Lime Wood Hotel & Spa
Set in a 13th-century Regency manor house amid beautifully restored gardens hemmed by forest and parkland, this period home-from-home is a temple of laidback luxury. Renowned for its pampering spa and locally-sourced cuisine, Lime Wood offers the ultimate rural getaway.
Lime Wood champions sustainable farm-to-fork cuisine – dishes are prepared using home-cured fish and meat from the on-site smoke house and freshly-picked fruit, veg and herbs from the modern Victorian greenhouse and fragrant rooftop herbery. Breakfast is served in the cosy Scullery, while lunch and dinner are offered in stylish main restaurant Hartnett Holder & Co, where Michelin- starred chef Angela Hartnett creates seasonal Italian fare paired with an award-winning wine list from the vault-ceilinged wine cellar.
The working kitchen hosts intimate private dinners for up to 10 guests, who can chat with chefs as they prepare a bespoke menu. Raw & Cured serves fresh juices, smoothies and salads in the spa, while a decadent afternoon tea of finger sandwiches and handmade scones is available for those in an indulgent mood.
Herb House Spa is a forest-inspired haven of natural wellbeing, offering holistic wellness treatments using natural products from boutique British skincare brands along with an enormous sauna, indoor pool, mud house and outdoor Jacuzzi. Active types can hit the state-of-the-art rooftop gym and 16-metre lap pool, or borrow wellies and mountain bikes to work up a sweat out in the fresh country air. Budding chefs should book a course at the hotel’s cookery school, which offers a range of classes from preparing signature Italian dishes to hand-pressing and curing salami sausages. Later, relax with a book in the library or try quintessentially British pursuits including pool, snooker and billiards.
Guestrooms and suites are classically designed and littered with luxurious touches such as Bamford toiletries and a pre-loaded iPad with docking station. Scattered between the Main House, Coach House and Pavilion, individually-styled Generous Rooms boast stunning views across the forest and manicured grounds. Each has a king-size bed and either an open bathroom with freestanding bath or a conventional ensuite, along with a well-stocked pantry, TV and DVD player. Highlights of this room category include the Main House Generous Rooms, which offer roll-top baths with forest views, and the Coach House Generous Room, which features oak flooring, an open fire and a spacious balcony.