Prince Harry’s no stranger to public appearances — and neither is his bride, Meghan Markle. And, it was here, at Coworth Park, near Ascot, and about 20 minutes away from Windsor, that they were first seen “together” in public on May 2017, at the Audi Polo Challenge.
But spending time together in private and in public in this bucolic England, including at Coworth Park — the Dorchester Hotel Collection country estate formerly owned by the Canadian retail magnate Galen Weston, who brought the polo ponies here in the first place — they’ve grown an attachment to this gorgeous bit of English countryside.
If you just had one night, Coworth Park is worthy of a stay, whether you’re royalty or not (because you certainly are treated like royalty when you check in!), but I recommend booking two nights, as even at capacity, there are only 70 rooms.
There’s an exclusivity in that that’s very appealing. The property is the Dorchester Collection’s first country hotel and spa, (yes, that Dorchester, the tony London hotel where the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Prince Philip and Nicole Kidman have all called home away from home). For Ms. Taylor, the London hotel famously decorated a second bathroom with pink marble in her favourite suite, naturally.
But at Coworth Park, out of the glare of the public eye, and surrounded by 240 acres beautiful views, polo pitches — the only hotel in the UK to have its own, by the way — never-ending wildflower fields and gardens dotted with sculptures, as seen at top, commissioned to a local artist specifically for the property, everyone can relax.
When I visited, I walked down to “The Barn,” where I was just as comfortable in my Hunter wellie boots as I would have been in heels. Outside, the sun was setting, putting a champagne glow on just about everything the eye could see. It wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside yet, but al fresco dining here is encouraged — the proximity to this peaceful slice of nature really does the mind, body and spirit good.
Meandering about the grounds, I also discovered the Dower House, one of the original buildings, lovingly preserved and available for bookings.
Inside, more discoveries: I fell in love with this decor inspiration, of fine bone china dishes and platters, which were set off nicely against the rich dark woods and the clean, creamy walls.
Oh, and did I mention it’s only about 20 minutes from Heathrow airport and under an hour from central London? I did say, relax, after all.
Here, a few more photos of Coworth Park, Ascot, in a favourite spot of England for Harry and Meghan, and a spot where one can rejuvenate, recharge and relax — and then some.
Rejuvenate: The spa, of which the entrance, above, is as zen as its interiors, includes a spectacular swimming pool.
Recharge: Take a ride with one of the many horses that live at the well-groomed stables at Coworth Park. Above, Fantasy and I locked eyes. Gorgeous.
Relax: And speaking of bathrooms, many of the spacious rooms come with gorgeous freestanding copper tubs. Small luxuries, big impact.
For more information, visit: dorchestercollection.com/en/ascot/coworth-park/