Ben, Pepi and I now consider Cliveden House an extension of our own home. Every visit we make cements the gorgeous country manor house as our favourite hotel in the world. We are always greeted by the friendliest welcome, amazing food and drink and the most elegant, beautiful rooms. You’re encouraged to treat the house as your own and you’re free to roam from room to room exploring the incredible artwork and antiques that have been collected over the years.
Ben and I recently popped back for a very special stay, to help with a little project that Cliveden are working on at the moment (I promise I’ll reveal more later in the year). We got to stay in the Canning Suite – a stunning large room with high ceilings, fire place and four poster bed in the old part of the house. The old part of the house is and will always be my favourite. Each room has it’s own character and little story that’s so interesting to read about. In the Canning Suite there is a wooden ladder tucked into the window sill that would have been used in the past to sneak other guests into the room – only adding to the debaucherous history!
The beautiful Bedroom suite leads into a dressing room with double wardrobes and a marble bathroom with full bath and shower beyond. We immediately unpacked our bags and popped open the bubbly that had been very kindly left for us, overlooking the stunning grounds. The afternoon went quickly in a flurry of photo taking and email sending before it was time to change for dinner.
We’ve only discovered the Astor Grill in our last couple of visits, but it’s quickly become our favourite restaurant due to the fact that it’s completely dog friendly – they even have a little menu so that you’re furry companion can eat like a King or Queen for the evening too! Pepi’s favourite is the chicken and rice. Ben and I went for the Burrata
Lamb chops with a side of chunky chips and broccoli – yum.
Of course, we couldn’t resist the salted chocolate oreo ganache for pudding – absolute heaven!
When we’d eaten our fill and Pepi was starting to drift off, we made our way to the library for a few night caps before heading back to our room to sleep off all the food.
In the morning, there was a knock on the door at 7.30am and one of the lovely waiting staff brought in tea, coffee and mini pastries on a silver tray to help coax us out of bed.
We then lazily made our way downstairs to the restaurant for a breakfast feast of pancakes, Eggs Benedict, fruit and a side of people watching.
With breakfast digesting, we made sure to make the most of the sun while it was going to last, getting a quick photo shoot in on the terrace before taking Pepi back up to the room for a rest while we set out for an activity planned for us by the team.
Every time we come to Cliveden, we discover something else to do, another activity, a different food option, a new walk or an interesting fact. There is always so much to see and it’s one of the major factors in bringing us back again and again. This time around, the lovely team had booked us onto a private river boat tour complete with champagne afternoon tea and if there’s anything I like more than an afternoon tea, it’s afternoon tea with a twist.
We climbed aboard and met our captain Cupid Ken; so called on account of the many proposals he has bore witness to over the 15 years he’s captained the Suzy Ann. The engine started and we glided across the water, swans and ducks chasing after us.
A few minutes in and the perfect afternoon tea was brought out for us along with a bottle of bubbles.
We clinked our glasses and watched the bow of the boat split the water in front of us while we polished off the delicious food that had been laid out.
Suzy Ann is an incredible vessel having been built in 1911 and 107 this year, she’s been lovingly restored over the years and it was hard not to feel like Royalty cruising along on our private charter.
While we did a lap of some of the National Trust stretch of the Thames, Ken even pointed out the steps up to Spring Cottage from the river. These were built, as was the cottage for The Duchess of Sutherland to host Queen Victoria on her visits from Windsor Castle. The Queen would hop on her boat at Windsor and make her way down the Thames to Cliveden for a spot of afternoon tea and a catch up with the Duchess!
Afternoon tea demolished and a little more knowledgable on the history of Cliveden, it was time to make our way back to shore. We thanked Ken and made our way back up to the house.
Pepi was collected from the room and we had time for one last stroll in the grounds before waving goodbye to our Cliveden family and heading back to London, promising we’d be back very soon.
Have you ever visited Cliveden House?