WHAT IS IT?
Nestled deep in the New Forest, Rhinefield House Hotel offers a welcome haven from the fast pace of modern living. Having approached the stunning venue along a winding driveway lined with Canadian redwood trees and rhododendrons, your first glimpse of the imposing Tudor and Gothic manor house, complete with stone turrets and Venetian glass windows, will take your breath away.
WHY DO WE LOVE IT?
Stepping into the impressive entrance hall, you’re immediately enveloped by an atmosphere of utter tranquillity that flows throughout the 50-bedroom hotel.
After a refreshing drink on the terrace beside the ornamental Koi carp pond, OK! was treated to an Elemis Freestyle Deep Tissue Massage (£75) in the hotel’s health suite before making use of the peaceful indoor splash pool, steam room and Jacuzzi. There’s also a Technogym for energetic types and a heated outdoor pool for an al fresco dip. Guests can also stroll around the 40-acre grounds and take in the croquet lawn, fountains, maze and tennis courts.
OK! stayed in the opulent executive Heron Suite, which not only features the novelty of a TV in the bathroom but offers stunning views – we were lucky enough to spy a herd of deer grazing at the forest edge at dusk, which was a truly magical experience.
Pre-dinner drinks in the chilled lounge – an ideal spot for afternoon tea (from £25.50) – set the tone for a relaxing evening. A more informal menu is available in
The Conservatory, but OK! opted for some fine dining in the oak-panelled, intimate Armada Restaurant, where we marvelled at the intricate carvings of a naval fleet which give the room its name.
Our delicious meal of treacle-cured cod loin (£11) followed by Dorset pork belly and fillet (£21) and chocolate mousse with honeycomb ice cream (£8) was washed down with a glass or two of Vivanco Rioja Crianza.
WHO GOES THERE?
Last year, the hotel was used as a location for The Crown, masquerading as a Balmoral Estate property! Cast members from the Netflix series, which stars Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Colman, spent two days filming there. Former footballer Jamie Redknapp has also been spotted there.
The hidden gem of Rhinefield House has to be the majestic, bejewelled Alhambra Room, which sparkles more vividly than the Queen’s crown jewels! Inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, the room can be hired out for private dining if you’re really out to impress.