5 reasons to dine out in January

Poor old January. Known for its dark mornings and cold weather, it’s not the most popular month in the UK calendar. The last of the festive leftovers have been eaten, the presents are a distant memory, and it’s back to reality for most of us. From fad diets to resolutions and reviving those long-forgotten gym memberships, it’s definitely the month of sacrifice. But let’s be honest, however good your intentions, everyone needs a little treat now and then to make the winter more fun. So cosy up, grab yourself a cup of tea and check our top five reasons to dine with us this January.

 

1.Rekindle the romance

Holidays with family are great, but there’s not always much time for romance with your partner. After a week of over-excited children, a fight with grandma over the turkey stuffing and several angry rounds of Pictionary, you’ll be grateful for a bit of alone time. If you’re after some much needed recuperation, why not visit our fine dining restaurant Colette’s? Serving beautifully cooked food, you’ll enjoy peace, quiet and luxury after a busy festive season.

Don’t miss: our freshly baked sourdough bread

January offer: Four guests dine for the price of three with our tasting menus

 

2. Spread the January cheer

Everyone talks about festive cheer, but what happens next? We think it’s about time we injected some fun back into January and kept the good mood going all year long. Instead of wallowing in those post-Christmas blues, why not treat yourself to a family Sunday lunch at The Glasshouse? There’s nine food stations to choose from, all offering something different. Whether you a fancy a mouthwatering slice of roast beef or a spicy stir fry, there will be something to tantalise your taste buds.

Don’t miss: our fluffy Yorkshire puds- perfect with gravy and one of our roast joints

January offer: Get 25% off your food bill

 

3. Take the pressure off

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were January fitness regimes. If you’re aiming for an active, healthy lifestyle in 2018, that’s brilliant. But don’t forget to have some fun as well, or you’ll find it harder to stick to your resolutions. Take a break from your gym routine, escape the freezing weather and join us at The Stables for some hearty pub grub and a chilled glass of wine. We promise not to tell your personal trainer if you decide to splurge on dessert.

Don’t miss: our delicious apple galette with honeycomb ice cream

January offer: Two courses for £20 or three courses for £26 (Monday to Friday)

 

4. Enjoy relaxation time

It’s one of the most hectic times of year, so it’s no surprise that many of us end up feeling frazzled after the holidays. Whether it’s separating two kids fighting over the new Xbox game, or dutifully cooking a gourmet meal for 14 members of your extended family- it’s not always a time of relaxation. If you need a bit of self-care after the break, why not treat yourself to our afternoon tea? Sit in our stunning lounges and indulge yourself with cakes, tea and Champagne while we give you the royal treatment.

Don’t miss: our traditional English scones with preserves and thick clotted cream

 

5. Impress your colleagues or client

If December is the season to be merry, January is the season to get busy. By the end of week one there’ll be at least 10 new documents on your desk and lots to urgent emails in your inbox. If you’re planning a business meeting with colleagues or clients, why not start the day with a hearty breakfast at The Glasshouse or The Stables?  Whether you’ll be sticking to the diet with one of our healthy options or treating yourself to a cheeky bacon sandwich, it’ll be one meeting your colleagues and clients won’t forget in a hurry.

January mocktails – your ultimate recipe guide

If you’re the designated driver for the holidays or you’ve over-indulged this party season, we’ve got some great non-alcoholic drink alternatives. Just because you’re giving your liver a break, it doesn’t mean you should compromise on flavour. Relax in style and check out our fabulous selection of luxury mocktails.

Red Ripple

Made with grapes, raspberries and a dash of lime, our Red Ripple packs a real flavour punch.

Ingredients

4 raspberries

8 red grapes

6 lime wedges

15ml red fruit tea nectar

50ml cranberry juice

Crushed ice

Method

  1. Muddle the first four ingredients
  2. Add the cranberry juice
  3. Fill 3/4 with crushed ice
  4. Churn
  5. Top with further ice
  6. Add a lime wedge and a twist of lime then serve

Passionate Pear

A mix of pears and fresh lemon verbena from our Walled Garden, try out this soothing mocktail on a cold winter’s night.

