Lainston House Hotel is a stunning 5* 17th Century property surrounded by 63 acres of Hampshire park land.
I decided to visit at pretty late notice, you might have realised by now I’m not the best at planning ahead.. The hotel couldn’t have been more accommodating and luckily I didn’t feel so bad about leaving the reservation so late!
This is not the easiest place to find, I’ll happily admit I got completely lost. One must navigate through winding country lanes, surrounded by fields and fields of farmland whilst passing through idyllic villages. On arrival at the hotel you will quickly forget about the nightmare you suffered trying to reach it. Greeted by a magnificent driveway I reached the car park, it is hidden mostly by hedges so doesn’t spoil the landscaped gardens, and it even has facilities for electric cars to recharge!
It is clear straight away that a lot of work goes into the presentation of this country residence. A walk through gates adorned with pink flowers, I made my way into the lobby area. My first view was of a striking fireplace, home to a rather impressive selection of wellies! A true nod to the British countryside.
Check in was quick, I arrived early so headed straight back out to explore Winchester whilst my room was vacated and cleaned. Luckily staff were happy to look after my bag so I didn’t have to worry about parking a full car in the city. When I arrived back at the hotel 5 hours later, I was recognised and taken straight to my room where my luggage was waiting for me.
Finding my room reminded me a little of the country roads I drove through to reach the hotel. ‘It’s like a maze!’ I said to the receptionist, ‘just follow signs back to reception when you want dinner’ he said. Luckily it was good advice!
Lainston House is an expansive property, but you wouldn’t necessarily realise how big from the outside. On arrival at my room ‘Hornbeam’ I was taken aback at how spacious and grand it was.
With a huge four poster bed, spacious living area, and (almost) floor to ceiling windows, I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I was travelling alone as my husband is unable to take time off work during the week, this is definitely a place I would have loved to share with a loved one but I was also pretty smug that I was getting the bed all to myself.
After a tour of the property by Gaius, the friendly general manager, I was able to fully appreciate the time and effort that has gone into the hotel to make it great. It is ideal for foodies, bakers and aspiring chefs! Or just anyone who enjoys spending time creating delicious meals! SEASON is the hotel’s impressive cooking school, ‘I must take my mum here’ I thought (she see’s herself as Mary Berry in the making…). Lainston House offers an excellent variety of cooking classes for beginners all the way up to experts. Sadly I didn’t have the time to try, but I would have ended up accidentally setting the place on fire anyway!
It was soon time for dinner at ‘The Avenue’, as always I was apprehensive about dining alone, I need not have worried though. Whilst the atmosphere was what I would describe as elegant, I didn’t feel too out of place eating alone. Staff looked after me and always made sure my champagne glass was topped up. There was a buzz in the restaurant and it was clear everyone, including myself, was enjoying their food. The restaurant itself offers sublime views over the hotel’s grounds, and of course gets its name ‘the avenue’ from the avenue of lime trees leading away from the property.
The restaurant has won awards, and rightly so. I started with a delicious terrine, and was then offered by a tasty amuse bouche. For my main I enjoyed the lamb (which literally melted in my mouth!), accompanied by potato, balsamic, and asparagus. Guests can choose from an a la carte menu or set menu, there was wiggle room to mix and match both as well.
I was pretty stuffed by this point so of course I ordered a dessert as well… which was equally as lovely as the main. Next it was time for me to roll back to my suite, it was time for Love Island after all. I took a shower (it was a rainfall!) and questioned whether I should get into the giant bath tub that had my name all over it. It was getting a little late so sadly I did not take advantage of this facility. So instead I snuggled up in bed, watched Love Island, and then had one of the best nights sleep in a very long time!
Morning was spent excitedly chomping down a rather indulgent breakfast that I ordered to my room. Lainston House is one of those places the rooms are so inviting you don’t really want to leave, so instead I ate my croissant, pancakes AND eggs (no regrets!) in the living area of my beloved four poster room. I was in denial once breakfast had been devoured. It was time for me to go, but I really didn’t want to…
Until next time Lainston House, because I will be back!
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