5 reasons we’re loving Stonor this summer
One of our favourite family haunts, Stonor Park near Henley may not be opening its historic house for a little while, but there’s a raft of cool stuff going on in the grounds we think you'll love.
1) Sink your teeth into street food
Bored of banana bread and sourdough? Hot foot it over to Stonor Park to catch its Street Food Summer, in association with mega-cool crew KERB (who you may know from Covent Garden’s foodie exploits). The street food line-up changes every week and you’ll need to book a free slot to pick up your goodies from the likes of Mother Flipper, aka one of the best burger operators in the London game, Oh My Dog for heritage breed franks and high-end steaks, and Polu Poke with their super-fresh Hawaiian sushi rolls.
A brand new weekend bar menu kicks off this Sat (11 July) with East London craft beers, organic wines and Prosecco, and signature summer cocktails including a unique take on a Pimm’s cup. Go on then, just up to the brim please.
Street Food Summer with KERB runs until Sun 19 July and then kicks off again on Thurs 13 August until the end of the summer holidays.
2. Wear the kids out at Wonder Woods
Stonor’s Wonder Woods are open again, huzzah! Plenty for littlies, with a dedicated area of sandpits, wobbly wooden animal seesaws, tunnels and more, and for older kids a 9-metre pyramid slide, tree house, giant nest swing and the 50 metre zip wire. Pre-booking online is essential (you won’t be able to pick up tickets on the day), and unsurprisingly the weekends are booking up fast.
3. Get a great workout (yes, really!)
With the gyms still closed until later this month, Stonor has spotted an opportunity and, gotta say, I’m loving their work on this one. Their new Stonor ParkFit programme is made up of post-lockdown, socially-distanced fitness classes aimed at cardiovascular health and overall strength, run by Cynergy personal trainers and set in the beautiful gardens and deer park (beats staring at an unflatteringly-lit gym mirror, doesn’t it?). One hour sessions, all abilities welcome and kick off at 9.15am every Wednesday for £15 each (or you can block book 10 sessions for £120). Plus, £1 from every session goes to Patagonia Action Works, so it’s a feel-good workout in more ways than one. Book here.
4. The closest you’ll get to Giffords Circus this summer
While magical travelling show Giffords Circus may not be setting up its big top any time soon, its famous Circus Sauce restaurant is setting up home at Stonor this summer. From Fri 24 July to Sun 9 August, it will serve up rustically extravagant three-course feasts on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, with adults costing £35 and kids £25. The menu changes weekly (all the more excuse to visit several times 🍕), but if you can’t make the evening, the vintage pizza van will be slinging freshly-cooked ‘za from midday to 4pm on Thurs-Sun, and until closing time on Wednesdays. Book your tickets here.
5. Stop and smell the roses
Well, at least someone’s happy about the recent bonkers weather – the gardens at Stonor Park are loving it! Highlights if you’ve never taken a spin around the huge estate include the 17th century Italianate Pleasure Garden (keep an eye out for the Japanese-style hideaway hidden within), Ladies Walk, Old Kitchen Garden and the Renaissance ponds. If you’re after a more ambitious ramble, you can follow the Chilterns Way and The Shakespeare Way paths – both run through the deer park.
Wonder Woods Adventure Playground, Stonor Gardens and car park are open Wed to Sun and pre-booking is essential to adhere to social distancing rules. The toilets will be open with added cleaning measures. Book here.