Take the “Tree Challenge” at Hartwell House and Explore 90 acres of Gardens & Parkland
23 Sep 2015
• Follow the trail around 90 acres of gardens designed by Capability Brown
• Identify 10 prize specimens, from a London Plane tree to a Giant Sequoia
• Then enjoy Traditional Afternoon Tea in front of a roaring fire reading about Hartwell’s former resident King Louis XVIII, exiled King of France
• Later raise a glass with the King Louis cocktail from the New Cocktail Menu
Autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as the English poet John Keats reminds us. And what could be nicer than a long walk around the grounds of an elegant stately home, followed by afternoon tea in front of a roaring fire?
Set in 90 acres of gardens and parkland, laid out by Capability Brown in the 18th century, with statues, an obelisk and an ornamental bridge, Hartwell House, in the Vale of Aylesbury, has the most beautiful collection of trees.
Guests can follow the trail around the grounds of the Historic House Hotel, with a copy of their Tree Map, to identify 10 prize specimens, from a Horse Chestnut and a London Plane tree to a Giant Sequoia (an 87- ft domed conifer which bears cones all year round).
Once graced by Louis XVIII, exiled King of France, and today owned by the National Trust, the Grade-I listed house, which has both Jacobean and Georgian facades, boasts a mile-long avenue of 234 lime trees, planted in 1830.
Budding arborists will also spot a large, shapely Walnut tree before you reach the Egyptian Well and Spring (a folly built in 1850). Walnut is highly prized by furniture makers for its fine, straight grained timber. By autumn you should see the tree covered in large edible, fruits.
Growing by the ice house in the park is a Cedar of Lebanon; and to the right of the house a magnificent Sycamore (the tree was originally introduced to this country by the Romans).
On the west lawn, guests will also spot four Tulip Trees (the glossy green leaves are tulip-shaped, turning a bright gold colour in autumn). And don’t miss the Chusan Fan Palm, introduced around 1850 from China.
After a two-hour walk, guests will return to the house with a glowing complexion and a healthy appetite. The traditional afternoon tea menu (£30.00) is served in Hartwell’s historic drawing rooms, full of paintings, antiques, fine plasterwork and rococo ceilings.
Guests can add also enjoy a cocktail, to celebrate any occasion. It’s the perfect way to spend a glorious autumn afternoon and a new cocktail menu was recently launched. The King Louis (£16.00) is based on the classic French 75, this cocktail has been created to honour Hartwell’s most famous resident. Bourbon, lemon, sugar syrup, and Edouard Brun Champagne act as the gateway to a perfectly integrated combination of bourbon and citrus. The 1989 (£15.00) is a cocktail invented by Hartwell’s very own Sommelier, this cocktail is named after the year which the hotel opened. It combines bumbleberry, amaretto, sugar syrup and prosecco to create a cocktail which is sure to live long in the memory. Hartwell Garden (£14.00) celebrates the stunning 90 acres of parkland at Hartwell House. This incredibly refreshing cocktail matches the Botanist gin with cucumber, apple juice and mint that’s been freshly picked from our gardens.
Autumn Glory November Break
Perfect for enjoying the turning of the seasons with the Autumn colours in all their glory. Only 25 minutes from Bicester Village, enjoy some retail therapy and get ahead of the Christmas rush, with Hartwell’s VIP discount vouchers, including a 10% discount on lunch at their popular food and drink outlets. Available daily Sunday to Thursday, stay in one of Hartwell’s luxurious double or twin bedded rooms from £160.00 per person per night to include a glass of Prosecco, dinner allowance of £36.00 each in the dining room, wifi, breakfast and use of Hartwell Spa. Or stay the weekend on Friday or Saturday from only £180.00 per person to include all of the above. This break is available from 1st to 30th November 2015 inclusive.
Lunch and Garden Tour – Friday 16th October
Richard Jones, Hartwell’s Head Gardner invites garden fans on a tour of the grounds to show and explain how he prepares Hartwell’s 90 acres of grounds and gardens ready for the winter months. Join Richard for coffee at 11.00am in the Library followed by the tour of the grounds and then finish off with a two-course lunch with coffee and glass of wine, priced from £32.00 per person.
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