Ingredients

10 lemon verbena leaves

10ml spiced nectar

12.5ml water

25ml passion fruit puree

50ml pear puree

Method

  1. Fill a serving glass with ice
  2. Add all the ingredients in a Boston glass
  3. Shake hard for 10 seconds
  4. Fine strain into a marini glass
  5. Top with half a passion fruit and serve

Garden Orchard

Refreshing, zingy, with just a hint of citrus, this apple-based mocktail is an innocent delight.

Ingredients

5 cucumber slices

12.5ml agave nectar

1 mint leaf

25ml fresh lemon juice

100ml cloudy apple juice

Cubed ice

Method

  1. Muddle the cucumber and agave nectar in the base of a Boston glass
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Shake hard for 10 seconds
  4. Fine strain into a mason jar
  5. Top with cubed ice, a cucumber ribbon and a wedge of lime

The Grove’s Christmas Gift Guide

With the shops bursting at the seams, avoid the stress of high street shopping with our online Christmas gift guide.

Gift shopping might be one of the most rewarding festive activities, but it’s not always the easiest. Whether it’s rummaging through supermarket shelves to find the right bottle of Sherry for Great Auntie Violet or trawling through toy shops for the kids, it can take a lot of work to find the perfect present. This year we’ve put together a Christmas gift guide to help you surprise your friends and family with a luxury gift from The Grove. From indulgent spa days to golf weekends and the chance to stuff yourself silly with afternoon tea and cake, we’ve got your gifts covered. So put away the body wash set from last year’s tombola and check out these festive treats.

 

FOR THE GOLF FAN

Titleist ProV1 Golf Balls

£14 per sleeve

Know any budding golfers? Why not help them to up their game with a set of 14 Pro VI balls this Christmas? If you’re feeling extra generous you could even offer to caddie for them the next time there’s a sunny day.

Available to purchase from our golf shop

 

One Hour Golf Lesson with a PGA Professional

From £80

There’s nothing quite like an experience gift to keep the festive fun alive until next year. Treat a sports fan to a golf lesson with a PGA Professional and they’ll be playing like a pro in no time.

Buy now

 

Golf Stay and Play

From £480

After a round of golf on our championship course, our Golf Stay and Play voucher invites guests to curl up by one of our cosy fires, before retreating for a night of luxury in one of our rooms or suites. The fun doesn’t stop there, with an indulgent buffet breakfast the following morning and full use of our luxurious facilities.

Buy now

 

FOR THE SPA LOVER

ESPA Lifestage Gift Set

£150 (worth £210)

Winter can be tough on skin. So why not spoil a beauty fan with our ESPA Lifestage gift set? Reducing fine lines and brightening the eye area, this gift-wrapped pack comes with a luxury serum, moisturiser and a special eye moisturiser.

Available to purchase at Sequoia spa

 

Sprunch Mini Spa Day

£180

First there was lunch, then there was brunch, now there’s sprunch. Treat someone to a Saturday morning splurge at Sequoia spa, with full use of facilities and brunch in the spa Garden Room as well as a choice of one 1 hour 20 minute treatments.

Buy now

 

Spa Membership

£3,019 per year

Win some serious brownie points from the health and fitness fanatic in your life with a year-long membership at Sequoia. They will receive full access to our state of the art fitness facilities, a complimentary continental breakfast every day and a selection of exclusive discounts.

Buy now

 

FOR THE FOODIE

Afternoon Tea for Two

From £75

The lucky recipient of this gift will be able to dine like a royal with afternoon tea for two in the heart of our historic 18th Century mansion. Set in our elegant lounges, they’ll enjoy a selection of teas, sandwiches, pastries and as many scones with clotted cream as they can manage.

