A black and white tail eagerly skidded past me – intent on the pink squishy ball flying over the snow and nothing else in the entire world – 3 nanoseconds later he flashed past again in a delighted blur of Collie fur. We were playing in the snow-dusted lawns before our booking for lunch at Cliveden House, earning ourselves a tasty repast.
The skies were blue after a thick snow flurry the day before, and we wandered through the grounds with rosy cheeks and a fair amount of giggling.
Because that’s what ladies lunches are all about.
You may recognise Olly from past lunches (like this Monday at the Chiltern Firehouse) and afternoon teas (our favourite dog-friendly afternoon tea at Egerton House) where I’ve lured his lovely owner and her gorgeous baby girl out, and this time we tempted the one and only Binny out with us to Berkshire for a stroll around the grounds and lunch at the Astor Grill.
Cliveden House is a privately owned 5 Red Star award-winning hotel, and sister to the world-renowned Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa in Hampshire.
And it is beautiful.
Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, Cliveden House is a Grade I stately home set upon 376 acres of National Trust grounds.
Check out these cuties, posing for a snowy shoefie.
Is there any greater pleasure than watching a dog play with his ball?
Located in the charming old stable block, which once housed Lord Astor’s most prized fillies, the Astor Grill adopts an equestrian theme in its décor, it’s a space full of character and offers a simple and informal approach to dining at Cliveden House Hotel.
The menu is overseen by Cliveden’s Executive Chef and it focusses on a mixture of classic American and British dishes, many reminiscent of Cliveden’s diverse owners and residents. The name – The Astor Grill – recalls the Astor family, who owned the house from the early 1900s. William Waldorf Astor, America’s richest citizen, then gave the house to his son and daughter-in-law, Nancy Astor, in 1906, and Cliveden became a vibrant social hub for guests as diverse as Charlie Chaplin, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill.
If you’re ever feeling blue, I can definitely recommend cheers-ing an elderflower and sparkling wine cocktail before biting into a delicious burger.
Works a treat.
Perusing the doggy menu, Olly opted for something a cheeky bag of treats – it’s a dog’s life, isn’t it? It was so lovely to see just how dog-friendly that Cliveden in – and obviously Olly lapped the attention up like the canine royalty he is.
For the human’s lunch at Cliveden House, we enjoyed a couple of delicious burgers and a good looking plateful of fish & chips.
Before we knew it our plates were empty and the dessert menus were slipped onto our table – I couldn’t resist the rhubarb and apple crumble with a ginger custard, and my dates were woo-ed by the cheese platter which gave me proper food envy.
Was it worth a trip out to Berkshire for lunch at Cliveden House? Absolutely – from London Paddington it’s only a 35-minute train, and then a 10-minute cab from the station – I’ll definitely be back (with a proper camera and more time) for another more thorough exploration of the grounds and the hotel.
Do you have favourite cuisines for a ladies catch-up lunch?
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