Spring is well and truly here! It’s time to really shake off the winter blues, head outside into the sunshine and embrace the flourishing flora and fauna of the new season…
Our favourite place to enjoy the blossom is Painswick Rococo Garden. The country’s only complete rococo garden, we love the whimsical architecture and the colourful follies alongside the wild plantings and woodland walks.
Having had your green-fingered fix, head to Cheltenham and join us for afternoon tea at No.131. Tuck into finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and our scrumptious selection of cakes. For even further horticultural inspiration, check out these three beautiful hotels with gardens.
It’s life on a big scale here at this stateliest of statelies overlooking the River Thames. The former home of Lord Astor, this grand mansion has played host to Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt, Rudyard Kipling and Mahatma Gandhi and every King and Queen since George I. The 376 acres of gardens and woodlands contain an incredibly impressive 20,350 plants, 2.5 miles of hedges and 18 topiary pyramids. Don’t miss the six-acre parterre, planted in the 1850s by Head Gardener John Fleming, pioneer of ‘carpet bedding’. Then there’s the themed gardens, including an Italianate Long Garden of topiary, from around 1900, and the Japanese-style Water Garden complete with pagoda.
Set on the edge of the ancient Ashdown Forest, this charming country-house hotel ticks all the boxes. The paradisiacal garden is equally captivating thanks to the revolutionary horticulturalist, William Robinson, who bought the 1,000-acre estate in 1884. A pioneer of natural garden style rather than the manicured classic look of the day, Robinson created a wild wonderland, featuring such delights as drifts of narcissus, hosts of daffodils and rainbows of sweet peas. And, if that wasn’t enough, there’s a stonewalled two-acre kitchen garden with all you could possibly want.
Devon may be a bit of a drive away but the slog is worth it for this early 19th-century hotel on the edge of Dartmoor. Built by the Duchess of Bedford and her sons as a fishing lodge and now owned by interior designer, Olga Polizzi, its garden reads like a Who’s Who of the horticultural world: the great landscape gardener, Humphry Repton laid out the grounds in 1809 followed by Jeffry Wyatville (who is known for his work at Chatsworth and Windsor Castle). Take a picnic and wander over little bridges, past grottoes, follies, streams, waterfalls, a rose and jasmine walkway, a shell house and an arboretum filled with rare trees from around the world.
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