Heckfield Place

Heckfield, Hook RG27 0LD, UK

Why we love it: A Jane Austen novel brought to life for the modern-day guest

The Highlights:
- Beautifully restored estate and manor house that transports guests to another time
- Farm-fresh dining and drinking
- The chance to re-connect with nature, especially in the restored 1820s gardens

The Review:
Venture about 75 minutes from central London, into the heart of bucolic Hampshire, to find a world that the Georgians created—and modern-day visionaries have meticulously, and sustainably, revived. Rising amid 400 acres of woodlands, meadows, a lake, and planned gardens is a 1790s manor house that’s been beautifully restored with just the right balance of country-house chic and contemporary flair. The 45 rooms and six suites are spread throughout the main house and annexes (called “Corridors”) and available in six categories. Each has its own special perk—a private terrace in one, a roll-top bathtub or particularly sweeping view in another—but all feature handcrafted furnishings and natural textiles, Apple TV, Bang & Olufsen systems, Wildsmith Skin boutique bath products, and complimentary gourmet snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, including house-made cordials and ginger beers.

Under the direction of noted chef Skye Gyngell, Heckfield Place’s culinary offerings include the upscale Marle restaurant (open to in-house and outside guests), the open fire–centric Hearth (just for hotel guests), and the stylish Moon Bar for creative cocktails. All three spots use ingredients plucked fresh from the on-site Home Farm, which is working toward becoming a fully certified biodynamic operation. An apothecary garden provides fresh produce for the all-natural treatments and healthy drinks at the five-room Little Bothy spa (a larger Big Bothy is slated to open in late-2019), while a calendar of Assembly Events—from wine tastings and book readings to movies in the main house’s cushy screening room—offer further distractions. Not that you need it: just being able to explore the vast grounds (including the restored 1820s gardens), connect with nature, and live your best Jane Austen life are reasons enough to visit.

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