I love travelling. I do. I love exploring the world and experiencing new cultures and just soaking up a life that is so dissimilar from my own. I love meeting new people, falling in love with cities and never wanting to be dragged away from beaches. But sometimes, sometimes I just prefer to be home.
Which is why recently, when both my Mum and I were in need of a major, major break, we headed off to Sopwell House, a stunningly beautiful country house in St Albans, only an hour’s drive and a 20 minute train ride away from St Pancras and oh my god it was the absolute dream!!
We started with a wander of the grounds – which ended with a mini photoshoot because if you see a cute bandstand and don’t take a photo are you even a blogger? – followed by a coffee and snack break in our gorgeous room. One thing that I was immediately impressed with was Sopwell House’s knowledge of gluten free. I was brought an entire cheeseboard – which was as divine as it looked – alongside some gluten free crackers while my Mum tucked into a nice bit of cake. It’s just the personal touches that make a difference (and obvs being greeted with a platter of cheese is enough to make me propose to anyone because cheese over Victoria’s Secret bod any day of the week).
We had dinner at The Restaurant and I honestly just had the most incredible evening. The atmosphere is gorgeous, luxe fine dining but not in any way pretentious, and the staff were unbelievable. That seemed to be a running theme at Sopwell actually, every single member of staff treated us like total royalty (no you pretended to be Kate Middleton) and went out of their way to make the experience as amazing as possible.
From beautifully fresh Tomato soup, to the chicken in the mushroom sauce with the best fondant potato, to gluten free Mille feuille that dreams were made of. Every single dish was absolutely stunning and I have to say, it was one of my favourite ever meals.
Breakfast is my thing. I am not a girl that can ever go without breakfast and if I do…. probs best to avoid me at all costs, and genuinely, as a coeliac I have never been presented with so many options. I was offered gluten free crumpets, pastries, bread… you name it, they had it. So obviously I went for crumpets with a side of sausages – LOL AT MY LIFE – and basically a fry up, with a whole plate of toast, plus yogurt and fruit. Yes there was an awful lot of food and yes I did eat every last scrap but no, not at all sorry.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try out the spa but we did have a little peak, which to be honest, was probably the worst idea because it looked like a total dream and I basically had to be pulled away kicking and screaming.
After another wander around the stunning grounds we had to say bye to Sopwell and I honestly felt so sad and not at all ready to leave. It was the most calm and zen I’d felt in such a long time and I finally managed to switch off a little even though we were only an hour from home.
So basically, if you’re looking for a place to stay without venturing too far away – or if you’re further away and fancy somewhere calm, idyllic, totally zen and utterly beautiful – Sopwell House is your place. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and homely, the staff are amazing, the grounds are stunning and the food, oh my god the food, is absolutely divine!! Divine. DIVINE!!!!
I would love to know if you’ve ever visited Sopwell house or are now thinking of going? Where is your favourite place to escape to?