Victoria Phillips celebrates 10 years of marriage with the ultimate luxury break at Buckinghamshire’s famous Stoke Park Hotel.
As we drive through stunning parkland and rolling greens dotted with golfers and Stoke Park’s impressive cream stone building comes into view, I can’t help feeling a strong sense of déjà vu. Everything seems so familiar…
Upon mounting the impressive stone staircase to reception it dawns on me – I am retracing Bridget Jones’s famous steps as she arrived for a night away at a hotel with the dastardly Daniel Carver. I can’t escape the irony of celebrating 10 years of marriage with the ghost of cinema’s most famous singleton all around me!
You are bound to recognise Stoke Park – it has provided the backdrop for any number of films and TV shows – from Goldfinger to Wimbledon, Layer Cake to Tomorrow Never Dies and of course, several scenes from Bridget Jones’s Diary.
You can even book a special Bridget Jones break – staying in the suite where the movie was filmed, with a DVD of the film, a bottle of Chardonnay and chocolate-dipped strawberries to make you really feel like Bridget!
This stunning five star hotel is split between two locations – the original hotel building has been standing since the 1790s (although the estate itself dates back more than 900 years) and has 21 individually-designed rooms with fine art, antiques and open fires.
The Pavilion, which is 100 yards away from the main hotel, houses the spa, health club and tennis facilities as well as 28 ultra-modern and luxurious five star bedrooms.
We stayed in the Pavilion, with fabulous marble bathroom, Plasma TV the size of a pool table and more importantly, the most comfortable bed I think I’ve ever slept in!
There was plenty to keep us occupied during our stay. Even if golf or tennis isn’t your thing, the 350 acres of historic grounds are beautiful to walk around and the award-winning Spa is widely regarded as one of the best in Britain.
While my husband hit the gym and swimming pool I retired for a much-needed age-defying facial with Swedish back massage. Ninety minutes and a quick snooze later I felt a decade younger and hopefully looked as radiant as I did on my wedding day!
After an early-evening drink at the Pavilion’s more informal San Marco restaurant we were eagerly anticipating dinner in the beautiful hotel dining room, a gastronomic experience which more than surpassed our expectations and made our anniversary celebration truly memorable.
With time for a relaxing swim in the morning before an extremely hearty breakfast in the San Marco, we really had to tear ourselves away to go and explore what Buckinghamshire’s stunning countryside has to offer. Hopefully we can dream up another excuse to celebrate before another 10 years is up!
Stoke Park is ideally situated around half an hour from London and seven miles from Heathrow (in case you are wondering – there was no aircraft noise at all). It’s the perfect destination for visitors to Henley, Ascot and Windsor and would make a lovely escape after a day’s Christmas shopping in London.
For Spa devotees the Sunday night spa package includes a three course fine dining meal, an overnight stay in luxury accommodation, breakfast, a spa treatment of choice and full use of the health and racquet facilities.
Holiday facts: Stoke Park Club, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
www.stokepark.com Sunday night spa package is £160 per person based on two sharing.
Two-night Bridget Jones Break is £349 pp based on two sharing.
One night Celebration Breaks are £199 per person
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