Ever wanted to live ‘like the other half’ or step back in time to a gentler age? A stay at Cliveden House means that you really can.
Cliveden House has been nestled in Buckinghamshire for over 450 years now and it has seen its share of splendour and scandal. Built as a romantic bolt hole and pleasure palace by the Duke of Buckingham, it has been home to Lords, Ladies, Dukes, Duchesses and even a Prince of Wales. In 1893 it was purchased by William Waldorf Astor and the house remained in the Astor family until 1942. The estate is open as part of the National Trust but one of the best ways to experience this wonderful property is to stay at Cliveden House.
The National Trust offers guided tours through Cliveden House but to protect the privacy of guests, photographs are not allowed. As a guest of the hotel, not only can you take photographs but you are free to wander pretty much wherever you like. I was even invited by a member of staff to “Make yourself comfortable and enjoy a book in the library”. I didn’t have to be asked twice!
We stayed at Cliveden with friends, attending one of their entertainment evenings and black tie dinners. Before getting ready for the event we relaxed in Lady Astor’s study which has fabulous views over the grounds. Hotel guests can hide away here, almost undisturbed, with a book or newspaper and a cup of tea.
We really could not have felt more welcome.
The rooms and suites are beautifully laid out and very luxurious. Each room is named after a prominent guest or figure from Cliveden’s past. My husband and I stayed in the Garbaldi suite.
I loved how cosy and welcoming it was. The bathrooms was well appointed and very beautiful, complete with chandelier. The suite featured everything you could want from internet access to a full length mirror. There were plenty of places to sit and relax and the bed was very comfortable too!
If you are visiting with your family and money is no object, you can rent out Spring Cottage, a separate property on the estate. Spring Cottage figured prominently in the Profumo Affair, perhaps the most scandalous of all the events at Cliveden. You can also visit the well appointed spa and enjoy a dip in the very famous swimming pool, where it all began.
My husband, our friends and I attended one of the special events held throughout the year, a show featuring British actor Robert Powell in the lounge before a black tie dinner in the dining room. It was a fantastic evening. Later, after enjoying a nightcap, we made our way back to our rooms. There is something magical about walking along a corridor full of priceless artwork and sculpture in an evening dress on the way back to your suite. I felt like Cinderella.
The following morning after a very comfortable night’s sleep, we enjoyed breakfast in the dining room overlooking the grounds. It was a cloudy day but the view was still stunning.
Later we enjoyed a refreshing walk in the grounds.
You could explore the estate for hours, there is so much to see. It had been a wonderful couple of days. My husband and I made our short journey home in the late afternoon, promising ourselves a return visit to the wonderful Cliveden House very soon.
Disclosure: My husband and I stayed at Cliveden House at our own expense.
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