Home Estate Planning This hotel close to London has food so good it inspired a Netflix series

This hotel close to London has food so good it inspired a Netflix series

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This luxury golf resort and hotel has hosted Obama and Tiger Woods, and even inspired Netflix. Fresh from their 20th anniversary celebrations, Frank Dalleres ate, swung and bathed his way round

There aren’t many places within the M25 that have hosted a get-together for world leaders and boast a world-class golf course graced – and conquered – by Tiger Woods, but The Grove is one such destination. In fact, it might be the only one. The five-star hotel and resort has all the trappings you’d expect from a luxury countryside retreat: stylish rooms and suites set in historic buildings; a high-end spa for pampering and plunging; bucolic scenery; and an array of dining options, including a buffet so good it got its own show on Netflix.

But The Grove’s trump cards are its ease of access for Londoners – you could even come here by Tube, if you were some sort of masochist – and the opportunity to tee up and follow in the footsteps of Tiger himself on one of the country’s finest golf courses awaits.

WHERE: The Grove was once a riding school and later a wartime HQ but for the past 20 years it has been dedicated to leisure. For a luxury resort which once hosted Nato’s 70th anniversary, the vibe is refreshingly unstuffy, with families and pets encouraged, and the accommodation, both in the main house and the recently refurbished 18th century mansion, is modern and comfortable. Beds are king size as standard and the rooms are, well, roomy.

THE FOOD: Choose from high-end Indian banquets at Madhu’s, English classics in a relaxed setting at the Stables or go all in for the spectacular buffet at the Glasshouse. All-you-can-eat affairs have acquired something of a bad name, but this is a world away from your local Chinese serving up vats of tepid leftovers. I helped myself to an array of sushi to start, folllowed by a steak which I watched being grilled to my taste over an open flame, but there are also seafood, charcuterie, pasta, pizza and Asian options.

This feast of feasts appeared in the Netflix show Million Dollar Buffet; watch it for some pre-trip prep, a bit like reading the menu online before you go to a restaurant.

TOP TIP: In order to justify that delicious gluttony you may want to, you know, do something. There is no shortage of options at The Grove. Stroll the lush grounds or take a longer hike through the woodland, let the little ones burn off some energy in the soft play area and kids’ club, or try your hand at archery, axe throwing or hawking. When you’re done with that, head to the spa for some RnR in the pool, jacuzzi and treatment rooms. And then, of course, there is the golf.

THE GOLF: You don’t have to be a guest or even a member to play the championship standard golf course – it’s a big hit with corporates – but if you are staying here you are duty bound to try it, even if you are as bad at swinging a club as I am. The rolling set up is a good test (and a decent workout), with bunker-lined fairways, elevated greens and even the odd water hazard. Barack Obama and David Cameron once played a round here, but its most famous visitor was Tiger, who won a World Golf Championship event at The Grove in 2006. Was it a coincidence that I hit my only half-decent tee shot after clocking the plaque commemorating Woods’s legendary trio of eagles at the monster ninth hole? Probably yes, but I was happy to take it – and happier still to have spent a weekend hunkering down in this classy corner of Hertfordshire.


Rooms start at £420 per night and golf packages are available from £115 per person, not including stay. For more information and to book visit thegrove.co.uk. You can watch Million Dollar Buffet on Netflix

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