Opening the door to Bloomsbury, our very own cottage for the night was something that only the ultimate travel-lover could have dreamed off. There is something about a cottage that makes me swoon and a cottage with its vintage interiors is a childhood dream of mine. A quaint and glorious traditionally decorated cottage spread over two floors greeted us as we arrived at The Woburn Hotel. With 4AA Stars and 55 bedrooms, including 7 delightful cottage suites and just an hour away from London, this cosy haven took its place as a Belle Magazine’s top destination for a cosy weekend break.
Located at the gateway to The Woburn Estate with its 3000acre deer park, the country bumpkin in me was unleashed and The Woburn Hotel well and truly had me at hello. Previously named The Inn at Woburn, this charming hotel was relaunched in 2014 with its refurbishment and new name, The Woburn Hotel. To add to the hotels extensive list of facilities, it is also home to Olivier’s, their 2 AA Rosette restaurant which has bagged “The Best Restaurant in Bedfordshire” title three times in the past 4 years – impressive!
Arriving in the afternoon, we received a very warm reception from the staff and a welcome note paired with a selection of delicious sweet treats that were waiting for us in our room. The cottage suites are situated adjacent to the hotel and away from the main building itself. This was a very nice touch and meant we were away from the noises of the hotel – as there was a wedding celebration taking place that evening! With huge windows, the cottage has a great deal of natural light and is very welcoming. After a long car journey, our tea and coffee tray, stocked with a great selection of teas and biccies was very welcomed. It was also great to see fresh milk from a jug in the fridge – it really is the little things! The first floor of the cottage had a sofa that was expertly decorated with chic cushions, a glass table and chairs and a television.
The staircase lead to the bedroom. A large room with beautiful low beamed ceilings and two large windows. The bed was comfortable and the perfect size for both myself and my partner. The bedroom had a lust-worthy deep single standing bathtub opposite the bed and separate toilet facilities. The only thing I will point out, is there are no shower facilities, but as myself and my partner are bath lovers this wasn’t a problem. As the beautiful bath takes centre place in the bedroom, this cottage wouldn’t be for those who are more private amongst us. Again, this wasn’t a problem for us and I actually thought it was such a lovely and romantic touch – not a room you’d want to book for a girl’s getaway though!
Located very close to The Woburn Abbey and Gardens we decided to make our way over and enjoy the sunshine. There is quite a walk from the hotel to the gardens (about 30 minutes), so we did regret not taking the car as when we arrived we were informed that the Abbey had ‘just closed’. A shame, but we were still able to enjoy the beautiful gardens next surrounding it. The walk from the hotel is very scenic and takes you right through the middle of the deer park, a very ‘at one with nature’ type stroll, so if you have the time I would definitely recommend you go by foot. Popular with the local community, the gardens were charming and even home to the Hornbeam Maze. The maze was designed by the 6th Duke of Bedford in 1831 and can be likened to a Labyrinth. After being trapped in there for 10 minutes, my partner joined me in my rescue mission and then became lost too. Attracting a few passers-by we finally managed to escape the maze after about 30 minutes. A hilarious addition to our afternoon.
Booked in for dinner at 8pm at Oliviers, we made our way back to our cottage. The restaurant is located in the main hotel building and has a modern yet traditional feel to it. A noticeably busy restaurant with clientele of all ages from both in and outside the hotel, the restaurant managed to retain a relaxed atmosphere while still having an air of luxury. Offered a choice of baked bread, we sat down to a glass of wine and perused the menu. Oliviers offers a set A La Carte menu with a lot of scope for choice. Settling for Gratin of Wild Mushroom Gnocchi and Homemade Soup of the day to start we knew we were set for a delicious eating experience. Our second courses consisted of an 8oz Sirloin Steak and Chunky Chips for my steak loving partner and the Beef fillet with caramelised shallots and port sauce for myself. Both presented beautifully we were not disappointed and were very impressed by the standard of dining at The Woburn Hotel. Retiring to our cottage suite for a good quality night’s sleep, we woke ready for our breakfast. Breakfast is a casual affair at The Woburn Hotel and set up in a buffet style. The staff worked hard at replenishing the choices and we were never left with an empty ‘station’. Good quality sausages and a selection of choices of egg, that a hotel buffet breakfast so often lacks, we checked out of the hotel with happy tummies and a relaxed and rejuvenated feeling.
So brilliantly located, The Woburn Hotel is a short drive away from The Woburn Safari Park, which is a great day out for all ages and all members of the family. With a huge and stunning drive-through safari, the park provides great entertainment and definitely worth a visit.