Complete and utter serenity: inside an indulgent spa weekend near London

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Whether you’re planning a romantic escape or looking for some well-deserved respite with your besties, a spa break is always a good idea. At Horwood House, you’ll have every luxury at your fingertips.

When organising a spa break in the UK, you might as well go all out. Take some delectable, sweet treats and combine them with a lazy afternoon by the pool and a reinvigorating treatment or two, and you’ve got yourself the perfect weekend. And while me-time should be prioritised year-round, there’s just something about the festive period that exudes indulgence. So, we visited Horwood House to find out how you can make the most of a holistic getaway this festive season.

The hotel

Approaching Horwood House feels somewhat immense. The Buckinghamshire countryside is expansive, and you’ll be surrounded by a vast landscape of fields as you near the 18th-century manor. As we parked up on the driveway and climbed out of the car, we couldn’t help but picture a glorious wedding taking place here, which tends to happen most weekends. Despite sitting around 40 miles outside of London, the hotel feels much further away from the chaos of the city. A serene feel surrounds the building like a veil of invisibility, keeping all commotion away.

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Horwood House

From the outside, you might expect this Grade II listed structure to be quite outdated, especially considering its original features have been preserved throughout its recent renovation. But its contemporary tones were a welcome surprise, and the country chic interiors are as comforting as they are stylish.

We stayed in one of the Manor House Suites — the word lavish is an understatement. Featuring a grand bay window boasting a view of the hotel’s lily pond, as well as a separate living area complete with plush sofas and a dining table, it felt as if it had been designed for an Instagram photoshoot.

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Horwood House, Manor House Suite

Despite all this, the pièce de résistance (other than the marble bathroom) had to be the dainty afternoon tea awaiting us: white chocolate and raspberry mouse, honey, lemon and fig financier and an apple and plum crumble tart. It’s safe to say we cleared our plates.

The H Spa

Shortly after taking some time to digest our sweet feast, we headed down to the boutique spa for an afternoon of pure relaxation.

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The H Spa

We spent some time circulating between the sauna, steam room and swimming pool before heading to the treatment rooms for our Express Facials. If you’re looking for visible results in a quick space of time, this facial is the one for you. Designed to target your specific problem areas and irritations, the treatment will leave you feeling restored and refreshed — and the head and temple massage at the end left me feeling lighter than when I came in.


Dinner is served at Harry’s Bar & Kitchen, a contemporary and informal space exuding that unique countryside feel. While the menu does offer the traditional hearty favourites of burgers, steaks, and meat, fish and vegetarian skewers (with all meat being sourced locally from The Buckingham Butchers), we were pleased to find some more imaginative options available, such as miso glazed cod and harissa roasted aubergine.

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Harry’s Bar & Kitchen

Our waitress told us that “the white chocolate martini is to die for”, and it really didn’t disappoint — the Mozart white liqueur added even more sweetness to the vanilla vodka, so we couldn’t help but order a second round. And while you might think that we couldn’t have another sweet treat after that, we were urged to try the vanilla tart with a raspberry and hot chocolate fudge sauce. And, of course, how could we refuse?

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Harry’s Bar & Kitchen

From its hearty culinary selection and countryside décor to its soothing spa facilities and palatial surroundings, Horwood House really does offer something special. If you’re looking to escape the chaos of city life and play at being a duchess for a weekend, then this is the place to go.

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