I grew up in the small leafy town of Amersham in Buckinghamshire and went to school in the even smaller the neighbouring town of Chesham. While growing up in the country was pretty calm and idyllic, as a teenager I got very bored of the same pubs, the cheesy clubs (Stages, or Winkers if you ventured into nearby Chalfont) and the total lack of any fashionable shops. So when me and my friends were looking for a more exciting night out we’d venture into Watford…ok I know what you’re thinking Watford doesn’t sound glamorous but to us country mice, Destiny nightclub was epic and the Harlequin Centre was awesome for shopping. If we went clubbing in London we were pretty much bound into getting the last train, but from Watford my dad was willing to pick us up!
Fast forward several years and since living in London for so long, nights out in Watford are in the distance past. But there is one place in Watford that holds a major draw for those wishing to escape the madness of London.
The Grove hotel is know as London’s Country Estate and is only 18 miles from the centre of the city. I have stayed there once and Mr S and I have eaten there many times, it’s a perfect place to meet our parents in a casual country setting. But this time we were here for a different reason; it was our good friends Gemma and Marc’s wedding and we were very excited to be celebrating with them.
First a little look around the hotel…The interior of the hotel has a very beautiful contemporary design. I love the sweeping staircase that greets you as you enter the foyer.
And the public rooms are elegant and stylish.
As well as the various lounges, there are three main restaurants in the hotel. Colette’s is the fining dining option, I have only been there once years ago but the food was fantastic, some of the best I’ve had in the UK outside of London.
The Stables Restaurant is very informal and great for children, with a menu of steaks, burgers and pizzas.
But our family favourite has to be The Glasshouse. The restaurant is buffet-style…now personally I hate buffets, the food is often cold or dry and you get the feeling it’s been lying around for ages.
But the buffet at The Grove is something else, a theatre of cookery with a live wok station, freshly carved roast dinner joints and a plethora of salads, charcuterie, cheeses and seafood.
My parents came to join us for lunch at the hotel the day after the wedding so we got to enjoy one of our favourite restaurants together.
Our room in the West Wing was sleek and minimalistic…
…but for something more traditional the rooms in the Mansion hotel have period features and a more decadent style.
However, the key feature of this gorgeous modern hotel is the stunningly landscaped grounds. The hotel is surrounded by interesting sculptures, beautiful flowers, topiary hedges and gorgeous water features.
It also extends out to a huge championship golf course.
But rather more excitingly here are some photos of Gemma and Marc’s totally stunning wedding day.
As you can see The Grove is a simply beautiful modern hotel…and the perfect venue for a fairytale wedding.
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