1 night, 2 chefs, 3 stars
Fancy a supercharged foodie supper? Canter to Coworth Park for posh nosh, luxe starfishing and a laidback vibe we could get used to.
Coworth Park needs no introduction. Its most recent claim to fame is that Prince Harry spent his last night of singledom here. Before Megxit, Hazza was also a regular on the hotel’s polo field and he’s partial to a pedi in the spa. Set in 240 acres of parkland, Coworth Park is the ultimate escape to the country and yet avoids all the shabby chic, rural cliches. Click and stylish it’s got oodles of luxe finishes that you would expect from a Dorchester Collection crash pad. It’s the only hotel in the UK to have its own polo field, but for an adrenaline-free equine adventure, guests can go for a ride on the horses they keep in Coworth’s stables.
What else? There’s a sustainable spa, several restaurants – one with a Michelin twinkler – and you’re a short hack from Ascot Racecourse, close to Windsor Great Park and on a clear day, you can see Tittenhurst, the former home of John Lennon, and the place where he wrote Imagine. It’s no wonder Londoners gagging for a bit of green and pleasant land, gallop to this sprawling white Georgian manor house when they’re in need of R&R. It’s just 45 minutes from the Big Smoke and 20 minutes from Heathrow.
Nothing shabby about Coworth, it’s contemporary chic with all the understated swagger of Taylor Swift. And if you didn’t realise they love horses here, the equine pop-art portraits and horseshoe embroidered bed linen will give it away. Horses even have right of way here and so do children. It’s a place that’s geared up for the Pony Club/ Jilly Cooper set. In addition to the usual kids’ club activities, children (and adults) can also take riding lessons. If you’re not feeling the jodhpur vibes, there’s a stunning spa, luxurious afternoon tea and the manicured meadow-style gardens are worth exploring. It’s also one of the most environmentally-friendly hotels, growing sustainable willow to fuel its biomass heating plant and an eco spa.
Feeeeeeel the 10,000-thread count bed linen, plush velvet and floor to ceiling marble. I’ve died and gone to VIP heaven. The 30 rooms in the main house are grand and spacious; 40 further rooms are split between the split across cottages and stables. All are different, deliciously high end, and have the same earthy tones and horsey details. My room for the night featured a stunning four-poster bed with posts shaped like branches, marble bathroom, a smart dressing room and a chaise longues. For the ultimate hideaway, you can book Dower House, a private, Grade II-listed, three-bedroomed cottage. Big TVs, fully-charged mini bar, Nespresso machines, filtered water, and teas complete the set. You want for nothing. So if you’re looking for an otherworldly, ‘first-class all the way, baby’ night away, this is it.
SCOFF & QUAFF
There are three restaurants here: the healthier Spatisserie, The Barn with a family-friendly crowd-pleasing menu and, the jewel in Coworth’s crown, the one Michelin star Restaurant Coworth Park. Executive Head Chef Adam Smith snagged his twinkler in 2018 and rightly so. He recently launched a special seasonal supper with a guest chef and I’m tucking in my napkin for six courses at his second Adam Invites… with two Michelin star chef Alex Dilling of The Greenhouse in Mayfair. Faaaaancy!
Each chef takes a course and there are six to devour. Alex kicked off with Crab Caviar and Smoked Sturgeon pate with a rather foxy cracker, Adam stepped up to the hot plate with Stuffed Morel with truffle, both light, full of flavour and technical. Alex’s Oeuf Noir – a smoked black egg sat in a truffle foam – is one of those Instaworthy dishes that has diners salivating at their screens. Cut into the egg and the perfect runny yolk oozes out, but for me, it was all a bit soupy. Mr M, however, popped it straight into his Top 5 dishes of all time.
My hero course of the night was Alex’s Landes Chicken ‘Hunter Style’ with puffed potatoes and a phenomenal sushi roll of salad. It was rich yet refreshing and every ingredient was beautifully balanced. The grand finale? Adam’s signature Chocolate souffle tart. Need I say more? Nope, it’s a blinking chocolate souffle, resistance was futile.
OUT & ABOUT
Come and never leave. I mean security will insist eventually, but you can check in to Coworth Park and not step foot outside its 240 acres. Watch the polo in the summer, go horse riding, skip through the meadows and flick your hair like you’re in a Timoté ad or lounge in the spa. Simply bliss out. Need a bit more excitement? If you make a break for it, Ascot Racecourse and Windsor racecourses are both a few minutes away, drop in and see the Queen at Windsor Castle, pop a couple of Tramadol and spend the day at Legoland or mess about on the River Thames. It’s all on your doorstep.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Supercharged special occasions, foodies who get giddy around Michelin star chefs and anyone seeking a unique, one-off experience. Luxury seekers.
Not for: Fussy eaters. This is a taster menu. Kids, the food is rich, it’s top dollar and quite frankly my children’s unsophisticated palettes are not worthy.
££: Two Michelin starred chefs don’t come cheap. The Adam Invites Guest Chef dinner costs £120pp and the wine flight is an extra £80. Fancy staying the night, rooms cost from £284 per night, exc breakfast.
Coworth Park, Blacknest Rd, Sunningdale, Ascot SL5 7SE. Tel: 01628 580 212.