The Manor, Elstree, hotel review

The Manor is set in 10 acres of garden and greenery with views of the Hertfordshire countryside. Bought by Laura Ashley in 2012, The Manor was the first of the company’s boutique hotels. I checked it out.

The Manor, Elstree, hotel review

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Each of the 49 rooms are true to the Laura Ashley style with beautiful, elegant interiors – rich mahogany, plush armchairs and touches of English countryside decor in floral cushions or plaid curtains.

Where is The Manor?
The hotel is in Elstree, near Borehamwood, in Hertfordshire.

How to get there?
Elstree is less than a five minute drive from Elstree and Borehamwood train station. The station has regular train services running to and from London. The hotel is also easily accessible via the M1.

What’s in the area?
The Hertfordshire countryside offers several parks and open spaces. Elstree Open Space, near to the Manor and Aldenham Country Park, is less than a five minute drive. Here you can find a farm, pony activities and Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood – perfect if you’re visiting with children. There are also self-guided nature walks and a picturesque lake for more romantic getaways.

What about dinner?
There are three small dining rooms each with alternating pinstripe and cream chairs, white tablecloths and large windows surrounded by thick dusty pink curtains. The menu is a la carte with an affordable option of two courses for £27.50 or three for £35.

To eat, I started with the pork terrine and my boyfriend, Nick, opted for the pinot noir poached duck egg with bacon lardons and a mushroom salad. The terrine wasn’t anything to write home about especially as the bread to meat ratio was out (I had to ask for more brioche) but Nick’s starter was rich and flavoursome with a perfectly poached egg. For mains, Nick won the battle of the best dish again. His duck breast was tender, succulent and served with a rich jus that complemented the meat perfectly.

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, out came the dessert menu. Of course we managed to find room for a lemon meringue pie and selection of cheeses to share – both failsafe options and we were glad for our second wind.

What’s in the room?
I’m sure our ensuite room was bigger than our flat in London. It had a humongous kingsize bed (that could easily fill a room) with a little living room area, gorgeous desk and ample-sized wardrobe.

As well as tea and coffee making facilities in the room, my highlight were the bathrobes – if an oversized big, fluffy, soft dressing gown isn’t the mark of a great hotel, I don’t know what is. For me, there’s no better feeling than letting your hair down while snuggled in one of these.

How about the bathroom?
Though not as lavish as the bedroom, the bathroom was well equipped with everything needed for a comfortable stay – heated toilet seat included.

How was breakfast?
A buffet-style breakfast, served in the main dining room, included everything needed to create a DIY continental or hot breakfast. A wicker basket housed an array of mini pastries – I’m a sucker for a baked good and these were so tasty, we had to try each and every one. Coffee, tea and toast orders were taken at the table – though you might need to hold off on your hot breakfast as, after a slight delay, our toast came out towards the end of our breakfast.

What’s the damage?
A standard double bedroom with bathroom, including breakfast for two, starts at £119 per night or £169 inlcuding dinner.

Anything else to add?
If the room had a small kitchen in it, I think Nick and I would have happily lived there forever, in a life of sophistication and luxury.

For more information on the hotel please visit www.lauraashleyhotels.com.

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