Countryside chic, serene, interior design dream
Heckfield Place, Hampshire RG27 0LD, England 44-118-932-6868 heckfieldplace.com
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At a Glance
Just one hour outside London and only 45 minutes from Heathrow, Heckfield Place owes much of its magic to its secluded location in the Hampshire countryside. A beautiful Georgian family home lovingly restored to its historic origins, it is a living place centered on sustainability. Each day, produce is picked fresh from the gardens and Home Farm and served in its Green Michelin-starred Marle and open-fired Hearth, under the stewardship of culinary director Skye Gyngell. Each of the 45 rooms and six suites has its own character and charm. There are gorgeous living spaces ideal for reading, enjoying afternoon tea or marveling at the eclectic private art collection. The property sits on 438 acres with a river and two lakes; its farm uses biodynamic practices and has pigs, sheep and cows, plus walled gardens and centuriesold trees that were planted here by pioneering horticulturalist William Wildsmith. A visit here is an ideal pairing with a trip to London.
The Standout: The Assembly, an inhouse cultural program that includes film screenings (in a custom 67-seat cinema), guest speakers and art workshops
Don’t Miss: Wild swimming at the Lower Lake—and its new 17,000-square-foot space of wellbeing, The Bothy by Wildsmith
- Gorgeously detailed, Scandinavian-inspired spaces for reading, games and tea by the fire
- The 438 acres of gardens and woodlands, where guests can enjoy falconry, fly-fishing, nature walks and visits to a biodynamic Market Garden
- The farm-totable restaurant, designed by celebrity chef Skye Gyngell
Heckfield Place Review
Located one hour outside of London in the county of Hampshire and just 45 minutes from Heathrow, Heckfield Place owes much of its magic to its affable owners, Gerald Chan, a Boston-based businessman with no background in hospitality but an undeniable knack for creating special places, and his family. Their first venture into the industry, Heckfield Place is a true passion project, and the time it took to develop it is in large part due to the Chan family’s ambitious vision to create a self-sustaining property that feels more like a home than a hotel. The team they brought on to run it, including some top talent from the Aman hotel group, interior designer Ben Thompson (who helped Ilse Crawford design Stockholm’s gorgeous Ett Hem hotel) and culinary director Skye Gyngell (behind London’s acclaimed Spring restaurant), have created an unparalleled five-star experience.
A deeply unique place, Heckfield Place has 45 rooms, each of which has its own character and charm. From the cozy Friends Rooms (which offer an affordable way to experience this paradise at around $450 per night) to the Signature Suites and the Long Room, the top suite ($13,000 per night for one bedroom) which has a living room, kitchen, two fireplaces and two terraces, each room is supremely comfortable and intimate. Decamping from one’s accommodations might seem hard here, but Heckfield also has a number of gorgeous living spaces ideal for reading, enjoying afternoon tea or marveling at the works from the Chan family’s spectacular private art collection that line the walls. Beyond the main buildings, Heckfield Place is situated on 400 acres, which includes a river and two lakes (fly-fishing is available), a farm that uses biodynamic practices and has pigs, sheep and cows, walled gardens and centuries-old trees that were planted here by pioneering horticulturalist William Wildsmith. Heckfield’s spa, The Bothy, is a 17,000-square-foot sanctuary for wellness, including a 50-foot indoor pool and seven treatment rooms.
An integral part of Heckfield Place is its culinary program. Overseen by Skye Gyngell, the airy Marle and cozy, brick-walled Hearth implement fruits and vegetables grown at the on-property farm. Breakfast starts with cinnamon-cardamom buns and lemon raspberry polenta muffins, lunch might include tagliatelle with rabbit, swiss chard and dried chili and dinner is best enjoyed with dishes straight out of the open fire at Hearth. Farm-to-table is a way of life here, and guests are encouraged to visit the farm and pick ingredients for their meals.
While guests could easily spend their days relaxing and luxuriating in the peaceful English countryside life, Heckfield Place espouses cultural experiences as well. The hotel’s Assembly at Heckfield Place is an incredible program that offers a rotation of screenings (in the hotel’s custom 67-seat cinema), speakers and workshops. This includes everything from blockbuster film showings to lectures: the program launched with Christiane Amanpour’s talk about the need for “Truthful, not neutral” news and another about the importance of biodynamic farming. For guests who wish to venture further afield, popular diversions include horseback riding at the nearby Wellington Club and touring surrounding hamlets—for a dash of history (Jane Austen’s house is just a 30-minute drive away) and perhaps a visit to a pub for Sunday roast.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families with mature children will appreciate the highly sophisticated but homey and pastoral atmosphere at Heckfield Place. The property is ideal for a relaxing few days in the countryside and a great spot to visit after spending time in London.
— Emma Pierce