A CHIC COUNTRYSIDE STAY AT THE BUSH HOTEL, FARNHAM
Less than an hour from London by car and accessible by rail too, is the beautiful bustling town of Farnham on the edge of the Surrey Hills.
Set in the heart of the historic town is the stunning, independent, family run Bush Hotel. Dating back to 1618, the hotel was originally an inn and alehouse. The cobbled courtyard with a central old fountain filled with summer flowers, would have seen coaches and horses arrive to rest in days gone by.
The hotels history can still be seen today, elegantly intertwined with the contemporary design of the interior, while offering all the necessary modern facilities that today’s guests require. The heart of the hotel is in the original building covered with a stunning green ivy bush, but amazingly the hotel offers a total of 94 rooms combined within the old building and the newer annex.
With wooden beamed walls and ceiling in the Oak Lounge and Garden restaurant, old meets new and blends with chic columns, palm trees and luxurious furnishings.
Despite being in the centre of town, which is ideal for shopping and taking coffee at any number of great independent places, the hotel offers a delightful secluded garden and terrace allowing for a quiet afternoon tea or early evening cocktails!
From the moment you leave the busy high street, you enter a world of tranquillity. The hotel is unique being so central, yet with 3 acres of grounds, creating a real oasis.
Our stay was in the elegant Bush Suite, a spacious, bright room on the first floor of the original building, overlooking the garden and terrace. With an office area, walk-in dressing room, mini fridge and feature fireplace, together with a comfortable lounge area with sofa and coffee table, there was plenty of space for quality rest and relaxation.
The bathroom offered the option of a pedestal bath or a large walk in shower.
Attention to sustainability was evident with extra pillows packed if needed, quality refillable bathroom supplies and yet you got that ‘I’m special’ feeling as well.
A leisurely wander around the town and a spot of lunch in a local café in the glorious late English summer sunshine, we enjoyed the town has it had a real buzz, without the noise of the city. With wonderful shops including the Blue Bear Bookshop and Ruby Jones interiors are a must (for us at least!), but be sure to wander up the many cobbles alleys and see the beautiful 12th century St. Andrew’s Parish Church.
We sat for a while on the garden terrace enjoying the ambience. Pre-dinner drinks in the gorgeous old bar, with its low ceilings, and doors (as people were not a big or tall years ago!), allows you to discover and absorb the stunning neo-classical period frescoes that were discovered in 1931 and date back to the 1750-1850’s.
In one of the ceiling corners, close to the window is a painted sundial of the same date period as the frescoes. It has the words ‘diem antem horam et illam’ (of that day and hour) painted on it. It is a very rare internal sundial that would have worked by catching rays of sun off a pond in the garden many years ago. Although we enjoyed the bar in warm weather, in winter it would be the most perfect cosy snug of a bar with the fire raging in the large original fireplace.
Dinner in the Garden Restaurant was delicious and the staff were friendly and helpful with explanations of meal options, of which there was a wide variety to meet all requirements and desires!
The Oak lounge is a wonderful long room with fireplaces at either end. It hosts functions and Sunday roasts! The ideal place to be on a cold winter’s afternoon. Even though it was 30° outside, it was easy to image the comforting feel of this magical hotel in the winter months (either for a stay, but also for an afternoon treat)
It is worth noting that both the Garden Restaurant and Oak Lounge offer all day dining for lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea, perfect taken on the terrace – weather permitting! The Garden Restaurant also offers weekday breakfasts, as well as private lunches and can host a range of events, including wedding ceremonies.
This year the hotel launched its brand new meeting and event space, which offers state-of-the-art conference facilities and a studio space, ideal for a variety of events from meetings, workshops, weddings and parties. There are break out rooms and as it is located in a separate building has accommodation and catering options too.
Breakfast was located in the Garden Restaurant and offered a buffet style spread of breakfast delights as well as cooked options to get you set up for the day ahead.
Due to its advantageous location, the hotel makes for a perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area and countryside.
Highlights include, Farnham Castle, Keep, with its fascinating history, plus and Deer Park, a medieval 131-hectare local Nature Reserve, as well as the town itself with many independent shops, cafes and restaurants, while a short drive away are the pretty towns of Midhurst with its landmark of Cowdray Park and Petworth, also famous for its 17th-century Grade I listed country house, as well as plenty of lush green countryside across rolling hills that offer walking trails and an abundance of wildlife and nature.
To get a real taste of England, you cannot go wrong starting your stay at the Bush Hotel in the heart of some of England’s most stunning countryside.
A quaint little English town that is a 40 minute drive from the suburbs of London is waiting for you in Farnham, Surrey.
If you need some time away from the bustle of England’s city centre, so you can relax, shop, and enjoy the English countryside then Farnham is the place for you.
To make this trip one to remember, staying at the Bush Hotel, which is right in the heart of town, will make your stay perfect.
This 3-star hotel (I thought it was a 4-star hotel i.e., it is very good!), will make you consider moving outside of London and living that secret dream you have of living in a small town and opening a book/coffee/flower shop!
The design of the Hotel has a beautiful mix of old and new, creating the feeling/ambience of the England of old with the freshness and energy of the modern era. This makes the hotel perfect for anyone and everyone, whatever your needs/requirements.
After we checked in, we walked around town and explored the boutique shops and cafes. Walking around, we could not help but imagine how this town transforms at Christmas time all covered in snow – just like an English fairytale!
Back at the hotel, we freshened up and relaxed and enjoyed their newly built patio area in the back garden with a glass of wine in hand, before making our way to dinner.
I chose a beetroot and brie tart and for dessert a triple tier chocolate delice!
Among other things, I would definitely return to the hotel just to have that meal again – it was so good! I have also heard that their club sandwiches are amazing, which sadly I did not get to try but means there is another reason to go back again.
Throughout our meal, the service was brilliant; they were kind and attentive. After our enjoyable dinner, we relaxed in the ambience of our room.
The next morning, we headed down to breakfast, where a continental style breakfast as well as a choice of cooked breakfasts from their menu was on offer. In my opinion, I have had better hotel breakfasts but that is not to say it was bad or that there were limited choices, it was just not to my liking.
Ultimately, I was very sad to see our stay come to an end and wished we could have stayed longer.
I am looking forward to returning again soon to see the town and hotel at Christmas.
Till next time!
Let the BUSH Hotel welcome you to elegance in the countryside.