Cliveden House is just a 20-minute car journey from historical Windsor (Meghan Markle famously stayed there with her mother the night before her wedding to Prince Harry), but to be honest, for a truly relaxing stay, we wouldn’t recommend you leave the hotel, or its grounds, at all.
The stately home’s is set on acres of gorgeous gardens, and woodlands overlooking the Thames River, all of which you can visit even without being a guest, as it’s a National Trust property (you need to book in advance at the moment to respect social distancing guidelines).
You can only go boating on the river between June and October, however the gardens and fountains are beautiful all year round, and you can easily while away the hours discovering the grounds, hours made all the more enjoyable by the promise of an afternoon tea at Cliveden afterwards.
If we had to choose one word, it would be: regal. But please don’t make the mistake of thinking it is stuffy too. Behind the grandiose interiors of gold-gilded mirrors, oil paintings and antique furniture lies a warm and welcoming place you will adore cosying up in. It’s hard to pick a favourite season to stay here, but the colder months are perfect for enjoying a cocktail or good book by the fireplace.
Again, regal comes to mind. Cliveden boasts many rooms, all of which have their own personality – indeed, some of them are named after historical figures. The luxurious in particular offer spectacular views of the gardens, and feature high ceiling, antiques and original works of art as well as spacious lounge areas, and don’t get us started on the enormous bathrooms and free-standing bathtubs. You simply won’t want to leave the room.
There are many dining options at Cliveden House, and if you’er staying there for a couple of nights, we recommend you try them all. The afternoon tea in the Great Hall is an absolute must and such a special treat, even if you’re only there for the afternoon. As well as the quintessentially English scones and jam, you’ll feast on sweet treats such as bite-sized cakes and pastries.
For a spot of lunch, the Astor Grill is a great option. The restaurant is set under the Clock Tower and includes a terrace, so you can dine al fresco on dishes such as burgers and chips, and sea bass with spiced yogurt and aubergine (weather permitting).
Finally, the more formal, and more romantic, option: the award-winning Cliveden Dining Room. Make sure you have a light lunch beforehand, as you’ll want to try all the modern British dishes on the menu, which include cheese soufflé, heritage potato terrine, fillet of halibut, Beef Wellington and a trolley of desserts (the menu changes seasonally).
You might want to carry on forgetting all your worries by visiting the spa. If you can brave it, do have a dip in the outdoor pool (it is heated after all) as there is something magical about being overlooked by the historical clock tower. There is also a jacuzzi outside if you prefer hot water, as well as an indoor swimming pool and hot tub.
If you want to push the boat out, do treat yourself to a signature massage, and rest assured that all staff are following the safety guidelines, so you can truly relax.
How to book:
Rooms rates are: Club Room – £495 (B&B), Lady Astor Suite – £1,585 (B&B), Prince of Wales Suite – £1,585 (B&B), Spring Cottage – £2,105 (B&B). Book online or by calling 01628 668561.
There are many safety measures in place, in accordance with the Government guidelines. You can find the detailed list here, but these include: a pre-arrival health questionnaire, temperature check on arrival (if your temperature is 38 degrees or above you, unfortunately, you will be declined entry and your deposit refunded or your stay re-scheduled), face coverings are required in all public areas, and hotel residents receive an amenity kit on arrival, which includes sanitisers, wipes and face covering.