The multi award winning Chewton Glen on the edge of the New Forest promised tranquillity, country charm and luxury, and we couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to its promises, as well as finding out about weddings at Chewton Glen.
Having made our way up the beautiful driveway and into the newly refurbished lobby, we were immediately made to feel so welcome. Chewton Glen is very different to the sky-scraping London retreats we visit, the hotel is a gorgeous old country house with sweet shuttered windows overlooking the croquet lawn and beautiful gardens. And our suite was one of those that looked over the croquet lawn. As we were escorted to it, sculptures around the place caught our eye (which you can purchase, if you wish) and the bright light of a cold, crisp winter day shone through the windows as we found our home for the night.
Our room was recently refurbished, and there are 12 similar suites. Each is lovely and spacious with its own garden terrace with chairs and tables looking over to the gardens and beyond, perfect to relax in. Chewton Glen has 130 acres of woodland, garden and parkland and kisses the edge of the New Forest as well as the coastline.
Our suite was beautiful, in muted grey and blue tones. A comfy sofa welcomed us and we kicked our shoes off and sipped champagne, taking a moment to enjoy the truffles and fruit that greeted us. Crisp white linen and soft pillows adorned the bed, the white marble bathroom was spotless and inviting, with sunken bath and REN products, and the view just took our breath away again and again.
And so to the spa. Golf buggies dash across the estate, taking guests to the spa and back, and once you get there, it’s just delightful. Aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms and a gorgeous indoor pool are all just waiting to be enjoyed, and the swimming pool just took my breath away. With impressive columns and white clouds scudding across the ceiling, it was just the most relaxing space, perfect for a spa day, hen day or some relaxing time with your mum or girls the day before your wedding.
Chewton Glen has two restaurants – The Kitchen and The Dining Room – and we dined at The Dining Room, whose award winning executive head chef is Luke Matthews, he’s even appeared on TV. The Dining Room is beautifully elegant, with sculptures and soft lighting, we couldn’t wait to sample the food. Many of the ingredients have travelled less than 100 yards, from their kitchen garden, and we enjoyed soft and delicious hand dived scallops, a perfectly cooked Dover sole as well as sea bass with noodles – new to the menu and absolutely divine. Fresh, local and simple, and cooked to perfection. And then a dessert like no other. The rhubarb cheesecake – I could have eaten it twice, it was amazing! We spent a gorgeous relaxed evening enjoying our meal, then went for a wander around the hotel to take in the atmosphere. Roaring, crackling log fires are lit in the evening, creating a wonderful ambience, and we sat by one of them, enjoying a drink from the decadent bar, filled with crystal decanters.
Back to the room for the night, which was beautifully turned down and inviting. The thick curtains had been drawn and a jar of honey left for us – the hotel has 50 bee hives and makes its own delicious honey – I tucked that away to enjoy at home to remind me of our stay!
We slept soundly and as we drew the curtains in the morning we saw a layer of snow had dusted the croquet lawn and was quietly sparkling in the morning light. It was the most calm and cosy feeling, to be warm inside with the light glinting off the freezing grass outside. Breakfast was in The Dining Room, with views over the lawns and we enjoyed a full New Forest English breakfast and a continental breakfast between us. There was a lovely spread, with salmon, pastries, meats and fruit, and I enjoyed a green tea before exploring the wedding venue.
Weddings at Chewton Glen
I met the lovely Georgia who is the wedding coordinator at Chewton Glen and she gave us a tour of the wedding rooms. They have six spaces of varying sizes and décor – from the large, traditional Lake Suite, to the walled garden, an outdoor wedding space.
The Lake Suite has its own terrace, with light flooding through the patio doors, and can be transformed with drapes of any colour. It can be split into three, accommodating up to 200 for a ceremony and 140 for a wedding breakfast. I loved the idea of spilling out onto the terrace for fireworks.
The Summer House is light and airy, a conservatory overlooking the estate’s countryside. It’s licensed for ceremonies of up to 100 guests, or a wedding breakfast of up to 60.
The Garden Room, with art hanging on the walls and a sparkling chandelier, can cater for up to 80 guests.
The Oak End is perfect for a smaller celebration. Nestled within the Dining Room, this private room has its own terrace with beautiful views. It can cater for wedding breakfasts up to 28 guests.
The Wine Room is a glass fronted cellar, perfect for the wine connoisseur! It can cater for small parties, up to 20 guests.
The Walled Garden creates a magical atmosphere for your perfect outdoor wedding. It can be decorated with twinkling lights and accommodates up to 140 seated, with plenty of standing room.
There really is something for every wedding taste here, the rooms are beautiful and versatile and the grounds are perfect for photos.
And then there’s the treehouses…
The treehouses are luxurious, set away from the main hotel and nestled in the woodland. They range from a studio suite perfect for two, to their newest abode, The Yews, a giant treehouse to play in, for up to four adults and eight children. In between you’ve got the Treehouse Hideaway Suite, which accommodates three and the Treehouse loft suite, sleeping up to six. An outdoor hot tub beckons with forest sunset views and just the noise of the birds and the wind in the branches for company.
Each treehouse is vast, with huge bedrooms and soft white linen. Hot water bottles are included for extra snugness, and a breakfast hamper is delivered each morning.
We visited a Treehouse Hideaway suite, and the absolute cherry on top is that this one is licensed for ceremonies. The bedroom area is set apart from the main body of the treehouse and accessed by a covered walkway, so you can get ready in the bedroom, then arrive along the walkway to your small and intimate ceremony in the treetops. You can then relax in front of the wood burner, or even in the hot tub.
These treehouses are popular with A-listers, and we can totally understand why. They’re so private, the perfect little getaway in the woods.
After our dreamy treetop tour, we set off for home with a hot coffee and fresh shortbread for the journey. We had such a lovely stay at Chewton Glen, the estate has so much to offer for short breaks, weddings, minimoons and honeymoons. The service is excellent and we felt so well looked after from start to finish. Thanks for having us!