Hound Lodge, the countryside retreat set on the 12,000 acre Goodwood Estate is designed to make you feel right at home. A traditional 21st Century hunting lodge with a private butler service; - don’t mind we do. Its plush but impeccably curated interiors, at the hands of interior designer Cindy Leverson, welcomes guests perfectly into its setting and most certainly lives up to its name as ‘The most luxurious dog house in the world’. The best part, though, is that the entire lodge can be rented out for exclusive use, making it a contender for the best house party venue ever.
So what happened when you arrived?
On arrival to the lodge we were welcomed by the friendliest, blush-cheeked gentlemen named James, the head butler who kindly relived us of our weekend holdalls and coats, and ushered us to the fireplace, were we sat on plumped armchairs and were presented with a slice of delicious homemade lemon drizzle cake and tea.
Were there any fun activities on offer?
Does holding baby lambs count? For the ones who chose this activity (the right choice, if I do say so myself) we were given a guided tour of the estate's impeccable farm and its facilities by the head farmer, in a new Range Rover Defender. He took us on a real adventure, visiting the two-week-old calves, lambs and not forgetting the little baby piglets!
Was there time to kick back and relax?
In true British fashion we were supplied with copious amounts of tea and waited on hand and foot like royalty. Relaxing involved chilling in our spacious powder blue bedroom with a bed that I can only describe to you as the one out of the princess and the pea, truly one of the dreamiest of beds to behold. Every mattress is filled with the wool from the Goodwood flock. (Fun fact: each room is named after the hounds of the ‘Glorious Twenty-Three’)
The bedroom was furnished to perfection, again making you feel straight at home; with its understated beauty and grandeur you never felt out of sorts. The luxurious bathroom exuded a spa-like quality. It included twin sinks, a power shower and the most brilliant bath to unwind in. The room also included complimentary home-brewed whiskey in the finest of glassware, accompanied by melt-in-the-mouth homemade shortbread. Utterly delightful!
Not forgetting the butler bell, yep, you heard right! Each room has its own butler bell whereby you may call upon a butler to your room and request anything you wish... totally fabulous!
Tell us about the pre-dinner drinks.
Pre-dinner drinks were served in the drawing room by the fireplace, we were offered a selection of delicious canapés and fantastic champange in beautiful coupes.
And, the best part of the day, dinner?
A candle-lit four-course Goodwood Estate dinner was served, with matching wines, in the main dining room. We were all seated at a fabulous large dark oak wood table, which was set to perfection for the evening event and served by spiffing young footmen! The meal was all home produce, which made the meal that extra bit special, especially if you had just visited both the butchery and the farm that day.
Any after dinner entertainment?
Before turning in for the night how about some stargazing with hot chocolate? Homemade Baileys hot chocolate was provided in quirky china. We were then presented with heaps of soft blankets to bundle ourselves up in as we were escorted out into the courtyard and given a lesson in the art of the constellations. We even got a chance to see the North Star… talk about romantic or what?!
Was there breakfast to follow the next morning?
OH yes. A choice of a hot or cold breakfast was offered, along with a spread of the daily newspapers to settle down with. For breakfast I opted for the delicious homemade granola, yogurt and fruit, followed by some heavenly eggs on toast all served on Hound Lodge-inspired china.
What about traveling home?
Let’s just say we didn’t have to lift a finger, our bags were loaded into the cars and we were driven back in style through the glorious countryside to the local station of Petersfeild. As doghouses go, it's safe to say this is one I don’t mind being in…
Visit Hound Lodge for more information.