If you’re looking for a festive countryside escape close to the capital, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more gorgeous - or grand - venue than Beaverbrook in Surrey. And it just happens to house the most Instagrammable spa I’ve ever been to.
The run-up to Christmas can be very tiring, you know especially with all those parties and festive drinks. So a little bit of R&R before the big day can make all the difference, and just an hour away from London by train, you’ll find the perfect location for it. Nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills, Beaverbrook is a decadent yet peaceful house steeped in history.
Beaverbrook is one of the quintessential British estates with one of the richest histories. Originally the home of celebrated publisher and backstage politician, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, it has hosted countless historical figures and celebrities of the 20th century, some of which have inspired the rooms you can stay in today. Those include Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and the Duchess of Windsor. The property’s rich history is evident in the decor throughout. You’ll find spitfires dotted throughout the property, a nod to Lord Beaverbrook, who trebled the production of spitfires during his time as wartime Minister of Aircraft Production, leading Britain to win the pivotal Battle of Britain. A sweeping staircase in the main hall leads to a classic piano decorated with pictures of Beaverbrook’s famous occupants. The house is also home to an impressive and eclectic art collection, from Gerhard Richter’s abstract tapestry hanging in the lobby, to the super rare Jean Cocteau angel stained-glass panel above the doorway of the entrance to the Italian gardens.
As previously mentioned, each room is unique, with some inspired by its famous occupants. Elizabeth Taylor’s room is glamorous and romantic, thanks to its four-posted bed, muted pink and blue decor and elegant roll top bath. Rudyard Kilping’s room features a playful botanical print, no doubt an ode to one of his most famous books, The Jungle Book. You can stya in the House, the Garden House and the Coach House, as well as in private cottages in Mickleham Village. Expect impeccable design, an eclectic collection of artwork, antiques and memorabilia and comfortable yet modern furnishings in each room.
The spa itself is a work of art, thanks to stained-glass artist, Brian Clarke, who was commissioned to bring his unique magic to create what the Germans call Gesamtkunstwerk; art that embraces everything in the space, and makes the space itself a work of art. Think bold colours and natural shapes inspired from the flowering plants found on the estate, as well as magnificent stained glass windows (main picture). The amenities are second to none. There are six treatment rooms in total, a relaxation area, and a thermal spa housing a Jacuzzi, a spacious steam room with 100% humidity, sauna, and ice fountain. You can do laps in the tranquil indoor pool, or be invigorated by the outdoor (heated) pool, inspired by an old-school lido. New to the spa is the Meadow Hut, overlooking the meadow, where you can enjoy massages and holistic treatments.
You might have to extend your stay so you can sample the delicious cuisine at the various restaurants dotted around the property. The Dining Room offers an elegant menu of delicately flavoured selections of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri plus the finest cuts of meat and fish from our Josper grill (the Wagyu is a must), while The Garden House is a great example of traditional, home-cooked dishes using local ingredients. For something a little more laidback, try the Pizzeria or the Coach House Deli. Finally, Sir Frank’s Bar and The Robin’s Nest Bar are the perfect places for a night cap.
What to do
There’s always something to do at Beaverbrook, whether it’s exploring the acres of land, enjoying the spa or the many activities the property hosts for both adults and children, including film showings in the private cinema. This winter sees the return of the magical ice rink. From 20th November 2023 to 30th January 2024, skate while overlooking the Surrey Hills, listening to festive melodies and indulging in sweet treats, hot chocolate, or a glass of bubbles.
Rates at Beaverbrook start from £505 per night inclusive of breakfast and taxes for two guests in a Cosy Room in The Garden House
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
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