Coworth Park, which recently launched its new North Lodge, offers an enchanting escape to the country this festive season

Words by Jonathan Whiley

If asked to distil the essence of Christmas into a screen-worthy advert, then I would point the camera firmly in the direction of Coworth Park. The five-star hotel, part of the Dorchester Collection, continually serves up the festive season with finely balanced elegance; just enough Worther’s Original country house nostalgia, a dash of big budget Home Alone and not a syrupy sighting of ‘Wiener Lebkuchen’ across its 240 acres.

Less than an hour from London, next to Windsor Great Park, the sprawling country house is perhaps best known as the venue of choice for Prince Harry the night before his wedding to Meghan Markle. Those who want to arrive regally can certainly do so; a heli pad means you can arrive on the lawn with the swagger of Succession’s Logan Roy.

A golf buggy will be waiting to whisk you away to the Mansion House and then the indulgence really begins; crisp ice-cold glasses of Verve champagne, afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, an award-winning spa (isgha treatments are on offer and facilities also include a ‘spatisserie’ and swimming pool with underwater music), tennis courts, polo fields, and an equestrian centre.

Low-key, yet luxurious rooms cover myriad categories from ‘stable superior’ to ‘Mansion House premium suite’ with swoon-worthy freestanding copper roll-top baths and marshmallow soft robes.

For something even more exclusive, the leafy grounds are also home to two signature suites; The Dower House, with three en-suite bedrooms and a private gated entrance and recent addition, North Lodge, a three-bedroom, private stand-alone gatehouse cottage.

Interiors here are a modern take on the country house aesthetic – in keeping with the hotel – with British made furniture and art and antiques sourced from local villages with a keen emphasis on comfort.

An open plan state-of-the-art kitchen and dining room caters for 10 where you can cook yourself or employ the services of a dedicated chef who can also host impromptu private masterclasses.

Those willing to put on their Hunter wellies for a short walk to the Main House can enjoy Coworth’s Michelin-starred restaurant run by executive chef Adam Smith.

For something extra special, try a taster menu in the private dining room ‘Restaurant Coworth Park Conservatory’ where his no-nonsense seasonal cuisine is showcased in all its finery.

Expect bold, elegant dishes that will subtly dazzle; Hen of the Woods with preserved pumpkin and truffle or Highland Wagyu with kohlrabi and then kick-back with a late-night cocktail in the Drawing Room with contemporary jazz from a resident singer and pianist. A chef – and hotel – for all seasons, Coworth is a hideaway that is particularly enchanting at Christmas.

For guests who want to experience a little of the magic, there is a three-night package available which kicks off on Christmas Eve with afternoon tea and a three-course dinner, continues on Christmas Day with a four-course lunch at The Barn or five courses at Restaurant Coworth Park and also includes a visit from Father Christmas and live entertainment. Boxing Day sees a leisurely brunch and assorted country pursuits with package rates starting at £5,340 per room.

The festivities continue with a two-night package to ring in 2022. Arrive at Coworth on New Year’s Eve to champagne afternoon tea, carriage rides in the hotel grounds and a
five-course dinner in your finest party attire. On New Year’s day, enjoy a leisurely brunch, country pursuits, wine tasting, cream tea – accompanied by a harpist – and a three-course dinner with live music, before checking out after breakfast the following day.

Don’t hang around – haven’t you seen the ad? Holidays are coming.