Where are we heading?
We literally couldn’t wait to briefly escape the city for a restful evening staying at Laura Ashley The Manor. Crisp but sunny outside, we left the M25 and drove through the beautiful tree tunnel roads of Elstree. Already it felt like the busy stress of London disappeared within only 20 minutes.
We drove a little way off the main road down the hotel’s driveway getting deeper into the open countryside. Finally we pulled up at The Manor. Surrounded by a stunning 10 acres of natural woodland, the beautiful timbered mansion looked cosy enough to live in. Entering the warm lobby it was as though we had stepped into someone's v.tasteful living room. Beautiful upholstered sofas, textured wallpaper with homely yet modern artwork on the walls.
We NEED to discuss the room situation…
With 49 bedrooms in total, each one is individually styled using Laura Ashley products - and that’s everything from the fabrics, furniture and even the fittings. The dream, right? If only our own home could be the same…
Walking through another sofa-lined living room (complete with coffee table, of course) we came to our room - The Knightsbridge. If I was to be the British Serena Vanderwoodson and reside only in hotels, this room would certainly get a big green tick. Wide, beautifully finished in a cream and lilac colour scheme.
The slightly misty windows gave it that warm winter feel and at the foot of the bed was a beautiful grey velvet sofa and checked armchair we instantly sank into. Andddd relax.
How should we fill the day?
Despite the beautiful garden grounds which we overlooked, complete with human size chess board, we decided to go for a little drive and find a spot for lunch and a walk. Before long we came across lots of country pubs, complete with log fire. After a glass of wine and copious amounts of cheese we ventured for a wonder around Aldenham Country Park which we couldn’t help but notice peeking through the orange and brown roadside trees. Perfect timing, too, as the sun was just setting over the lake.
Time to get ready for dinner...
After a few hours relaxing in our room flicking through the great selection of magazines, it was time to get showered and ready (leisurely, of course. Sorry boyfriends... It’s all part of the stay experience). A brief mention also needs to be made about the toilet - not to share too much information, but… We couldn’t help but love the multi functioning heated seat! Every house NEEDS one of these.
We’re starving… now what’s on the menu?
Head chef Stephanie Malvoisin runs The Cavendish restaurant at the Manor, so we had high hopes. A small dining room, faintly lit with traditional chandeliers, continued the cosy but luxe vibe that ran throughout the hotel. I strongly reconmend the aubergine cheesecake - not what you would expect but delicious.
Waking up in heaven. Breakfast time..
That feeling when you sleep SO WELL you wake up wondering where you actually are? Yes, that's it. Sandwiched between the softest white cotton sheets, I could have stayed in bed all week. Sorry world. On the otherhand, breakfast was calling which is my favourite meal of the day. A mixture of a buffet set up alongside a hot menu; I basically asked for it all. A starter of yoghurt and granola over a cup of tea followed by Eggs Benedict. Oh, and not to mention one of their homemade granola slices…
Yum! All of that’s acceptable, right?
I was already planning my next stay. Perfect for post-Christmas relaxing weekend. Head to the Laura Ashley Manor website to take a look for yourself.