Everyone’s talking about Heckfield Place, the hotly anticipated Hampshire hotel that opened its doors this week after six years in the making. The Georgian red brick house has been transformed into a contemporary hotel in the most modern sense; sustainability meets luxury with farm-to-fork dining led by Skye Gyngell, British interiors from designer Ben Thompson and a wellness spa with pilates and ballet from Bodyism.
An overnight stay costs between £350 to £10,000 per night depending which room you choose. Londoners might therefore be more interested by The Assembly, the hotel’s program of events, some of which are completely free. For example, next week take a tour of the biodynamic Home Farm, or join the Walk in the Gardens with Head Gardener Phil Bailey and Liz Reay who have spend the past 5 years transforming the grounds – the beautiful walled garden below was previously being used as a football pitch and is now planted with deep flower beds.
There’s also an exciting program of talks – next Saturday, 22 September Skye Gyngell will be in conversation with Rory O’Connell founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Blanche Vaughan food editor at House & Garden and Allan Jenkins editor of the Observer Food Monthly talking about the value of the soil (tickets £25). Then there are film screenings, gardening workshops, flower arranging classes, cider pressing and much more, making The Assembly the perfect excuse to visit from London.
Afterwards book a table at Marle, one of the two restaurants at Heckfield Place. Set to become a foodie destination in its own right it’s open to visitors as well as hotel guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The daily menu features produce from Home Farm served up in a sophisticated light-filled dining room.
Heckfield Place is just an hour from London by car – or the same by train from Waterloo to nearby Winchfield station where the hotel will pick you up. Open your diary and book now.