Spring into Summer at Hartwell House in the Vale of Aylesbury

• Discover the quintessential English country gardens spread over 90 acres
• Sample Buckinghamshire’s famous Aylesbury Duck with special three-course menu
• New two-night country break allows time to indulge in Hartwell House and its surroundings

hartwell the morning room 1024x815 Spring into Summer at Hartwell House  in the Vale of Aylesbury

Hartwell House is an impressive stately home with both Jacobean and Georgian facades in the Vale of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Once graced by Louis XVIII, exiled King of France, and now owned by the National Trust, the grade-I listed house has ornate interiors rich with rococo ceilings, antiques and fine paintings. Surrounding the hotel are 90 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, some of which date back to the 18th century.

Hartwell’s spring garden, planted with snowdrops, daffodils, and primroses, is now bursting into life and will continue to thrive as summer arrives. The orchard grows old varieties of apples and apricot, peach, pear and plum trees grow in the former kitchen garden along with flowers and herbs for the hotel. Enjoy the gardens further this summer with Summer Garden Tours led by head gardener Richard Jones whose previous experience includes the Waddesdon Estate in the Rothschild’s’ private gardens. His mission at Hartwell is to maintain and restore as much of the surviving 18th century parkland as possible as well as providing as much fresh produce for the restaurant from the vegetable gardens and orchard.

Richard Jones will join the Royal Horticultural Society with a special luncheon on Wednesday 10th June. Jones will explain recent planting and restoration as well as guide guests through a historical journey to rediscover the lost flower garden of Lady Elizabeth Lee. Morning coffee and biscuits will be served on arrival followed by a three-course summer lunch with wine following the tour for £30 per person for RHS members (£36 for non members).
After coffee in the library on Friday 31st July at 11am, Richard will guide guests around the plants, shrubs and trees in bloom, before a two-course lunch with a glass of wine, followed by coffee for £30 per person (change of footwear advisable). Accommodation from £205.00 B&B.

Evolving in the 18th century, Aylesbury ducks were the most sought after birds for the fashionable and wealthy. Mrs Beeton wrote ‘the white Aylesbury duck is a favourite bird for the table, its flesh being whiter and more delicate than that of other varieties’. Duck rearing became a major industry in Aylesbury during the 19th century and Hartwell’s history is tied up with the famous local duck, which former resident and famous gourmand Louis XVIII would have eaten while in exile here. Aylesbury ducks are the ne plus ultra of all ducks. The duck is distinguished by its pure white plumage, bright orange feet, and bill flesh-coloured ‘like a lady’s fingernail’. The adults are larger than most other ducks and the average weight is between 6lbs and 7lbs. Nowadays guests can enjoy the Aylesbury Duck Break with a welcome Dry Martini made with Aylesbury Duck Canadian vodka followed by a four-course Aylesbury duck-inspired dinner. Including dinner, the break costs £390 per night in a classic double or twin standard room, cooked breakfast served in the dining room, use of the Hartwell Spa and free WiFi. Available from 30 April until 30th November 2015.

Hartwell House is well placed for guests wishing to visit Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxford, home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Blenheim Palace are offering visitors a new look at the exciting and controversial Ai Weiwei exhibition with a free hour-long tour. Visitors will get to have an in-depth look at the artist behind the artwork and its installation at the Palace. The exhibition, which closes on 30th April, is the most extensive UK exhibition to date by the celebrated Chinese artist and social activist showcasing more than 50 artworks produced over the last 30 years.

A new two-night Buckinghamshire Country Break allows guest to indulge in the luxurious surroundings of Hartwell House. Walk around the gardens, parkland, statues and follies of the hotel grounds. Or explore further away with trips to other notable gardens such as at Waddesdon Manor and Stowe Landscape Gardens, the dreaming spires of Oxford or a spot of retail therapy at Bicester Village shopping outlet. Two nights in a classic standard double room costs £600 including Prosecco and Hartwell chocolates on arrival, cooked English breakfast each day, £100 credit for food and beverages and free WiFi. Upgrades to Royal Rooms from £50 per night. Available until November 2015.

Enjoy a blooming start to summer at Hartwell House.

Hartwell House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP17 8NR, Tel:01296 747444
B&B priced from £205.00 per night based on two sharing a Court bedroom and £290.00 per night based on two sharing a bedroom in the main house