You may have already heard of the The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire. As the place where Cheryl Cole and various other celebs got married, it’s earned itself quite a reputation as the five-star venue of choice among UK celebrities. And when you discover the level of luxury inside this mansion house-turned-boutique-hotel, you will certainly understand why.
5-star country chic at The Grove Hotel
I was particularly excited about reviewing The Grove. Aside from the celebrity associations, I just knew this hotel was going to have the wow factor. I knew this because I’d made many dents in my working days in the lead up to our visit, daydreaming over pictures on the internet… …of their perfectly manicured gardens, gorgeous rooms, beautiful food at their restaurant Colette’s and that epic Sequoia spa. And after hopping off the train at Watford Junction (a mere 20 minutes from Euston) and hailing a cab to take us a few miles down the road, those internet pictures became a reality. Soon, we were leaving the city behind and making our way up The Grove’s sweeping drive, surrounded by birds, wildlife, and acres upon acres of gorgeous countryside.
Once checked in, we were taken through some rather novel velvet curtained corridors to our guest room on the second floor. I couldn’t decide whether they were theatrical, or seductive. Or perhaps both. Then when we found out our room was called ‘Hot and Sexy’, I decided, probably the latter. There are more than 217 rooms in total here – 26 in the original Mansion House and 191 in the newly-developed West Wing. Our ‘Hot and Sexy’ room was one of eight Mansion Deluxe Rooms. With deep purple curtains and drapes, red rose modern art and a shower large enough for a ‘shower-pour-deux’, and fabulous views, yep, it certainly ticks the romance box. Lucky then that I was here with BC and not one of my best pals. That could have been a bit embarrassing.
As this is a luxe five-star hotel, you really do have everything you need at The Grove Hotel and everything comes with an unmistakeable sense of style. Our room had two impressive bathrooms (one with a bathtub, the other with the aforementioned shower). And there were plenty of ESPA toiletries, loads of glossy magazines, wifi and a wide-screen TV.
The complimentary Nashi fruit (Japanese pear) was a nice surprise. And it’s always pleasing to find a dressing table, large wardrobe with hangers with plenty of bottled water, and a tray with a kettle, cafetiere and heaps of teabags and coffee. There were also snacks, nibbles and many, many bottles of spirits, which all come at an additional (and rather high) price. The room also had two lovely armchairs which I could have sunk into for hours while I gazed out at the views. But I had business to do. So a quick dumping of bags, spruce up and cuppa later and we were on our way to meet the lovely PR who took us on a tour of the spectacular grounds. And wow, they were spectacular. Four lounges where you can enjoy afternoon tea overlook these manicured gardens where towering age-old trees and prettily manicured shrubs and hedges frame the lawns.
There’s an interesting focus on contemporary art at The Grove too, so look out for really cool modern sculptures in the patios and gardens too.
If you’re dining in Colette’s – their fine-dining restaurant – you’ll have views over the other side of the estate. But for breakfast, you’ll also catch a glimpse of this lovely spot. Then you have the walled gardens which are just brilliant. It’s also here where the hotel chefs grow a lot of their fresh herbs and vegetables, (how’s that for field to fork?). Our only regret is we weren’t here during the warmer summer months as it would be a great place to hang out in the sunshine (brilliant for families too). Especially as you have this giraffe ‘hedge’ peering over the wall… ..and – wait for it – an urban beach! Complete with deck chairs, a swimming pool and volley ball court. Amazing. Now and again there are music events held here, so do look out for them as I imagine it’s a brilliant venue.
For the exercise enthusiasts among us, there are various running trails across the grounds of The Grove, and regrettably, as I was trying to finish work deadlines before dinner, I sadly didn’t make use of them. Mr C did though, and found some very pretty scenery. Do I wish we’d had another night here? Oh yes. This place is beautiful.
Aside from Colette’s and The Glasshouse, you can also eat at the Stables. We didn’t eat here but we did take a quick walk through to find a golf shop (there’s a golf course here) and an ever so cosy and relaxed space. The food there is a selection of bar food, a la carte and grazing menus. So expect everything from burgers, fish and chips and pizzas; to lamb chops, duck breast and steak. It’s an informal, bar-style, but with the five-star quality. So expect five star prices to go with it, but I expect five-star quality too. That night, we were eating in Colette’s so, after a chill out in the hotel room and delightful glass of fizz in the Glasshouse bar, we headed over to this intimate, candle-lit dining room off the side of the hotel. You can read my full review of Colette’s to find out more, but after an impressive ‘Sonnet’ menu, we collapsed into bed for much-needed shut-eye ahead of our early-ish start. Do make time to enjoy breakfast if you ever stay at The Grove Hotel because the choice – and quality – is really quite phenomenal. Fabulous fruit stations, delicious bircher muesli and cereal selections…
Fabulous fabulous sausages, hash browns and cooked breakfast!
As well as various yoghurts, pastries and waffles, and any kind of coffee you like.
By the way, did you see my vine video of this epic breakfast?
Hotel breakfasts are one of my favourite indulgences and it’s feasts like this that really leave a lasting impression on you after your stay. The Grove Hotel restaurant is relaxed, the food selection – as I say – is incredible and as a hive for luxury seekers and the odd ‘celebrity’, there’s a definite feel of ‘I recognise that person’ when you float about the hotel.
But with plenty of space, friendly staff and a very cosmopolitan and relaxed vibe, The Grove Hotel is not the pretentious, hoity toity venue some people think it might be. It’s fresh and exciting and a fabulous retreat that’s accessed via an easy half-hour train and cab journey from Euston Station. Do try it out if your budget allows. This is how those who escape the city do chic. Stay tuned for my chat with Awarding chef Russell Bateman, and my visit to the luxurious Sequoia Spa.
Until next time x