The Manor Elstree, a complete retreat - review

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[Photo: Laura Ashley]

The space

A beautiful old Tudor manor, with fabulous original features, a pond and acres of ground, given a modern overhaul with fresh, cosy Laura Ashley interiors.

Ridiculously convenient to access from London - a short cab ride from Stanmore station on the Jubilee line and you’re in the countryside.

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[Photo: Laura Ashley]

The vibe

Looking out of the window at dinner, I take in the London skyline. It’s close enough to pick out the Shard and BT Tower… but far enough away for me to let out a long sigh and feel my stress levels melt away.

And that sums up The Manor. Close enough to be convenient, far enough away to be untouched by the bustle of the big city nearby.

Inside, the juxtaposition of modern, light Laura Ashley design, and original Tudor features allow for a relaxed yet stylish environment, perfect for curling up with a good book (and a cocktail) and getting your Hygge on.

The Instagram shot

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Breakfast with a view [Photo: Instagram/Yahoo]

The HITS

The food is wonderful. Focusing on quality English ingredients, with a few interesting new twists, the Cavendish restaurant is a real highlight. Beef and lamb dishes are elevated with additions such as bone marrow croquettes, unusual purees and jus.

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[Photo: Laura Ashley]

I opted for the sirloin - which was fantastic - melt in the mouth and perfectly cooked. On our waiter’s advice, I paired it with a Portuguese red that I probably wouldn’t have chosen myself, and it was delicious and just right for the meat. The staff are passionate and knowledgeable so it’s definitely worth asking for recommendations.

Just make sure you save room for the cheese plate, because it’s got some beautiful British cheeses you mustn’t miss.

The grounds: Around the Manor the grounds are beautiful and worth taking your time on. Wander around the pond and stop for a game of giant chess.

If you fancy a longer walk, ask at reception for directions to the nearby Winnie the Pooh-themed Aldenham Country Park, which is adorable (regardless of whether you have children!).

The atmosphere: Although outside you can hear the hum of some road traffic, inside is such an air of serenity, it makes for a perfect place to unwind. When we were there the hotel was relatively busy due to the filming of Strictly Come Dancing just down the road at Elstree Studios. But we had no problem finding a cosy corner to sit and take it easy. With the papers and afternoon tea, you won’t want to leave.

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[Photo: Laura Ashley]

The MISSES

A wedding the next day meant the treatment room wasn’t open for our visit, which was a shame. Do make sure you check it’s available and book in for treatments ahead of your visit.

Be aware of supplement charges that aren’t in your package. Sides at dinner and some breakfast options incur an additional charge. These are listed on the menu but can really add up if you’re not paying attention.

Walking options aren’t particularly varied nearby, so if you’re keen on a big country walk, you’ll need a car to access the area’s natural beauty spots.

The deets:

Double rooms at The Manor Elstree start at £104 per night. Find out more at Laura Ashley Hotels.