Restaurants Reviews

TLLWT…The Grove Hotel.

So, it’s Friday afternoon and I am sitting on a train, pulling away from London Euston. I hate trains….and there seem to be more people in this train than there are in the whole of China. I’m starting to get agitated and would like a drink please. Gin. Now.

My partner in grime is sitting calmly opposite me, reading the paper and eating Percy Pigs. Clearly he has the secret inbuilt weapon that allows him to deal with trains. I am sweaty and ready to kill. Thank goodness it’s only 20 minutes from Euston to Watford Junction, which is where we are headed.

Once off the train, we rush outside the station and are pleased to see a line of cabs waiting. I throw our bag in the boot and crawl into the bag seat. Within 5min of driving, I start to see big detached houses, green trees and open spaces – we must be getting close.

Not long after we turn into the private road that leads up to The Grove Hotel. I feel myself relax as I take in the views; green golf courses surround us and I can see a glimpse of the hotel on top of a little hill. I am immediately thrown out of my busy life and into a parallel, very chilled universe, where Blackberries don’t work and everything smells of white roses.

First impressions of The Grove are of grandeur. It’s like you have arrived at someone’s mansion, which partly is true really. The reception is filled with light and flowers, the staff are friendly and we are checked in in no time at all.

Someone takes our bags as we decide that we ought to have some bubbles to celebrate our mini break. We sit down in the sunshine filled room at the back, enjoying the white grand piano, white roses everywhere (explains the smell), comfortable couches and eager staff. The waitress appears shortly with a bottle of champagne and we get drinking. Leaning back, sipping my bubbles, I start to take it all in. All I can see is garden exteding to as far as I can see. It’s beautiful. I am sure I can hear birds singing.

Before we check into our room, we decided to explore the hotel. The grounds are amazing; manicured and peaceful, and even the little kid screaming bloody murder cant stop me from relaxing. We walk around the decorative pool and look far across the land, and I really cant believe I am only 30min from central London. We check out The Stables Bar and Restaurant, where we are booked in for dinner later, and then go to look at the Sequoia Spa…which is where the walking finishes. I want to stay at the Spa forever. In fact, my companion is very lucky that I don’t just strip then and there and run in.

He persuades me that it would be unacceptable behaviour so we head to our room. The hotel is beautifully decorated, even in the hallways. They have little perspex tables with feathers, or toy planes, or rubber ducks trapped inside them. Very cute. The room is SO worth the long walk, it is a huge space with the biggest bed I have seen in a long time. I immediately check out everything, as I am obsessed with room facilities. The bathroom is pretty much “my” bathroom. Exactly what I would put in my own house, if I had endless pounds in the bank. There’s a side table with all the usual hotel info, a couch, an arm chair and an entertainment unit. The flatscreen tv has surround sound, plus there is an ipod docking station, so we listen to a little Hotel Costes to really unwind. The room is really superb. Perfect for our little weekend get away.

After a second visit to the amazing spa, we find out that unfortunately we can’t book in for any treatments as the spa carries a waiting list. However, floating in the indoor pool, having some jacuzzi time and trying to water therapy showers really helped with my aching muscles, and a lay down in the “chill room” helped relieve my tired mind. I am now on the waiting list for a full spa experience – but would advise anyone planning a trip to The Grove to book any Spa treatments in advance. You wont regret it. Trust me. I only had a taste of what it would be like and was totally sold.

Dinner was booked at The Stables (don’t worry, the horses left ages ago), which feels like a really lush country restaurant. The service is incredible, so attentive that I felt like the queen. We ate delicious Smoked Salmon, Venison Osso Bucco and Lemon Sole, and drank amazing wine in the caraf. Everything pressed my “impressed buttons”. Dinner continued well into the night, finishing up with blackberry crème brulee and ice cream, then more Champagne and the lovely view of the lit up gardens from the window we were sitting at.

Back in our room, we decided to run a bath and just relax. Already feeling comfortably stuffed and sleepy, we lay in the bath (which is a miracle as usually we don’t both fit in a bath together), talked about the hotel and truly agreed that this little mini break was a way better option than going somewhere further away. A little haven of tranqility, a mere 45min from the front door of our East London home. We fall asleep in the uber comfy bed after ordering our breakfast in bed for the morning. There was no way I was leaving the room before I had to.

Waking up in our first floor room was like waking up in a dream land. We had left the curtains open over night, so the sun filled the room and woke us up a lot earlier than expected, which wasn’t really that big of a deal as I was starving (I get cranky when I’m hungry). A quick call to the reception desk, and our pre-ordered breakfast was delivered earlier than previously arranged. In fact, there was a knock on the door 10 minutes later. I was slightly shocked with the breakfast table, it was like a piece of art. A table full of breakfast food. The lovely lady pushing the cart, set it all up between the bed and the arm chair, we took our seats and enjoyed the fresh berries, omelettes, rye toast, fresh carrot juice, muffins and more. On that note – the selection of breakfast items to pick from was one of the best I have seen. Lovely indeed.

What can I say about The Grove to do it justice? Amazeballs. That’s it. I had an image of The Grove being a little haven, hidden away near Watford and I was right. It truly is a place you can hide away for a little while…as long as you need to. There is plenty to do and see, walking around the land, exploring the hotel and its “communal” rooms and gardens. Book some pampering in the spa and enjoy great food in either of the three amazing restaurants. The hotel staff are very service oriented and not once did I feel like I wanted something “extra”. As we enjoy our soya latte’s in the garden, I look around again, taking in the last few moments of this little heaven. Our booked cab arrives, I climb in and as the car starts to pull away from the hotel I look back, seeing it behind us. The first thought that comes to mind is that I know I will be back, very soon most likely. After a quick break, we feel totally relaxed, recharged and ready to face the real world, including the train to Euston.

For more on The Grove, please click here.  For Christmas offers see here and for all other offers click here.

If you would like to see more pictures, you can see more here.



(PS:The Grove, despite it’s address, is actually located in Watford. They just don’t like to admit to it!)

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