Hotels have recently reopened in the UK and we were lucky enough to get away with some friends for an adults only long weekend at The Grove Hotel just north of London.
The hotel is finishing up an extensive renovation. Most of the hotel is beautiful but be warned that some of the rooms are dated and noisy. I recommend asking for a room in the Mansion or on the 2nd floor overlooking the gardens.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon, unpacked and I headed straight to the spa for a massage and some sauna and relaxation time. Then we did a yoga class followed by a meditation class. I was super impressed with the fitness offerings at the hotel: you can book a personal trainer, take a spin class, Pilates, yoga, weights classes.
We were totally blissed out by the end of our meditation. So funny that in the past, we probably would have skipped the meditation and gone straight for cocktails but, like everyone else, lockdown/pandemic times has changed our outlook. We now prefer to kick off the weekend being at peace vs being buzzed!
We got changed and walked through the beautiful gardens to dinner at The Stables which is pub style. Service was great and the food was even better. I suggest when booking reservations at the Grove to specifically ask for a “good” table as we got stuck at a drafty, wobbly table too close to the door and they weren’t able to move us for some reason. This goes for all the restaurants.
The next day we slept in (heaven!), went to the gym and had a late breakfast. It was super rainy and windy so we made a last minute decision to go into St Albans: a charming town that boasts a lovely tudor style village as well as roman ruins, a stunning cathedral and the oldest pub in England (allegedly - we’ve been to a few others who have made this claim). While we were exploring St Albans, the hotel called to say that the laser clay pigeon shooting we had booked had been cancelled due to high winds so we headed to the oldest pub in England for a couple of pints and met a lovely couple in their 80’s who had some great stories to share with us. It was a great spontaneous afternoon.
Later that afternoon was spent back at the spa enjoying the quiet room and the sauna. We met our friends in the beautifully redecorated lounges for a pre dinner drink and then headed to the main restaurant for dinner.
The next morning we went for a walk in the gardens and headed home to our children. Overall, a blissful weekend.
the Grove is also a great place to go with children - they have an amazing kids club. It was particularly cold and rainy during our stay so we’d love to go back when the sun is shining and we can make use of the bikes, outdoor activities and the outdoor swimming pool. We are considering a stay later this summer to take our son to Warner Bros studios Harry Potter tour. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!