Originally built as a dower house for the 2nd Earl of Ilchester in 1798, the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and Restaurant in Dorset is an award-winning, privately owned Relais & Châteaux country house hotel with restaurant and boutique spa – and we’ve got a luxury stay for two, with a splendiferous afternoon tea and spa treatments to give away. I’m gutted that I can’t enter my own competition but you can…
Set in four acres of gorgeous grounds in the pretty village of Evershot in West Dorset, and adjoining an 600-acre deer park, Summer Lodge lies in the heart of Thomas Hardy country. In fact, Hardy, who was an architect as well as the author of novels like Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, drew up the plans for the elegant drawing room.
The whisky bar is rather impressive, too.
Enjoy your splendid afternoon tea – delicate cakes, tartlets, freshly baked scones with Dorset clotted cream and Dorset strawberry jam, finger sandwiches and the tea or coffee of your choice – in the drawing room, conservatory, whisky lounge or outdoors on the terrace.
Take a stroll around their gorgeous gardens or have a game on the all-weather tennis court or croquet lawn – and there’s that 600-acre deer park just outside the door. Historic Sherborne, the Cerne Giant, the Jurassic Coast are all close by if you fancy a jaunt out.
Indulge yourself with one of their 1-hour spa treatments – facials for men and women, head and full body massages, manicures, pedicures and more using Elemis and Made for Life Organics products – swim some lazy laps in the heated indoor pool (it’s open in the evenings too for residents), head for the fully equipped gym or just lie back and bubble away in the jacuzzi.
You’ll be staying in one of their luxurious Superior King rooms. Crisp, 200-thread count Belgian bedlinen, fresh flowers, luxury toiletries, still and sparkling mineral water, fruit, homemade shortbread, the fluffiest of bathrobes and towels, as well as all the usual mod cons. They’ll turn your bed down, ready for you to hop in for a soothing night’s sleep, ready for breakfast (we say, the best we’ve ever had, read our review) the next morning.
All that’s missing from this idyllic scene is you and your companion. You know the drill, to enter the draw to win this prize, all you have to do is answer one teensy, weensy question….