With a game of snooker in mind four Chaps in Hats – Gordon, Martin, Colin and Mike, headed for a Northwood hostelrie but when the venue turned out to be drab and depressing on a bright afternoon, they made a detour under the direction of driver Gordon. The mystery trip ended up at the splendid Luton Hoo hotel, a classy 18th century country house minutes off the M1 motorway.
“ We had a civilised tea then played snooker downstairs. The interior is really impressive.. incredibly high ceilings, sweeping staircases, pillars. It was redesigned by the same architects who did The Ritz. A lot of films and TV programmes have been shot there including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Enigma. The grounds are vast with over 1000 acres of parkland woodlands and a lake. The formal gardens were designed by Capability Brown. Definitely worth a visit”
Why go to Luton Hoo?
* The hotel makes a great destination day out or a stop off when waiting to pick up family or friends from nearby Luton airport. Enjoy coffee or a meal in smart surroundings with top service. Lunch in Wernher’s restaurant in the Mansion House starts at £26 for two courses. Afternoon tea in the lounge, hall or drawing room from £30. Main courses at Adam’s Brasserie in the nearby Country Club from £15 with a summer courtyard BBQ every Fri in July & Aug, £27.50.
Combine it with a trip to Luton Hoo Estate which is a completely separate entity from the hotel and where Capability Brown’s five acre octagonal Walled Garden is located. It is a fascinating volunteer-led ongoing project in its 10th year of reviving the gardens and repairing its structures. Open to the public every Wed 10.30am – 4pm until 27 Sept. £5 pp. Free tours. Victorian Farm Buildings tour extra £3.
You can buy fresh produce, plants and honey and there is a café in the Shooting Lodge serving light lunches and drinks.
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, The Mansion House, Beds LU1 3TQ
Luton Hoo Estate, LU1 4LF (drive past hotel and turn left into Newmill End – black gates)
TO GET THERE FROM CHORLEYWOOD..
Rating: Easy – around 30 mins by car
ROUTE: M25 then M1 North, Junction 10, 1 mile
* The word WAYZGOOSE originates from day trips in the printing business
Photo by Origin8