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Stoke Place, Stoke Green

Muddy says: A 39-bedroom 4 star country house hotel in South Buckinghamshire, combining boutique interior styling a Capability Brown-designed pleasure garden amongst 26 acres of grounds.

This imposing 39 bedroom country house hotel in Stoke Green, Bucks was built by royal chef, Patrick Lamb, in 1690 (a surprisingly well-paid cook, clearly), and its 26 acre parkland grounds include a gorgeous and painstakingly restored Capability Brown-designed pleasure garden and a lake. And who doesn’t like a stroll round a lake, right?

Stoke Place does modern-luxe as well as grand tradition though – the interiors are bright, breezy and chic, with many of the spacious bedrooms having modern roll-tops baths and wooden floorboards. It’s recently been refurbished and they’ve certainly chucked out the chintz. I especially like the unexpectedly quirky conference rooms – no dull grey carpets and strip-lighting here, instead it’s all green tables and bold wallpaper.

The hotel is just 20 miles from central London but hidden away deep in the peaceful Bucks countryside, and works well for business meetings, weddings, a romantic mini-break or afternoon tea with girlfriends.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon