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West Lodge Park, North London

Ideal location in rolling countryside 12 miles from Piccadilly

Country mansion with style

West Lodge Park, Ferny Hill, Cockfosters Road, Hadley Wood, Herts EN4 0PY

RATING: Food 4.5; Atmosphere 4; Service 4.5; Drinks 3.5; Toilets 4; Website 4.5

Sourcing a hotel in London can be a nightmare. However, West Lodge Park, an English country mansion in its own 35 acre park with arboretum, with 800 different varieties of trees planted since 1963, in rolling countryside on the city’s Green Belt, could provide an ideal alternative if you don’t mind a one-hour trip into town by public transport. It is an easy journey, by the way.

West Lodge Park is comfortable, oozed class and the food is innovative, watermelon and Campari soup (served cold) gives an indication. It is pricey, probably because of the hotel’s proximity to Hadley Wood, an exclusive suburban housing area, home to stars of stage, screen and sport, but quality and Matthew Croxford, the restaurant manager, and his staff (in fact, most staff, apart from a surly receptionist on the day we checked out) went out of their way to ensure all issues were catered for.

We dined in a stylish restaurant, looked down upon by a series of portrait, while pianist, Paul Jaffa, who has an amazing repertoire from classical to pop (including requests for songs from Frozen and Brotherhood of Man) added to the relaxing feel of the well-appointed, light dining room which overlooks the arboretum.

The 59 rooms were comfortable and lodges also have exclusive use of a hot tub and sauna. It’s location ensures a relaxing stay and West Lodge Park does live up to its billing as a country retreat.