Tonight, I’m staying at an estate where once a medieval palace stood, the site where King Henry VIII (the one with six wives) met his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
The palace is gone, but there is now an 18th Century Georgian manor house which has been converted into the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, in which I am now sitting as I type this.
I’ve come along with Piers, who is here to attend a private retreat hosted by this organisation called Citywire, for people in the financial industry. All delegates are given a one-night complimentary stay at the hotel and allowed to bring their partners.
How very nice!
Piers keeps worrying that I will be bored because I have to be stuck in a hotel alone for two days while he attends workshops and talks and lunches and dinners.
He’s crazy, right? How could anyone possibly be bored in a beautiful hotel with five-star facilities and fun activities like horse riding and clay pigeon shooting?
Actually, I don’t even need activities. Just give me my iPad and 1000-thread-count hotel bedding to snuggle in and I would remain in ecstasy for days.
Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is a true retreat. Meaning that no one will come here unless they want to be shut out from the rest of the world.
It’s located in a remote country estate with no major attractions nearby (Stonehenge is an hour’s drive away), although there are some small art galleries a bit of a drive away.
If you’re willing to fork out £300 a night, you can have a really idyllic holiday here. You wouldn’t use this hotel as a base for sightseeing, but you can come here for peace and quiet and enjoy countryside views and activities.
We arrived around 9 am so there was a lot of time for me to enjoy the hotel. Here’s a first look walking towards the hotel from the car park.
And here’s Piers dragging my little pink suitcase. :P In front of him is his colleague, David.
The official check-in time is 3 pm, but they allowed me to check in early, so Piers took me up to our room quickly, then he had to rush off to his thing.
So sad. :(
But our room is so lovely, so that kind of makes up for him having to be away most of the day. :P
So beautiful and luxurious.
I always feel it’s such a waste to book nice hotel rooms and then only get to be in them for a short while because you spend all your time outside sightseeing or shopping.
Fortunately, there isn’t much sightseeing one can do in these parts, so I get to stay indoors most of the day without feeling guilty about it.
First order of the day was room service breakfast. I was very hungry and ordered the Hampshire Breakfast, which is a really big breakfast priced at £24.50 before tax and service.
I’m not sure if Citywire will pick up the tab. If not, Piers will have to. :P
My food took under 30 minutes to arrive after I ordered it. OMG it was humongous. It came on a large table wheeled into my room.
It was by far the tastiest full English breakfast I’d ever had (not counting the breakfasts that Piers makes for me. :D).
I read the papers while I ate my breakfast because I was pretending to be some important business person having breakfast in the hotel room. (I hardly ever read the papers to be honest.)
I sampled all the liquids (tea, orange juice, water) but I can never get used to having so many different beverages in one meal. I don’t understand why Westerners have so many things to drink all at once. When do you drink what? It’s too much for my palate and my minute capacity for liquids.
But my entire breakfast experience was glorious, the only thing missing being Piers. I took an hour to finish my food, then pushed the table away and jumped into bed with my iPad.
Such bliss. I spent over an hour playing on my iPad and almost fell asleep because of the full breakfast, the incredible comfort of the bed and because I woke at 6:30 am this morning.
It was really tempting to take a nap. I so love luxury hotel beds.
But I managed to resist the call of the sleep siren. I decided to go outside and look at the scenery while the sun was still up and blazing.
Speaking of which, you can order a picnic hamper at the hotel and take it outside to eat on the rolling countryside. There’s so much green space surrounding the hotel I don’t know how people choose a picnic spot!
The weather was really nice. 17°C and sunny. That means nice, cool air but with the warmth of the sun caressing your skin. I was able to take a walk around the hotel grounds wearing just two thin tops and a short denim skirt without feeling cold.
And here are the lovely views around the hotel:
And a few photos indoors:
Love everything here. If we were here longer, I might do some horse riding or canal boating. They’re quite costly, though. I’m really quite happy staying in the room and playing on my iPad.
Room service is great. All the staff address me by name (Ms Shen) automatically, whether on the phone or when room service comes. It’s really awesome.
Most people I know seem to hate room service meals. I don’t know why. Is it because it feels pathetic eating in a hotel room? Is it because the food is bad and/or overpriced?
I can’t really understand it. I love eating in my room. So much peace and privacy and you can slouch if you feel like it.
Dinner was room service again.
My dinner looks small and pathetic compared to my breakfast but I think that’s because all the drinking vessels at breakfast took up half the table, making it look impressive.
Dinner was french onion soup, gammon ham and toasted cheese sandwich. and freshly squeezed carrot juice.
Didn’t feel like eating a huge meal. Even this was so filling I couldn’t finish it all. :(
But it was really delicious. I usually think of hotel food as just pretty decent. So far, my two meals here have been superb, so I’m surprised and quite delighted.
I might have one more room service meal tomorrow before we leave because Piers will have his hosted breakfast and lunch. He is going to be so shocked when he gets the room tab. :P
Okay, he won’t, because he’ll read this before we check out.
It’s really late now, almost 10:30 pm. Didn’t get to do much after all. Spent most of the day writing this post and eating room service meals, lol. Piers will be coming back from his dinner soon, so I shall finish up here and prepare for his arrival.
Okay, nothing much to prepare, but I will stop here anyway.
Have a great weekend! :)