The South East of England will be offering a plethora of Platinum Jubilee-inspired experiences, including a Jubilee Hotel House Party, a Jubilee afternoon tea in the home town of horse racing beloved by HM Queen, and several regal-inspired stays.
A Jubilee House Party in West Sussex
Located near the market town of Midhurst in the South Downs, illustrious guests hosted by Park House include Princess Diana. The hotel is marking the Platinum Jubilee with a full day of celebrations and an overnight stay on 5 June. The West Sussex bolthole is hosting a Big Jubilee Lunch followed by a Jubilee Garden Party in its grounds, complete with village show traditions, games, al-fresco afternoon tea and Champagne. The extraordinary Sunday Stay costs from £310 per night (two sharing), including the House’s Big Jubilee Lunch, Bepton’s Jubilee party, full English breakfast and use of the spa facilities.
Fit for a Queen Jubilee Afternoon Tea in Lavenham, Suffolk
Celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a special afternoon tea fit for a Queen. The Swan at Lavenham Hotel & Spa in the pretty village of Lavenham in Suffolk has created an afternoon tea worthy of royalty, which includes some of the Monarch’s favourite sweet and savoury delights. The indulgent afternoon tea is especially scrumptious and begins with delicate finger sandwiches followed by plain and sultana scones, topped with clotted cream and jam. The selection of specially created ‘royal’ cakes includes a Queen Elizabeth cake, ‘Dubonnet cocktail’ macaroon, cherry and vanilla Battenburg and a chocolate biscuit cake – all paired with unlimited refills of tea or coffee. Tempting treats will be presented on bespoke Royal Worcester fine bone China in the hotel’s elegant Gallery restaurant, cosy lounge or flower-filled courtyard garden. Fit for a Queen Jubilee Afternoon Tea is available from 21 May until 17 July and costs £25 per person/£39.50 per person with a glass of Champagne. The experience includes a mini-Victoria sponge to take home and continue your celebrations. An overnight stay at The Swan at Lavenham Hotel & Spa costs from £125 per night (two sharing), including full Suffolk breakfast.
Royal steeds in Newmarket, Suffolk
Originally built as a Georgian hunting lodge for the Duke of Bedford, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa sits in manicured gardens in Newmarket, the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing. The Queen’s love of horses – and horse racing – is well known, though less well known is the fact that her horses have won many prestigious races at Newmarket over the years.
The hotel’s past is peppered with interesting characters; perhaps most notable was Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford (wife of the 7th Duke), who created the much-loved concept of Afternoon Tea in 1845. The famous tradition continues today and, in June, Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa will be serving a Royal Afternoon Tea which would doubtless delight HM The Queen. Enjoy a selection of traditional finger sandwiches and baked savoury treats, followed by delicious homemade scones and a selection of freshly baked cakes and pastries, served with a selection of teas or coffee.
Indulge in classics such as Victoria sponge cake, the Elizabeth Royal Fruit Cake – inspired by the nine-foot-tall fruit cake from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 1947 wedding, and Bombe Glacée Royale – a mini version of one of Her Majesty’s favourite desserts. Available daily from 1 to 30 June in Squire’s Restaurant or on the terrace, the Royal Afternoon Tea costs £23 pp (or £34.50 pp with a glass of Champagne). An overnight stay at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa costs from £120 per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the health club.
A historic stay in Buckinghamshire
Once home to Louis XVIII, the exiled King of France, and used as a training ground for British and American forces during the Second World War, Hartwell House, in Buckinghamshire, is steeped in history.
The Grade I listed 17th century stately home is set in 90 acres of grounds, and the King’s Bedroom, situated at the top of the main Jacobean staircase, was occupied by Louis XVIII from 1809 to 1814. Guests can sleep in an antique four-poster bed and admire the same uninterrupted views that the King of France enjoyed over 200 years ago. An overnight stay at Hartwell House & Spa costs from £210 per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the spa.
17th century Georgian splendour in Hertfordshire
Nestled within 12 acres of idyllic countryside in Hertfordshire, Sopwell House is close to the roman city of St Albans and has an intriguing history dating back to 1603. From 1901 it was the country residence of Lord Mountbatten, whose daughter Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece and was the mother of Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Three centuries before this, the house was built on the ruins of the Sopwell Nunnery, believed to have been where Anne Boleyn took refuge following her return from France and where her secret marriage to King Henry VIII took place. Today the striking 17th century Georgian country house hotel offers 128 bedrooms and suites, a sumptuous spa, two restaurants and cocktail lounge. An overnight stay at Sopwell House costs from £154 per night (two sharing), including full English breakfast and use of the spa.