• Travel Anne

Welcome to the Great Fosters Estate!

In Their Own Words

Where history & horticulture combine

By Amanda Dougans

Editors Note:

The UK & Europe just entered into a new lockdown, but we know from experience, once that changes, the UK will be one of the first destinations Americans return to. As a result, we will begin featuring more destinations in this region.

This particular property is one of our favorites!

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Great Fosters is an endlessly charming Tudor estate steeped in royal history and located just outside Windsor in the heart of Surrey, yet only a 15-minute drive from London Heathrow.

Set in 50 acres of stunning gardens and grounds, which include a listed topiary garden, fountain, Saxon moat with romantic Japanese bridge and even a sundial gifted to the Estate by Sir Francis Drake himself, the instantly recognisable red-brick facade and chimney tops of Great Fosters are a sight to behold.

Inside, you will find a chocolate-box selection of 43 individually designed bedroom and suites, including the famed historic suites and two acclaimed restaurants, Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room, the proud bearer of a Michelin-star and The Estate Grill, an informal 2-AA rosette awarded location for delicious everyday dining.

Along the eastern side of the hotel you will find stunning terraces, intimate gardens and nooks & crannies, which come alive in the summer months for guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea & supper al fresco.

The bedrooms at Great Fosters are spread across three buildings - The Main House, which dates from 1550 features a selection of beautiful historic suites and bedrooms, whilst The Cloisters and The Coach House offer a tempting array of more contemporary suites and rooms.

Last but certainly not least, the estate also boasts a superb art-deco heated outdoor pool, perfect for a cooling dip in the English summertime.

Not to be Missed!

A stay in The Tapestry Room, which was originally the Drawing Room of the house should definitely be on your list. On the first floor, it spans the entire width of the house. Three huge 17th century Flemish tapestries adorn the walls, which give the room its name, whilst an impressive chimney piece dominates the room. It is a remarkable Jacobean example, splendidly carved with the figures of Ratio, Veritas and Victoria and there is an even more remarkable carved firestone mantle depicting the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The suite is truly overflowing with historic details and has been lovingly transformed to offer a luxurious experience like no other.

This suite has a comfy oversized sofa & armchairs, plenty of space for in room dining and a fabulous bathroom with large walk in shower, twin vanity units and taking centre stage a roll top bath.

Dinner in Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room

An experience to be truly savoured! Expect a special gastronomic journey and a truly unique service that will be remembered for years to come. Serving exceptional, contemporary cuisine with a panache and theatre that will come as a delightful surprise for first-time diners in an intimate and historic space, dinner in The Tudor Room is a treat to be taken slowly.

A Walk through the Estate

The 50 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and parkland are a serene vision of beauty. Originally designed by W H Romaine Walker and Gilbert Jenkins, they are amongst the finest Arts and Crafts gardens in Europe. Framed on three sides by a Saxon moat, the formal gardens are both extensive and exceptional.

Designed to reflect the intricate beauty of a Persian rug, the knot garden is embellished with fragrant beds of flowers and herbs bordered by manicured yew hedges and topiary. At the heart of it all is the Drake sundial which historians suggest was donated by Sir Francis Drake.

Under the leadership of renowned garden architect Kim Wilkie, the start of the 21st century has seen the grounds extended, restored and enhanced. Two new secret gardens, a lake, grassed amphitheatre, kitchen garden, huge glasshouse, woodland and apiary have all been added to enrich the estate and create the gardens that can be seen today.

Afternoon Tea

Great Fosters serves that most wonderful of English traditions Afternoon Tea! In the cooler months an elegant tea can be enjoyed in front of a log fire whilst in the summer tea is served on the pretty terraces overlooking the gardens. From delicate bavarois to moreish eclairs, the changing array of cakes & fancies are always delicious and served alongside warm, freshly cooked scones with strawberry jam & a spoonful of indulgent clotted cream and an exquisite sandwich selection.

** Amanda Dougans is part of the marketing team for the Alexander Hotels Collection, a collection of five boutique country hotels in the south east of England.Great Fosters is the Collection’s newest property and Amanda has worked there for over 21 years! The historic property is almost part of her DNA and as the Great Fosters travel specialist she cannot wait to share her beautiful hotel as soon as Covid 19 restrictions allow.  In the meantime she is honing her baking and sourdough skills and taking lots of walks in the beautiful Surrey countryside.

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