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Sophie Hewitt
21st March 2022

Hertfordshire, we're welcoming you back! In celebration of weekend plans being back on the menu, we're sharing some of our top tips for a weekend break without the stress...that just happens to be right on your doorstep. Ready to start planning your perfect local escape? 

For the luxury seeker, the afternoon tea lover and the person who knows they deserve a reward, it’s time to treat yourself, escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a little R&R. And let’s face it we all deserve a treat right now, so we’re laying out some of our favourite locations in the Hertfordshire countryside, from the perfect place to sip on Champagne, to retail therapy and Instagrammable brunch spots, all for the ultimate luxury weekend break, it’s all here, ready when you are.

So sit back and relax - in true 5* style we’ve taken care of all the planning and created an itinerary just for you…

Day one 

Morning - Watford 

We’re starting you off easy with a little retail therapy (you’re welcome), so make sure those boots are made for walking, because you’ve got plenty of shops to discover at Atria Watford. Offering a mix of independent and big name brands, we can’t promise your credit card will walk away unscathed, but we can promise you’ll have plenty to choose from. Plus, with measures in place to keep staff and visitors protected, you can focus on finding those post-lockdown outfits.

Brunch - The Florist

Time for brunch? We think so and where could be better than Watford’s very own Instagram icon, the Florist? Indulge in French toast, avocado and poached eggs or pancakes with fresh berries and soak up that atmosphere. Trust us, your Instagram grid will thank us for this one!

Afternoon - The Grove

Yes, you’ve probably seen this beauty a fair few times on Instagram too, and from the moment you check in, you’ll see why it's known as one of the best luxury hotels in Hertfordshire. Five star luxury, individually designed rooms, rolling countryside, sensational food and the Sequoia Spa, this is the ultimate indulgent retreat!


What’s the perfect remedy for a stressful week? A picnic in the countryside, of course. But this isn’t just any old picnic! With a picnic basket packed with artisan offerings, we would forgive you for getting lost in the food, but be sure to take a glance around the Grove’s splendid grounds while you eat, because those wide open countryside views are exactly the thing we’ve all been missing!


Once you’ve finished your pampering in the spa, hitting the golf course, or tucking in at one of the Grove’s many sensational restaurants (the views at the Glasshouse await), it’s time to settle in for the night. Retreat to your suite, get some rest and get ready for another day of indulgence – it’s a hard life, afterall.

Day two

Morning –Knebworth

Upon walking up to the magnificent manor that is Knebworth House, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s an Insta-worthy opportunity  around every corner in Hertfordshire! A Victorian house at its heart (covering up a hidden Tudor interior) surrounded by 28 acres of formal gardens, which hold everything from roses and a walled garden, to a Victorian bowling alley and even a few dinosaurs, it’s safe to say there is plenty to uncover on your visit. Unwind, stroll through those glorious gardens, wander along the wilderness walk and lose yourself in the peace and tranquillity of this Hertfordshire icon.

Afternoon - Afternoon tea at Hanbury Manor

Pull up outside Hanbury Manor and you'll feel like you've made it. This gorgeous Jacobean mansion and 200 acres that surround it are just the spot for an afternoon of tea, Champagne and cake. Settle into one of the wing backed armchairs, look out over those magnificent grounds and enjoy tea for two 

Sopwell House and Cottonmill Spa

Get booked in fast because one of our favourite spas in Hertfordshire, the sensational Cottonmill Spa, is opening its doors to those in need of a little R&R. With thorough spa cleaning in place, alongside a variety of new measures to keep guests and staff safe, you need worry about nothing but which treatment to have first. Enjoy world class spa facilities, hydrotherapy pools, a garden room, hot tubs, fire-pit and many more little (or large) luxuries, before settling in for your treatment, be it facial, massage or a body restore ritual.


Once you’ve preened and pampered, it’s time to show off that newly rejuvenated skin and polished nails, so take a seat at Sopwell House’s The Brasserie for a la carte dining and the theatre of an open kitchen, or really treat yourself to the 2 AA Rosette The Restaurant and discover why this gourmet menu has been bestowed the Open Table Diner’s choice award two years running!


After a strenuous couple of days of luxury living, you won’t have to go very far for a soft bed for the night. Check in to your luxury Mews Suite at Sopwell and enjoy your very own private living area, open fireplace, private terrace and cedar wood spa bath, all surrounded by gorgeously manicured gardens, designed by RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Gold award winner, Ann-Marie Powell, no less.