When I close my eyes and think about the British bourgeoisie of centuries past, I imagine them in a place that looks just like Lucknam Park! This former family home has been transformed into a luxury hotel, situated on an estate of over 200 hectares. The state-of-the-art spa is the icing on the cake, along with the equestrian center, which gives both novices and experienced riders an original opportunity to explore the pastoral landscape.
We arrive in a princely manner, as if we’re in a fairy tale. At the end of a long pathway lined with trees stands Lucknam Park, one of the United Kingdom’s best establishments and without a doubt one of my favorites from this trip. I’ll spend one evening in this Palladian house dating from 1720, just long enough to catch my breath before finishing our British road trip.
An ‘Old School’ Style that Takes My Breath Away
As a point of interest, this centuries-old family home was passed from owner to owner until 1987, when it was converted into a luxury hotel. Once we enter through the front doors, I’m enchanted by the warmth emanating from the building and its period furniture. It doesn’t feel like we’re in a hotel, as the ambiance is steeped in the rich history of this family house.
We need only walk a short distance to end up in the library, which acts as a lounge. It is absolutely gorgeous with its impressive portraits, 18th-century fireplaces, and antique furniture. As today is Sunday, dishes have been laid out for the famous Afternoon Tea, which will begin in an hour and feature delicious sweets accompanied by Darjeeling tea. It feels like we’re in an episode of Downton Abbey, the celebrated series about an aristocratic English family at the turn of the century.
On Foot or On Horseback: Whichever Way You’d Like to Explore the Estate
With its 200 hectares of land, this domain is the ideal place to stretch out your legs. We have rainy weather during our visit, but that won’t hold us back! Obviously, the best way to take advantage of the English countryside is to ride through it on horseback, and Lucknam Park is the perfect setting. In the heart of the estate, an equestrian center with 35 horses allows both beginners and advanced riders to benefit from the idyllic surroundings.
I have the pleasure the following morning of going for an hour-long ride with an instructor, taking the opportunity to trot and gallop through the property. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m an experienced horseback rider, so you can imagine how wonderful this moment is for me! And for those who aren’t so comfortable riding horses, seeing the pasture filled with grazing horses will inspire you to relax in a way that only the countryside can.
42 Bedrooms and Suites in an Intimate Setting
There are no fewer than 42 bedrooms and suites at Lucknam Park, and yet guests can benefit from an intimate atmosphere. We’re staying in the ‘Park Room’ category, which offers a magnificent view over the park (even from the perspective of the clawfoot bathtub standing in the marble bathroom). The room shares the same look as the building – elegant and ‘old-school.’ Floral-patterned upholstery, enormous furniture, deep armchairs, thick curtains… A cozy little nook beckons guests to lounge around with a good book, but I must say that I prefer to do my reading in one of the splendid sitting rooms on the ground floor.
The Spa: Cutting-edge and Top-of-the-Line
Against this traditional backdrop, there’s still a touch of modernity: the spa! Perfectly integrated into the environment, this facility helps guests along their journey to total relaxation. The offer here includes a 20-meter indoor pool, perfect for doing a few laps; a heated hydrotherapy pool, warmed to 37°C; saunas and hammams; and 8 treatment rooms. It’s an excellent wellness center – we spend most of the afternoon here, and we certainly appreciate the high-quality amenities and peaceful ambiance.
Dinner: Gourmet Restaurant or Brasserie
In the evening, we can either dine at Hywel Jones’ starred restaurant, or go for the more informal cuisine of the Brasserie; we decide on the latter. This relaxed restaurant proposes seasonal cuisine in a modern setting, featuring large glass doors and trendy furniture. It’s easy to imagine how lovely it would be to eat lunch or dinner here in the summer, with the patio doors open and the tables facing the dovecote – pure bliss!
All of the classics of British cuisine are on the menu: we can hardly resist the scotch eggs (which catch my eye every time I pass through Fortnum & Mason in London) and the crab cakes, and enjoy them as appetizers. Next up is the delicious lamb, cooked to a perfect pink color. It’s light and flavorful, ideal for our dinner! The meal is accompanied by a good bottle of wine, and our happiness is nearly complete…
A Hearty Breakfast in the Anglo-Saxon Tradition
At breakfast time, we have an opportunity to discover the gourmet restaurant room. The large windows bring in plenty of sunlight on this gorgeous morning. The room is majestic and the tableware exquisite, certainly the finest that the United Kingdom has to offer. We can choose between the Continental and English Breakfast, served directly to our table, according to standard practice in British luxury establishments. We have to set aside an hour to make the most of the experience, but isn’t that the point of a vacation?
Lucknam Park was my top pick for this trip through the UK. For starters, the building is simply majestic, with an interior (such as the library or the drawing room) that’s just as magnificent. The dining options available, including a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant and a brasserie, complement each other perfectly. The establishment’s best assets are obviously the fantastic spa, which is well-equipped and comfortable, as well as its outdoor activities, such as the horseback riding experience on offer. With easy access from Bath airport, this location is a must for your next countryside getaway!
- The library: a haven of beauty and peace
- The fabulous, cutting-edge spa: spacious, well-lit, and a great place to be!
- The ability to explore the estate on horseback, for beginning and experienced riders
- The personnel were a bit inconsistent, and occasionally less than top-notch
- “Park Room” bedrooms starting at 600 € (with breakfast included) in early April 2018
- Cooking classes available on certain dates
- Establishment located only 10 km from Bath: perfect for a detour!
- More information available on their website
Thank you to the Lucknam Park for the invitation to explore their establishment. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!