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The Grove, Chandler’s Cross

Muddy says: ‘Groovy grand’ 5 star hotel and spa in a stunning 18th Century building, surrounded by over 300 hundred acres of stunning grounds.

The Grove is known as London’s country estate and it’s a sumptuous mansion just 18 miles from central London and 30 mins from Heathrow. When it opened as a hotel and spa in 2003, its style was immediately described as ‘groovy grand’.  The 18th Century architecture is definitely grand and Martin Hulbert’s interiors bring on the groove. Think hip members’ club in 300 acres of parkland – as rolling as you like – with canal, river, meadowland, lakes, beach, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and an 18-hole golf course. The Sequoia spa continues to win awards and the gym membership is popular with people in Herts. The OFSTED-inspected nursery, Anouska’s, is loved by younger guests. You’ve also got formal, sunken and walled gardens with stunning sculptures outside, and Murano chandeliers, dramatic colour and contemporary art inside. Everything is served with humour.

And that’s what makes me like it. Yes, it’s got 5-star everything, but for me, what I like about The Grove is its sense of fun. I’ve just had the pleasure of spending an evening at Colette’s, the most formal of The Grove’s three restaurants. It was a dinner to launch the arrival of Skinny Prosecco in Hertfordshire. Five courses created by Colette’s chef Russell Bateman, paired with 5 Skinny drinks. The vibe was upbeat, and there was a great sense of occasion, yet it was completely relaxed at the same time. There are two other restaurants: The Stables and The Glasshouse, both different, yet both equally fine. I have my eye on the Potting Shed in the Walled Garden as the perfect spot for a special party.

Muddy Stilettos prides itself on being the urban guide to the countryside. The Grove is pretty much a perfect example of urban chic in Hertfordshire.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Herts & Beds