djokovic, Murray, Nalbandian, Tsonga, Verdasco to name but a few, it’s the hi-light of our year, having a son who is a pro tennis player. This country club caters to the corporate world just as efficiently as the more personal events, such as weddings and special occasions.
We will be returning in the Summer for Boodles, Tuesday 25 – Sat 29th June, to enjoy not only the tennis, but the simply sublime hospitality, hopefully the sun will shine for all, as it usually does!
The facilities at Stoke Park include:
5 Red AA Star Hotel with 49 Luxury Bedrooms and Suites
3 Restaurants, Bars and Lounges including Humphry’s (3 AA Rosettes)
27 Hole Championship Golf Course, designed by Harry Colt in 1908, All-Weather Range, USGA Spec Short Game Area and Indoor Swing Studio. European HQ for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy
State-of-the-art 4,000 sq. ft. Gymnasium complete with Fitness, Hot Yoga and Spinning Studios
Award – winning Spa
Spa Garden with Scandinavian Sauna and Outdoor Hot Tub
Indoor Swimming Pool and Steam Rooms
13 Tennis Courts (6 grass, 3 indoor and 4 floodlit artificial clay) and 2 Padel Courts (opening April 2019)
Kids Club, Games Room and Outdoor Playground
9 Private Rooms for Entertaining and Conferences
14 Acres of Private Gardens
Pro Shop and Spa Boutique
So you seeStoke Park really is utter perfection, catering to all of our needs.