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Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa in Surrey has long been a destination for Premier League footballers and England rugby players who love to chill out in its swanky pools, saunas and steam rooms. Helena Lang discovers that it also offers beautifully comfortable rooms and delicious food too
Situated a few minutes’ drive from the M3 between Bagshot and Camberley, an easy drive from London or the home counties.
Pennyhill Park Hotel is large and established, with bars and restaurants in the vine-covered old building, and bedrooms and suites in a more modern building reached through a covered corridor. Our room was large, with a giant double bed, plenty of room to dump bags and bits and pieces, and a bathroom to die for with his’n’hers baths, a wetroom shower and a TV so you can catch up with your favourite box set whilst soaking.
We were at the hotel to try the new menu in the casual Hillfield restaurant, where head chef Lewis Russell is following a farm-to-fork, nose-to-tail philosophy. Much of what we ate – and drank – is produced locally, from charcuterie to local cheese, cuts of tender lamb to homegrown veg from the hotel’s own gardens. They even make their own honey and gin liqueur! Locally produced craft beers clutter the drinks menu, along with the best selection of English wines we’ve seen in a long time. A starter of roasted heritage carrot salad was particularly memorable, as was the citrus cured mackerel with celeriac remoulade, and a grilled half lobster was succulent and delicious.
Hit the spa. With both a large outdoor and indoor pool, you can rack up some lengths whatever the weather. There are hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas galore – and if you’re feeling brave even an ice room to soothe those aching muscles. The changing room facilities are second to none, with huge showers, luscious products and hairdryers and straighteners to get you ready for a romantic dinner
The spa is glamorous, so take your glitziest cozzie and floatiest cover-up. Bejeweled flip-flops are a must. Dinner in Hillfield is casual – smart jeans and a pretty top would fit right in.
Dinner of tender Surrey lamb rump, served with the most delicious hasselback potatoes and fresh veg, and a glass of Greyfriars rosé wine from the Surrey vineyard was a lovely way to spend an evening.
This is somewhere to see and be seen, so take some shades for surreptitious nosiness by the pool and your swankiest tote bag for books and belongings.
Visit exclusive.co.uk/pennyhill-park. Double rooms start from £499 per night including dinner for two in Hillfield, breakfast and spa access.