Even in a normal Summer, one of England’s most-popular country-set luxury resort-hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, has 80% domestic business. This year, after its re-opening on Saturday 4th July, 2020, it will be 100% – and clever punters are making reservations NOW.
Why? 580 acres of rolling countryside include stretches of Basingstoke Canal, with canal boats, and over 7,000 trees, many newly planted, tennis, croquet, clay-pigeon shooting, coarse fishing for carp and trout in two Tundry ponds, plus Storck bikes and so much more.The list goes on and on. Wellness offers two indoor pools, one themed as Sharkie’s Reef by designer Justin Pook. Oh yes, and the three-floor brick hotel has 133 bedrooms with stunning views.
The very-English GM, Andrew Harrison (above), is one of those guys who rushes up the Himalayas or Kilimanjaro if he has a week’s hols. As it happens, for the last three months, stuck in the hotel, he has been perfecting such traditional English skills as making dandelion beer, nettle soup or, as in the video below, summer pudding. He has also learned how to construct a barbed wire fence without needing hospitalization.
Stay here, too, for immersion in history. Dogmersfield, this exact location of Hampshire, was mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book. In 1502, King Henry VIII met Catherine of Aragon, the first of his six wives, here: she had left her father King Ferdinand II of Aragon, to travel to England to marry Henry’s brother Arthur, who died, and it is said Henry later married her to avoid having to send her dowry back. The current house was built in 1728 for the Mildmay family, who later sold it on to settle adultery payments. After a spell as a boys’ school, the complex opened as a hotel in 2005 (Girlahead’s favourite suite is, of course, the premium 225 sq m Royal Suite, designed by Martin Brudnizki, but all rooms have electrically-heated towel rails, so appreciated if you have wet togs after taking part in some of the myriad of outdoor pursuits). Now see the summer pudding video: