Travel • December 23, 2016

The Grove at Christmas Time

Last weekend we got thoroughly festive and prepared for the upcoming Christmas period by heading to The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, a luxury five star hotel just 18 miles from London and one of the Leading Hotels of the World. We have been to The Grove before, a couple of years ago during my birthday weekend, but this was the first time we had been during December and we were really excited to spend some quality time together and also see how The Grove looked at Christmas time.

The Grove is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in, so I knew that it certainly wasn’t going to disappoint at Christmas time. The impressive building used to be home to the Earls of Clarendon, and is where Queen Victoria supposedly invented the weekend break. The hotel itself is large, with a few different restaurants, a championship and world renowned golf course, and an impeccable style, with quirky surprises around every corner.

We arrived quite late on the Saturday, around 6pm as we had to fit in around our eldest daughter’s busy social life and the fact she had a party to go to. We chugged down the M1 at a fairly slow pace due to the fact it was absolutely chucking it down with rain, and we had to run from the car park to the hotel entrance to save ourselves getting absolutely drenched. However as soon as we were inside, our spirits were immediately lifted when we saw just how beautiful the hotel looked decked out for christmas. On arrival into reception we were treated to a beautiful wintery scene, in the form of a large christmas tree and a gorgeous gingerbread village made out of real sweets which kept the girls amused for ages.

thegrove_b thegrove_c the_grove_hotel_2 the_grove_hotel_7The Grove has a great way of feeling both like a hotel catered just for adults and with so much to do for families as well. There are both the Mansion rooms and the West Wing, the family rooms are situated in the West Wing, and we had an interconnecting room meaning that we had that luxury of not having to sit in the bathroom while trying to get everyone to sleep. The Grove really do think of families and on arrival we were greeted with a range of toys for the children to play with, some kids toiletries, and even mini bath robes and slippers.

thegrove_sThat evening we headed to The Stables to have some dinner. The weather was still horrendous at this point, but luckily I took this photo the next day. There is a variety of dining experiences at The Grove. Their 70 chefs are passionate about quality and seasonality, from handpicking fruit and veg
in our Walled Garden every day for our fine-dining Colette’s restaurant to preparing hearty food for golfers and families at The Stables. They prepare food before your eyes in The Glasshouse, and there is also The Lounges where you can enjoy afternoon tea as well. We tucked into a lovely meal which included parma ham with rocket and pecorino and turkey with sage and shallot stuffing, pancetta, braised savoy and cranberry jus, plus pizza and cheeseburgers for the girls.

thegrove_x thegrove_fThe next day we were pleased to look out the window and see that the rain had all gone and in its place was that gorgeous cool crisp winter sunshine, with a blanket of frost covering the ground. We were excited to head for a tasty breakfast at Glasshouse, before doing some serious exploring. Not before we got into our Christmas jumpers however!

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The Grove was decorated beautifully for Christmas, with so many things to look at, but without ever feeling tacky or over done. The girls were especially fascinated with the Gingerbread village, with thousands of real sweets. I looked it up on instagram and apparently this took their head chef Harry 18 hours and 2500 sweets. There were also mini houses that the different departments had decorated too.

thegrove_r   thegrove_othegrove_w  thegrove_y thegrove_z thegrove_za thegrove_zb thegrove_zc thegrove_zd thegrove_ze   thegrove_zh  thegrove_zhj thegrove_zhk thegrove_zhl thegrove_zhmWe spent the morning wandering around outside. The Grove has a huge expanse of grounds to explore, and it is great to be able to set the kids free and just let them run around exploring. In the summer there is an urban beach set in the Walled Garden, but we couldn’t get in there this particular day due to a private event. Still there is so much else to see and we spent a good couple of hours wandering around, taking photos and enjoying ourselves.

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We had such a lovely short stay at The Grove, it really is such a unique place, managing to maintain a high end luxury, yet also cater perfectly to families with young children as well. The staff really do go the extra mile to accommodate children and it’s the little touches that make a stay. It really is such a beautiful and elegant place, yet also quirky as well, and that in itself is hard to describe.

It was so lovely to see the hotel decorated for Christmas, it made it look even more beautiful than normal, and the girls loved to look at all the different festive decorations they had up. Now all we need to do is come and see it in the summer and hit the pop up  beach and we have been in every season!

We have been doing a video a day over on our You Tube channel and we made one of our day at The Grove-

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