Cliveden House - A Royal Retreat
Another week, more of the same, and I haven't booked any trips yet. Thank goodness for armchair travel, still possible thanks to friends in faraway places, who are still able to get around. This week, London-based fashion, travel, and lifestyle conoisseur Tatiana Bellator takes us on a tour of the fabulous Cliveden House - an aristocratic countryside retreat now turned world-class hotel and spa.
I often get asked what it is I love most about England. Even though it is impossible for me to answer this simply, one of the first things I immediately respond is, the history! The architecture!! The castles!! No other place on the globe offers such an intricate combination of all these wonders.
Today, I am charmed to be sharing with you one of my favourite gems in the whole of England: Cliveden House! A site that is now considered one of England’s, and the world’s, finest hotels and spas. Plus, let me tell you, this countryside home is every bit as British as it gets! And I don't say this lightly. Not to mention, it is the spot where Meghan Markle spent the night before her wedding to Prince Harry, given that just 9 miles away from Cliveden House is Windsor Castle, where the royal couple wed in 2018. And as you can imagine, the splendour and charm of Cliveden House attracts countless amounts of weddings in their palatial dining rooms and gardens, especially since Meghan Markle’s stay.
Cliveden House has been around since 1666. It was originally built for the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who commissioned the property as a site to entertain his mistress, as well as his extensive social circle. Since then, Cliveden House has been passed down and owned by various royal and aristocratic families, and today it is part of the National Trust in Buckinghamshire. Due to the grandeur of the site, for centuries, Cliveden has hosted exclusive parties and political gatherings. With that being said, don’t be surprised if you encounter guests arriving in Ferraris and helicopters.
Cliveden House, Berkshire, UK - © Tatiana Bellator
Upon entering the Manor grounds, the first bit to catch your eye will be the magnitude of the greenery that surrounds it along with its immaculate view over the Thames Valley. Cliveden House is made up of 368 acres of gardens, ancient woodlands, a wildlife site and now a number of public parks available to the local people of Taplow.
Cliveden House, Berkshire, UK - © Cliveden House
I just know you’ll be impressed by their extensive collection of statues!
Architecturally, the Manor itself is a combination of Italianate and Renaissance Revival styles. The current house owes its elegant architecture to Sir Charles Barry, famous for designing the Palace of Westminster, currently known as the English Parliament in London. One of the elements of Cliveden that you cannot not miss is its extensive artwork. Owners and residents of Cliveden House have historically been patrons of the arts, architecture, and design, which clearly reflects across the property. I have always been particularly impressed by all the magnificent wood carvings, stucco and ceilings!
If you are looking for a beautiful retreat outside of London, perhaps for a celebration or just a little break from reality, then search no more. Cliveden House offers the most exquisite dining options, from their more laid back restaurant, “The Astor Grill”, to their swanky Library Bar, to their upscale afternoon tea, where you’ll have a variety of teas from around the world to choose from, a selection of soft and delicate pastries and scrumptious finger sandwiches as well as some glorious little nibbles; whilst being treated every bit like royalty, might I add.
If you are planning on enjoying their afternoon tea, I recommend you head over there on a Sunday, given that on this day it is served in their Grand Hall. An experience truly worth living!
Afternoon Tea at Cliveden House, Berkshire, UK - © Tatiana Bellator
Another one of the great features this A-list hotel has to offer is its lavish spa facilities. Just imagine yourself immersed in a tranquil oasis, surrounded by the smell of roses and lavender, situated in the most historic of settings, sipping champagne in the hot tub, entering the state-of-the-art infrared sauna or the recently renovated relaxation areas, plus, unwinding by the outdoor and indoor pools. Makes it quite difficult to beat!
If you’re into boating and sailing, the Cliveden Reach is one of the top spots along the Thames River. The hotel offers a variety of self-hire boats and canoes as well as boat rides. Along the river, you’ll be able to spot another one of Cliveden’s gems: the Spring Cottage that Queen Victoria would often stop by for tea and leisure. The cottage is also available for private rental.
Cliveden House is located about 30 miles away from Central London. The easiest way to get there is by car, which will be about a one hour drive west of London. If you'd like to know more about this stunning site, and/or make a booking please visit www.clivedenhouse.co.uk.
Until next time!