Sopwell House is a beautiful historic 17thcentury Georgian country house set in the Hertfordshire countryside. With a promise of ‘a hidden sanctuary for those who appreciate comfortable refinement’, we couldn’t wait to see what this family run hotel had to offer.
We visited on a cold and rainy winter day, and were greeted by the most welcoming log fire – inviting and warm, perfect to escape from the wet weather! The welcome from the team was warm as well, and we checked in to our Mews suite – separate to the main hotel and accessed through secure gates. The suites are absolutely divine, set in their own courtyard and gardens created by Chelsea Flower Show gold award winner, Ann-Marie Powell. A huge spherical sculpture stands in the centre, surrounded by the Mews suites, with sunloungers and hydropool – perfect for exclusive and private relaxation in the warmer months.
Our suite, Willow, was like our own private cottage; it would be ideal for a luxury hen retreat or minimoon, you really feel tucked away, but with all the luxury amenities of the hotel right there on your doorstep. It’s romantic and private – your own little homely cottage. The Mews Suites are new and fresh, with a sweet little gate leading up to the front door and a comfortable interior. We enjoyed the strawberries left for us, as well as the Battenburg cake – special to Sopwell House as Alice Mountbatten, whom the cake is named after, was proposed to in the grounds by Prince Andrew of Greece, and their son is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The cake was pretty and so light – the best I have ever eaten!
The Mews Suites each have their own private garden with a hot tub and loungers – it’s such a special treat to have your own little piece of outside space at a hotel! It’s quiet and peaceful, but if you happened to have friends staying next door, you could easily nip out to say hi!
Dinner was at 7pm at The Restaurant. Sopwell House has two restaurants, The Brasserie, serving delicious classic dishes, and The Restaurant, their fine dining, formal eatery. They also have a cocktail lounge where afternoon tea is served as well as gorgeous cocktails.
The Restaurant was so welcoming. Candlelit and relaxing, piano music created just the right ambience for a fantastic meal. The chef surprised us with an amuse bouche of crispy mushroom and cheese bites and then between us we enjoyed smoked salmon, turbot with caramelised cauliflower, beef and an exquisite dessert. The food was excellent, the wine was perfect and we took our time to soak in the atmosphere as we enjoyed our food before taking a little wander around the hotel to take in our beautiful surroundings.
After a great night’s sleep, we took a little trip to the spa before breakfast. It’s currently undergoing refurbishment and extension and will have a new restaurant, nail bar and spa experience – it looks amazing and would be perfect for a spa day or hen weekend. The spa is gorgeous, with copper lighting and ESPA products. It’s stylish and modern, and the pool is great, with a steam room on a split level and loungers all round.
We had breakfast in The Brasserie – a good opportunity to see the other eating establishment! It was a lovely buffet of hot and cold food and great to sit and eat in a relaxing environment.
Weddings at Sopwell House
We met with Jonathan, the Deputy General Manager, who gave us a tour of the hotel including the four main bedrooms and, of course, the wedding facilities. The function suites are self contained, with their own entrance. The main room, the St Alban Suite, can be divided into three, so whether you want a small, intimate celebration or larger affair, they can cater for all types of wedding, hosting up to 300 guests. There are so many options and sizes of room, we’ve rarely seen any venue so versatile and accommodating for differing sizes and styles of wedding. You can say your vows inside or out – they are licensed for civil ceremonies and have a gorgeous outside space set in their 12 acres for a garden wedding. The gardens would also be great for photos; a waterfall and pond give so much potential for some really great shots.
We had such a relaxing and welcoming stay at Sopwell House, the Mews Suites are something very special and definitely worth checking out for yourself. The whole hotel is friendly, accommodating and top quality, with excellent food, exciting developments in the spa and wedding facilities for any day. We highly recommend it.