‘The great escape!’
Let’s just say that Hartwell House is the perfect British retreat! Under an hour from London and nestled in ninety acres of tranquil landscaped park in the vale of Buckinghamshire, it somehow feels worlds away from the capital.
Originally built for the Hamden family, and filled to the rafters with fantastic art and antiques, it is impossible to stay at Hartwell without being immersed in its history. Boasting thirty bedrooms and suites on three floors my room was particularly charming and decorated in the country house style. Think deep comfortable armchairs, rich carpets, botanical watercolours and a tin of shortbread for late night snacking! Infact all the best aspects of country house life, but without grumbling plumbing or the need to wear gloves to bed in winter.
As if that was’t enough, the spa at Hartwell is particularly stylish, and has been designed to work with the character of the building. So modern facilities collide with classic character which promotes a real air or tranquility. I was pleased to discover that the treatment menu included included plenty of treatments tailored especially for men, and these use products from the ranges of Aromatherapy Assosicates and Bioeffect.
I opted for the Bioeffect Cellular Hydration Facial (£85 for 55 minutes)
Bioeffect is a fascinating brand and central to the treatment is its ability to create Epidermal Growth Factors from the green tissue in plants. This EGF is actually created on volcanic pumice fed by glacial waters, and in a geothermal greenhouse to boot. Enough of the science, within minutes of the therapists blissful and rhythmic movements my skin felt deeply cleansed and I was completely relaxed.
Post treatment my skin was hydrated like never before with a bright complexion full of health and vitality, ladies might call this ‘a glow’ I call it the look of rude health! After a day spent relaxing in the spa and exploring the grounds, the evening dining exceeded my expectations. Nothing quite beats feasting on seasonal dishes featuring innovative ingredients, and served up in a historical setting! As if all of these features weren’t enough the art at Hartwell also excites. Who wouldn’t want to rub shoulders with Prince Rupert of the Rhine at breakfast, or have a nightcap in the company of Beechey and Reynolds?
Thanks Hartwell I’ll be back. You were a feast for the eyes, the body and also the soul!
Tester: Nick Cox.
Treatment: Bioeffect Cellular Hydration Facial.
Verdict: ‘younger and fresher’
Price: Rooms starting at £150 per night, seasonally dependent.
By: Nick Cox with contributions from Hannah Deuce
1. Hartwell House
2. The Spa Pool
3. The Rooms at Hartwell House
4. Nick Cox - Editor of The Grooming Guide relaxing in Hartwell Spa
5. Dining at Hartwell House
6. Hartwell House from the air
7. The Drawing Rooms at Hartwell House
8. Afternoon Tea at Hartwell House