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Court Stories - The Four Seasons Hampshire

What's a weekend away without a knock-about? Team EXEAT is travelling the length and breadth of the UK to bring you #CourtStories - our ultimate directory of the best British hotels and country houses, boasting utterly glorious tennis courts and decadently spoiling stays.

WHERE...

The magnificent Four Seasons Hampshire, located amidst quintessentially English countryside just 50 miles from London and a quick hop from Hook or Basingstoke railways stations. Spoiler alert - it's one of our favourite hotels in the country.

WHY IT'S SPECIAL...

Like all grand hotels, there's a story - for starters Henry 8th met his first wife Catherine of Aragon on the land where 'Dogmersfield Park' (as the hotel house is known) now stands.  In the early 18th century the house itself was built by a local nobleman and for the past three centuries has undergone various re-incarnations from country seat to girls boarding school through to decadent five star hotel with 111 rooms and 26 suites. And yet its magnificent charm remains... not least in-thanks to the assiduous and charming Four Seasons team.  This is service on steroids, such is the FS way.  Gosh it's heavenly!

FIVE THINGS TO DO...

  1. Set in 500 acres of rolling parkland, complete with native deer, ponies to ride, clay pigeon shooting, bicycles, wellies, a zip wire adventure compound set high within the trees, and petting farm... literally you never need leave.  Walk the parkland, take the Hampshire air and pretend you're lady of the manor
  2. After a bracing walk, hit the spa - and what a spa it is.  Housed in a giant converted stable block you'll find two huge swimming pools - one for kids, one for adults plus steam and treatment rooms and state-of-the-art gym.  Special mention to the private ladies only steam and sauna area which is a thoughtful touch
  3. Enjoy the floodlit, astro-turf tennis courts surrounded by noble 200 year old trees and a magical, insta worthy walled garden.  Totally idyllic, just make sure you book the courts in-advance.
  4. Take afternoon tea in the drawing room overlooking the parkland - v. Bridgerton!  And on the subject of food, the Hotel's wild Carrot Restaurant is wonderful - as perfect for a fun-filled family luncheon as it is a romantic candle lit dinner in one of the adorable nooks and crannies
  5. If you absolutely must leave the premises, we can recommend a peaceful stroll in the quintessentially quaint local village of Odiham, complete with artisan shops, a creperie (but of course!), antiques stores and a gorgeous village pub... or a trip to the real-life Downton Abbey AKA Highclere Castle which is a quick 30min drive away.  Ask hotel concierge to help you book tickets

KIDS AND FURRY CREATURES?

Yes and yes.  Ultra dog and chid friendly thanks to the expansive surrounds, but if you're brining a pooch just let the hotel know in advance.

L'ADDITION S'IL VOUS PLAIT...

The hotel's dreamy rooms (see bathtub with a view above) start at £750 per night and are frankly, worth every penny.  Book via the website or call +44 (0)1252 853000. Four Seasons Hampshire, Dogmersfield Park, Hook, RG27 8TDB

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