Need a break this Christmas? Why not indulge yourself with a festive break at Coworth Park, Berkshire? Words by Jonathan Whiley
Roaring log fires to prevent Jack Frost nipping at your nose, artfully-decorated Christmas trees and turkey so perfect it seems plucked from an advert. Welcome to Christmas at Coworth Park.
A stay at this country house hotel in Ascot, part of the fabled Dorchester Collection, is like wrapping yourself in a winter scarf or draping yourself in cashmere.
Grandeur seems etched into its DNA. Striking a palatial pose amid sprawling grounds, there seems no better place to escape the rat race of the capital and toast the season of goodwill.
It’s an easy 45-minute jaunt from London or, if you’re feeling particularly presidential (as we did), a 15 minute helicopter ride from Battersea (courtesy of Castle Air).
Arriving on the grounds’ helipad, we were greeted with mulled wine. Does anything signal Christmas quite like the scent of gently warmed cinnamon?
Crackling log fires
Then golf buggies whisked us off to the main house, now flanked by twinkling Christmas trees.
The operation here is slick, orchestrated, but never too formal. The welcome is as warm as the crackling fireplaces.
Luxury means nobody blinks an eye at taking a glass of welcome champagne to the spa. In fact, they encourage it.
Rooms and suites are modern, spliced with country life character, and with roll-top copper baths. It’s hard to resist the lure of an Instagram close-up.
While there are ample opportunities for enviable pictures – not least in the main restaurant with its oak leaf chandelier – the experience alone might just hold your attention.
Prince Harry’s pre-wedding hideaway
For something particularly memorable, make for the Dower House.
Built in 1775, this Grade II-listed cottage belongs on Christmas cards across the land. It recently enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame as the venue where Prince Harry spent the night before his wedding.
Those arriving at Coworth on Christmas Eve will be welcomed with a suitably swish Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room. This will be followed by children’s story time and festive card making or movies in the Tower House.
A three course dinner will follow courtesy of young Michelin-starred chef Adam Smith – think first class turkey and all the trimmings.
Then there’s genteel live entertainment and the option for transfers to Sunningdale Parish Church for a midnight service.
Santa in the lobby
On Christmas Day itself – providing you have behaved yourself – Father Christmas will take a breather from his extensive travels in the lobby after breakfast.
The celebrations continue with a four course lunch in brasserie style The Barn or a six course extravaganza in the main restaurant.
Guests can then gather in the Garden Room for the Queen’s speech, before a buffet dinner in the Mansion House.
Further festivities commence on Boxing Day with brunch and country pursuits.
Those who want to bring in 2020 in style can enjoy dinner, dancing in the Summer Room and fireworks – accompanied by champagne – at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Indulgent? Perhaps. Worth it? Absolutely. After all, it’s the most magical time of the year.
A three-night Christmas at Coworth Park package is available from December 24 to 27, from £4,105 per room, based on a Stable Superior Room. Two and three night packages at New Year are also available, from December 31 at £2,665 per room.
To book, visit: www.dorchestercollection.com/en/ascot/coworth-park/
Or call: 01344 838160.
For a festive break closer to home, you may like to read A Mayfair Christmas about the festive offering at Dukes Hotel and other local hotels.
Read further hotel reviews in the Travel section of our website.
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