-Shop the Look-
It has become almost a tradition for me visiting the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, as it’s where I have celebrated so many of my landmark occasions – Halloween, Birthday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire always brings back happy memories and it such a nice place to enjoy. I have always been a huge admirer of the Four Seasons Resorts throughout the world, so it’s especially nice to get back to experience their hospitality once again.
This time, I am not celebrating any special personal occasion but it’s a real pleasure to visit this picturesque country Georgian estate in the middle of the English countryside at any time, if only for a decent cup of tea. As soon as I set foot in the grounds, I am surrounded by 500 acres of Hampshire countryside, all handsome gravelled paths and ancient oak trees. The hotel is only fifty minutes drive from London, but is also handy for those travelling by train to Winchfield station, with direct routes to London, followed by a 10-15-minute taxi-ride – or what about the luxury of travel by helicopter. Even better news, there’s a Four Seasons App which you can download on your mobile phone, as a reminder. This app will explain how to get to the hotel, lets you check in on your phone, pre-order things to the room, explain your dietary requirements, order room service throughout your stay and now, allows you to talk to staff in a personal chat before you reach the hotel.
-Shop this Look-
I’ve heard that Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has recently invested in a huge multi-million-pound refurbishment. The porter ushers us to the lobby, carrying my new Aluminium Edition by Away suitcase which comes in different sizes. In the reception, the floor is covered in the glossiest marble I’ve ever seen, walls covered in expensive tones of mustard along with antique wall lights and an ornate fireplace. The hotel soars in the “hip-ness” stakes. Think of red-leather bar, with its brushed-copper shelves bearing vintage decanters and obscure sophisticated cocktails immediately had my hands twitching for my camera phone. With its tasselled armchairs and vintagey avocado wallpaper, the room had a slight whiff of the ‘ste-retro- typical’ about it but thankfully added up with some Four Seasons gloss – deep-purple hydrangeas, expensive-looking brass horse lamps, oil paintings of glamorous flapper girls and antique furniture.
-Shop the Look-
There have been a lot of changes since I last visited, but it all looks homier with a mix between hipster and handsome style, especially in the Drawing Room which still has the original wood panelling but with new furniture around it. While the weather is a bit chilly, I’ve decided to head out to The Library to order some warm drinks. This beautifully decorated, plush room has been fully restored to it’s original grandeur and is now an elegant setting for all-day dining or afternoon tea, with the friendly staff in their immaculate country tweed ensembles setting out arrays of bone china and silverware on each table in preparation for the arrival of the many afternoon tea guests.
The restored Georgian manor and its new wings contain 111 rooms and 22 suites amongst two hectares of parkland. I check into my country estate-style bedroom, called the Heritage Room and inspired by the Hampshire countryside, with a large floral tapestry behind the bed and with elegant quintessentially English furnishings. The Georgian style bathroom is especially stunning with a claw foot bath covered with a dark ‘Asprey’ purple tone and containing luxury amenities by Asprey. It’s time to get changed into a country look, as it feels as if we are heading out on a shooting party with friends. Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire offers many fun activities such as a spa day, high-wire adventure, an equestrian centre, clay- pigeon shooting, croquet, cycling and many more.
-Shop the Look-
I didn’t get a chance to do any of those activities during my 24 hours stay, however, I did opt for a country walk so I was thankful that I had brought a new pair of Hunter wellington boots to wear with a wax Barbour jacket and, with Christy’s tweed flat cap to keep my head warm, I am all good to go. As I previously mentioned, Four Seasons Hampshire offers 500 acres of land with a lake close by and I had plenty of time to roam around. I could stand there for a while and really breathe in the fresh country air – I can’t remember the last time I did this. The view of the grounds and the lake looks very tranquil, like a framed oil painting hanging on the wall. A quick look at my sophisticated Bremont watch, and it’s time to head back and get changed for a cocktail and dinner at the Wild Carrot restaurant.
Time to check out the new bar and lounge area downstairs, which connects to the restaurant next door. The bar and lounge look utterly new and modern but are still totally in keeping with the country classic style of the hotel with the arts and crafts wallpaper, designed by a stylish interior designer, Martin Brudnizki. There are lots of comfortable sofas and plush armchairs, just perfect for spending hours with the papers or grabbing a book off the shelf. Also, there are plenty of little private nooks if you’ve come to the hotel for a romantic weekend. Cocktails are calling, with a wide selection inspired by the manor house, garden and local countryside – you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
-Shop the Look-
Time passes and dinner calls – a delicious smell wafts throughout the room and, all of a sudden, I am famished! The tones of the room bring a positive mood with a soft ambience but not too fancy, so you feel able to just relax and be yourself. The restaurant is named after the elegant, white, wildflower that defines the fields of Dogmersfield Park. Wild Carrot incorporates seasonal, natural, locally sourced ingredients from Hampshire markets and farther afield. This restaurant is all new, generously, punchily presented and not just limited to the carrot-based. The starter I had was so colourful that I had to take plenty of images in honour of its psychedelic colour, but not forgetting its fabulous juicy flavours too. The excellent main course, salted cod with heritage potatoes and green vegetables was also wonderfully cooked, with a glass of wine to complete that perfect combination. And now, I am feeling too full, but desperately wanting to make room for a dessert – a sweet tooth like me is always eager to try out the perfect pudding, especially the world’s best apple pie that crumbles in your mouth. Oh my, honestly just the best! But, please don’t tell my granny…
After a wonderful evening at the Wild Carrot restaurant, I leave with a huge smile plastered all over my face and I am ready for a long snooze. I’ve ordered a fresh mint tea via the Four Seasons App before bed to soothe my mind and body after a couple of glasses of wine. The monogrammed logo of the hotel stitched on the front of the pillows looks immaculate on the bed and before too long, I am all curled up in a fluffy feathered duvet and sinking my head deep into my pillows. Thus guaranteed a good night’s sleep after so long!
The dream vanishes when someone knocks on the door. Due to my hearing impairment, I can’t always hear everything, but they have given me a text message which vibrates under my pillows and wakes me up to say that the breakfast is ready to bring to my room. This is luxury when you don’t have to say anything but everything still comes at your request – a truly blissful feeling, and everyone deserves this experience once in a lifetime. The breakfast is always the biggest feast for me, hence my present dilemma – how to choose between pancakes with blueberries and syrup or French toast with the cinnamon cream whip and drizzled with cinnamon sugar or a rival between Egg Royale and Egg Benedict. To save the ooh’s and ahh’s, best to order everything on the table and thankfully I have a “plus one” to share with, in case my stomach is smaller than my eyes.
All too soon I know this must come to an end and I must be ready to hit the city once more – but it is so hard to leave this beautiful place when I am so chilled and relaxed. The good news is that you are not too far away from the city and you can always come back for more, this is what I will be doing next time.
Thank you for a delightful visit, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, I had the most rejuvenating experience ever, and this could be your chance next. All you need to do is to book a stay via Four Seasons App and they will do everything for you, sounds perfect right?
Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire, a five-star hotel located in Dogmersfield, Hampshire, rates from £260 for a double room on a B&B basis.
Photos by Diana Martin Photography