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Coworth Park

Olivia Allwood-Mollon enjoys Veuve in the bath and venison at the table, at Dorchester outpost, Coworth Park

They Say:

“Dorchester Collection has a special alchemy created between our remarkable properties and the people who inhabit them. As hallmarks of good living, refined elegance and bespoke service, our hotels embody their locations, taking you on unique journeys of discovery.

Revel in the pastoral tranquillity of a unique hotel, just 45 minutes’ drive from London. A refined retreat set in 240 acres of picturesque parkland on the borders of Windsor Great Park, Coworth Park blends the warmth and comfort of a traditional country house hotel with an eccentric spirit.

The wildflower meadow in summer. Winter evenings in front of the fire. Long walks through golden autumn, and the vivid bluebells of spring. This is a countryside hotel for all seasons.”

Sleep

We were given Room 10, which, despite being the name of the headmaster’s office at my school, was a rather lovely junior suite. Above the formal restaurant in the main Mansion House building, it starts from £1,140 a night, not including breakfast.

We stayed on January 31st – the perfect way to celebrate the end of an entirely dry month. Greeted with a chilled bottle of Veuve, our suite did not disappoint. Think Edina Monsoon’s house in Ab Fab – serene, 90s minimalism with an Asian accent. Billowy fabrics, high ceilings, calico, and Georgian sash windows adjoin a bathroom almost as vast as the room itself. A capacious freestanding tub was as perfect for bath-time a deux, as it was for reading alone.

The suite had a grand four-poster bed, seating area with a sofa and armchairs, and a separate desk, where Mr Man finished his taxes and I drank Champagne.

The whole place has had a revamp since I’d last stayed a few years back. Coworth Park does quiet luxury at its finest. Stealth wealth at its best, understated consumption with gumption.

Dine

Talking of consumption, Coworth Park’s fine dining restaurant, Woven by Adam Smith, gained a Michelin star last year.

Considered lighting and Japanese minimalism contrast with course after course of delectable pan-European delights. Nestled within the luxurious Mansion House – Woven offers a seasonal tasting menu that seamlessly blends contemporary techniques with classic flavours. Each dish was meticulously crafted, showcasing seasonal ingredients, many of these sourced from the estate itself.

The menu began with a vibrant tomato consommé, delicately balanced with hints of basil and a touch of olive oil. This was followed by hand-dived scallops, seared to perfection, and served with a creamy cauliflower purée, accented by a touch of beluga caviar. Next came a truffle-infused risotto, featuring arborio rice cooked to a perfect al dente, with black truffle shavings adding depth and complexity.

Cornish crab, garnished with beetroot and saffron, a dash of kalamansi puree, then topped with Thai green dressing, gold leaf and coriander oil followed. Then stripped loin of fallow deer, with Yorkshire rhubarb, leek, and monks beard on a callaloo puree, with a side of lamb sweetbread mash and custard-filled baby gem lettuce.

The cheese course offered a selection of artisanal cheeses, each paired with unique accompaniments like quince paste and walnut bread, providing a delightful interlude before dessert.

The menu was a veritable symphony of flavour, orchestrated with the kind of flair and panache only Adam Smith could muster, with each course paired with wines that flowed like ambrosial nectar.

Who Goes There?

Londoners who fancy playing Lord of the manor for a weekend, foodies who manage to score a table at Woven, and affluent globe-trotting tourists who know and trust The Dorchester brand.

Coworth Park is ideal for couples on romantic minibreaks, Americans eager for a (sanitised) taste of rural England, foodies, as well as well-heeled groups taking over the Dower House and North Lodge for birthdays, wedding parties, and upmarket hen-dos. I’d previously stayed in the Dower House for a friend’s 30th, and it did not disappoint.

To Do:

Coworth Park is family friendly, and great for keen equestrians. It has its own polo fields as well as a menage for lessons and cross-country course for more competent riders.

The boating lake and croquet lawn allow for full immersion in country house weekend cosplay. And who doesn’t love messing around in boats, or knocking a ball around, glass of something chilled in hand.

There’s also a gym, pool, and eco-spa, offering all the usual from manicures to massages.

The Worst Thing

Um, at an absolute push, the dawn chorus of birdsong…?! Totally our fault for leaving a window wide open.

The Best Thing

I have a Roman attitude to bathing, and consider it a social affair. A two-person tub is always a winner, and Coworth’s did not disappoint. The décor was second only to the food in Woven.  Think, warm, low-hanging lighting with facsimile-real ceramic conkers on each table. Just 45 minutes’ drive from London, the grounds are both manicured and extensive, the interiors serene, and the staff a delight.

The spa is also worth an honourable mention – if it’s good enough for Penelope Cruz… Underwater lights and music are a highlight of the glass-walled pool.

Having stayed at Coworth several times over the years, as well as her sisters The Dorchester, Le Meurice, and Hotel Bel-Air; one thing I can say about the Dorchester Collection is they pay attention to detail. Whether it’s a thoughtful book on the bath-rack (hello How to be Idle), or a bedroom fire lit for our return (hello Bel-Air hotel), this group has the customer experience down.

The Details

Our junior mansion suite starts from around £1,140/night

Coworth Park, Blacknest Road, Ascot SL5 7SE, United Kingdom

+44-1344-876600

www.dorchestercollection.com