The trials of city life combined with the stresses of wedding planning can take their toll on any engaged couple. The perfect antidote? A short minibreak escape, easily manageable over a weekend.
Getting out of your home environment, even if only for a day or two, is incredibly restorative. One of our favourite venues is the newly opened Barnett Hill Hotel in Guildford, Surrey, a historic Queen Anne-style country house, dating back to 1905.
The elegant mansion, set in 26 acres of lovingly maintained gardens and woodland, has been transformed from a former Red Cross centre to a luxury four-star boutique hotel offering award-winning dining and breath-taking views of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Best of all it’s just a 30min rail ride from London Waterloo, making Barnett Hill an ideal venue for a romantic getaway. So what’s it like inside? We visited the hotel to find out.
Located at the top of the handsome grand staircase are two luxurious Master Suites. Each is kitted out with all the mod cons, tasteful furnishings and gorgeous views of the Surrey Hills and surrounding area as far as the eye can see. The bed was delightfully comfortable complete with Egyptian cotton sheets, but what struck us most about the suite was how spacious and quiet it is – you can hear a pin drop at night, a lovely change from the endless noise of the city.
At around 55sqm, the Master Suites include a roomy bathroom complete with full sized bath (with plenty of space for two) and a rainfall shower.
With award-winning food and a decent wine list (more than 30 grapes to accompany your meal), The Oak Room restaurant is your main stop for hearty meals during your stay. There’s a flower framed terrace to make the most of late Autumn sunshine and the menu covers everything from celebration dinners to Sunday lunch and afternoon tea.
Breakfast is served buffet-style with fresh fruit, cereals, artisan bread and hot options. But since you’re on holiday, request breakfast in bed and enjoy the pleasure of your morning meal being brought to you.
There are even private dining rooms available, perfect for hosting special dinners like an engagement party or sophisticated dinner before the Big Day.
Things to do
When on a countryside retreat, it’s only right to immerse yourselves in the beauty of your surroundings. Pack your wellies and embark on an afternoon stroll on the gorgeous Surrey Hills. More of an indoorsy couple? Head to the Utopia treatment rooms for blissful treatments like The Outer Glow Body Scrub (40min, £62) and visage boosting Utopia Express (40min, £62).
The Khush Verdict
Beautiful rooms? Check. Travel from London inside an hour? Check. Glorious settings and great dining options? Double CHECK. If you want to escape real life, if only for a weekend, Barnett Hill is the perfect place to recharge your batteries.
Staff are extremely pleasant and always ready to help, no matter how small the request, giving you that feeling of being well looked after. Quality time together doesn’t get better than this.
Barnett Hill Hotel
Guildford GU5 0RF
• +44(0)1342 859702