Tea and Macaroons at a Refined Retreat,
Don’t Mind if I Do!
One such ‘refined retreat’ as far as I am concerned, is Coworth Park Hotel and Spa; the Dorchester Collection’s luxury country house hotel set amidst 240 acres of picturesque parkland on the borders of Windsor Great Park. It was reopened after an extensive renovation project led by Fox Linton Associates in 2011 and is one of my favourite hotels for so many reasons.
Firstly, I am a really big fan of Mary Fox Linton and have admired her pared-down approach to interior design ever since I became an Interior Designer over fifteen years ago. Needless to say, the interior of the hotel is stunning and was deservedly short-listed in no less than 4 awards at the European Hotel Design Awards in 2011.
Moreover, the decorative style of Coworth Park is what you would expect from a five star hotel; luxurious, elegant, polished and sleek but also incredibly comfortable with lots of quirky nods to its equestrian surroundings in the artwork displayed. I could spend hours admiring the paintings themselves, let alone the furniture, lighting and soft furnishings!
There is certainly a sense of light and space evident throughout the hotel, with clever use of mirrors and materials. The flooring is a smoked oak which is adorned with beautiful bespoke rugs and pure wool carpets. The overall colour scheme is very natural and earthy with the most stunning but simple window treatments surrounding the tall sash windows.
The floral arrangements displayed throughout, from the reception to the bar, to the ladies (!) are exquisitely stunning but some are also strikingly simple with single wild flowers in glass bottles perfectly placed along a fireplace. Central light fittings in many of the main rooms of the hotel are pieces of art in themselves, depicting nature on a large scale.
But what about the afternoon tea I hear you ask?
Well, last week I decided to take a friend to show her Coworth Park Hotel and Spa and have a catch-up over a quintessentially British afternoon tea. We weren’t disappointed! The tea list was extensive; featuring a choice of rare teas served in beautiful silverware. Finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and fruit preserve as well as dainty pastries and bright yellow macaroons adorned a three-tier platter which we worked our way through (and took home a few treats at the end!).
We ended our visit with a walk around the gardens of this refined retreat to see the extensively landscaped parterre and sunken garden and to experience the outer splendour of the magnificent Palladian building. We were too early in the year to see the wild meadow in bloom but did discover various sculptures by Bristol-based artist Carol Peace. What an amazing find! The characters in her sculptures are truly mesmerizing and add to the immense sense of calm in this English country estate.
What a lovely way to spend a couple of hours – it was well worth a trip away from the hustle and bustle and we certainly left with a serene feeling of tranquillity. Maybe next time we’ll treat ourselves to a visit to the ‘eco-luxury’ spa for even more relaxation (and macaroons!)