You may have noticed, I have a tiny crush on Buckinghamshire, UK. It’s such a gorgeous green area with lovely towns and villages, yet within short distance from both Heathrow Airport and London. Not only is the area pretty, my gourmand-heart is happy there too with so many nice places to eat and lovely estates to visit. One of those estates is Danesfield House; we have often driven past it (and I once saw a glimpse of it during a river cruise) yet we never went there, so it was about time to explore this awe-inspiring estate.
The rather steep yet lush driveway leading up to the house immediately makes you feel like you are leaving your every day worries behind. Set on 65 acres of land, high up in the Chiltern hills with magnificent views over the River Thames and the valley, Danesfield house is remote, yet not isolated, ensuring peace and quiet.
The name might ring a bell; it is here that George Clooney held one of his wedding parties. With a view like this, I understand why. The gentleman has taste.
We were welcomed by friendly staff and the Guest Relations Manager, Peter, kindly gave us a tour around. Having been with Danesfield house for 22 years, he most certainly was the right person to do this, as the estate keeps no secrets from him, and he knew the perfect spots for pictures too.
The rich history of the house goes a while back, so in a nutshell; the name ‘Danesfield’ originated from the fact that Danish adventurers made an encampment on this very site roughly thousands of years ago. The first land ownership of the estate dates back to 1664, and the property was officially named ‘Danesfield House’ in 1750. After that, various owners have made changes to the place, the latest rebuild was finished in 1901, resulting in what Danesfield House is today in terms of lay-out.
Since that last rebuild, it’s been a private home, a Royal Air Force base during WWII, and used as the corporate headquarter for a food company. Finally, in 1991, after hundreds of sometimes uncertain and tumultuous years, the estate turned into what I think it was destined to be; the Luxury Country House Hotel that it is today. The estate has an air of peacefulness around it, as if it’s content with its current destination; sharing its splendid views with the hotel guests, being a welcoming place to enjoy oneself, to find peace of mind, to share meaningful moments together, or just simply, to indulge.
The hotel has atmospheric function rooms for (wedding)dinners or social gatherings.
The luxurious hotelrooms are comfortable and unique; not two rooms are the same.
Fun fact: this very room is the Tierney suite, which was booked for an American actor / singer who would check in only hours after our visit.
The rooms have river, garden or courtyard view, all equally beautiful, though I’d prefer the view on the left. With views like this, why would you want to leave the room?
There’s only one good reason, really: to relax at the Illuminata Spa; an oasis of tranquility with a 20 meter pool, a jacuzzi, steamrooms, saunas, single and double VIP treatment rooms, a nail bar, and an extensive gym. Need I go on?
From the spa & pool area, the views are again magnificent
(forgive me, coming from flat lands, I just can’t get enough of the views).
In charge of food and beverage at Danesfield House is Executive Head Chef Billy Reid, who will ensure a contemporary British dining experience in the more classical Oak Room, the bright Orangery or outside on the terrace if weather permits. You can also enjoy a drink before or after dinner in the intimate cocktail bar. We chose for a high tea in the Orangery as we did not want to miss the beautiful sunset, while we sat back and enjoyed a glass of bubbles.
This was followed by delicious British scones and sandwiches and a cuppa…
To top it all off with heavenly, indulgent, colourful sweets.
You can imagine why we didn’t want to leave, but all good things come to an end. I could not help myself but checking what the upcoming events are. Danesfield House does some great Christmas & New Year packages. I can only imagine how magical that must be in this setting. We will keep that in mind for next year, though I can’t promise I won’t be back before that.
I’d like to thank Mr Peter Faarup once more for taking the time out of a busy day to show us around. He will be retiring soon so he is likely going to miss working amidst such inspiring surroundings, but Danesfield House and her guests are going to miss him and all his knowledge of the property too, I’m sure.