Buy now

 

Feast for Two at The Glasshouse

From £92

With fresh ingredients and an array of international cuisines, foodies will love a trip to The Glasshouse for a chance to indulge giving them something exciting to look forward to after the Christmas holidays.

Buy now

 

Dinner Date for Two at Colette’s

£130

At Colette’s it’s all about low-key fine dining with beautifully presented, high quality ingredients cooked to perfection. Spoil the food fan in your life with a meal for two at our most sumptuous restaurant.

Buy now

 

FOR THOSE IN NEED OF SOME RELAXATION

The Luxury Getaway

£796

For the ultimate luxury experience buy a one night stay in a Mansion Executive Suite. Sample seasonal produce at The Stables, before heading upstairs to relax in style on a plush bed or sink into a tub of hot bubbles. After a restful night’s sleep, enjoy an endless breakfast at The Glasshouse.

Buy now

Making the magic happen

From twinkling lights to holly wreaths, decorations are all part of the Christmas magic. We catch up with The Grove’s Executive Housekeeper, Amelia Lawrence, to talk about this year’s festive style.

When C.S Lewis dreamed up Narnia, his creation went down as one of the greatest winter wonderlands in the history of fiction. Remembered by adults as a place of adventure, The Grove will be recreating its magic for the next generation, bringing the mythical country to life in its Christmas decorations. “Every year we have a décor theme,” explains Amelia. “This year we’ll recreate scenes from Narnia in our lobby, as well as theming the decorations around the rest of the hotel. From a lamppost in the reception, right through to our full-scale woodland installations, we’ll be pulling out all the stops to keep the magic alive.”

The perfect tree

Of course, no Narnia would be complete without trees, and luckily Amelia has been dedicated to the search. Along with the Head Gardener David Roberts and Deputy Head Gardener Natasha Geldenhuys, she’s helped to select 45 Christmas trees from Littlefield Farm near Harpenden, which specialises in the production of beautiful trees for luxury venues. Every single one is unique, and the trees are carefully selected based on size and shape. “Our largest tree is our 20 foot (6m) showstopper in the formal gardens. It has to be a perfect 360 degree tree, as guests will be able to view it from every angle,” she explains. “The farmer we go to has been in business for 30 years. He is absolutely passionate about his trees and believes in energy lines within the forest, which just adds to the magic. He understands what our hotel needs and helps us deliver this every year.”

The process of creating a winter wonderland isn’t without its challenges, but Amelia says it’s one of the most enjoyable jobs of the year. “We head out to choose the trees at the end of October and it takes a long time to find all the trees we need of varying shapes and sizes for different parts of the hotel. For example, some need to be completely round, others can be a bit less symmetric, because they’re going next to a fire.”

 

Themed style

Festive style doesn’t stop with the trees, and every area of the hotel features Christmas decorations- all tailored to different rooms. “For example, the lobby will feature lots of silver and frosty colours, with fawn decorations to reflect our Narnia theme. In our meetings and event spaces, you’ll come to an area that’s decorated with blues and turquoise to match the interior of the rooms.”

As a family hotel, all the décor schemes are created with children in mind, and Amelia loves to add little touches she knows they’ll love.  Every year more than 5,000 gingerbread hang from the trees, each with little ribbons individually tied on by the hotel’s florist. “We spend a lot of the Christmas season replacing the ones on the lower branches as they can get broken easily. Plus they must be very tempting for children- we often find some gingerbread men with a missing leg where someone has taken a bite,” says Amelia, who appoints herself as ‘gingerbread watchman’ during the festive season.

It takes a full five days for a specialist team to put up all the installations and decorations, but Amelia says it’s worth the wait. “In December people travel to the hotel just to come for lunch and see our incredible decorations. Over the years we’ve become famous for them- they’re a feature that’s unique to the hotel at Christmas time.”

Visit The Grove to see our spectacular decorations from 1 December. Those who want to indulge with a luxury break can also check out our Christmas, Twixmas and New Year packages here.