Worth getting out of bed for
If you can do it outdoors, you can do it Coworth Park: there are plenty of rambling trails in the 240-acre grounds, the on-site equestrian centre gives lesson in riding (or you can just go and coo at the ponies), Guards Polo Academy at Coworth Park gives polo lessons, and tennis, fishing, shooting, and croquet can all be arranged. Golfers should make a teeline for The Wentworth Club (www.wentworthclub.com), and the historic royal hunting ground of Windsor Great Park is within walking distance. At Runnymede, the Royal Air Force Memorial is serene, beautiful and poignant, with impressive views of the Thames. The UK’s most famous racecourse, Ascot, is a 10-minute drive (www.ascot.co.uk), and the hotel’s well placed for London daytripping too – the capital’s less than an hour away.
The UK’s foodiest village, Bray, is a 25-minute drive away, and home to Heston Blumenthal’s chart-topping Fat Duck (+44 (0)1628 580333; www.thefatduck.co.uk) and gourmet gastropub twinset: The Hinds Head (+44 (0)1628 626151; www.hindsheadbray.com) and The Crown (01628 621936; www.thecrownatbray.com), as well as the Roux brothers’ Waterside Inn (+44 (0)1628 620691; www.waterside-inn.com).15 minutes from the estate, on Paley Street in Maidenhead, The Royal Oak is Michael Parkinson’s Michelin-starred contribution to the gastropub movement (+44 (0)1628 620541; www.theroyaloakpaleystreet.com). At the Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, The Wentworth Grill is the sister of Le Caprice and the Ivy – and predictably upscale (+44 (0)1344 842201; www.wentworthclub.com).
The polo season runs from May to September, and there are regular fixtures at Coworth Park throughout this period. June is Royal Ascot – morning suits and ‘substantial fascinators’ are de rigueur.
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Smith extra at Coworth Park
A bottle of wine