Posted 15th Dec 2016
Set in 23 acres of stunning grounds in Lenham near Maidstone, Chilston Park country house hotel is the perfect place to get away from life's hustle and bustle to celebrate the festive season this year
As you glide along the sweeping gravel drive on the approach to Chilston Park you can feel the stresses of the lead up to Christmas fall away from your shoulders. For here, in this beautiful 17th-century manor house, you can relax and let the friendly staff take care of you so you can really unwind and enjoy the perfect Christmas.
This elegant Grade I listed hotel has played host to traditional festive celebrations for 300 years and its air of sumptuousness extends beyond the lounges and restaurant to the 53 luxuriously designed bedrooms. The hotel's interior is a blend of the classic and contemporary. The walls are dotted with portraits from the house's long history and, if you look up, you'll spot stunning painted ceilings and sparkling chandeliers. Once you've unpacked and settled into your room, explore the hotel's beautifully decorated lounges where you'll find plenty of deep, comfy sofas placed cosily near the huge marble fireplaces with their roaring hearths. In the grand Marble Hall and cosy reading room you'll find cosy spots to relax reading the papers or playing a board game with family and friends.
And although this is a great place to unwind, it's also made for celebration and the two-night Christmas package at Chilston Park is something very special. On your arrival on Christmas Eve you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea to revive you after your journey. The celebrations start in the early evening with a cheeky glass of glass of Kir Royale while you listen to carol singers in the lounge and grand staircase areas. A black tie four-course formal dinner follows with coffee and mince pies to finish. Then at 10.30 you'll be treated to a spectacular firework display in the hotel's grounds.
Whilst presents are delivered by Father Christmas throughout the night you'll wake up refreshed ready to start the day with a light breakfast. A selection of vintage cars will be on display outside and you can even pre-book a personalised small jaunt around the local lanes in one if you pre-book. If cars aren't your thing, then there is also a falconry display in the grounds to enjoy from 10.45, followed by a hot chocolate to warm you up.
Enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne and some delicious canapés at 1pm in one of the lounges before taking your seat for an indulgent gourmet lunch. After an amuse bouche to whet your appetite you can enjoy oxtail wrapped in filo pastry, mushroom and chickpea sauce, followed by beetroot poached salmon, pickled cucumber, lemon crème fraîche and caviar. Then it's onto the main event – roast turkey ballotine with chipolata, fondant potato, honey roasted parsnips and carrots. If you still have room, you can tuck into a scrumptious tasting selection of festive desserts, finishing with Kentish Blue cheese with a walnut and fig chutney.
After your festive feast the afternoon is your own to enjoy at your leisure, with a selection of in-house activities, before tucking into a mouth-watering candlelit evening buffet dinner. Then it's time to retire to your luxurious bed for a well-earned sleep.
Boxing Day begins with a full traditional breakfast before taking your leave from Chilston Park. With its close proximity to Canterbury you could spend the rest of your day sightseeing, or head to nearby Leeds Castle (the loveliest castle in the world) for some post-Christmas culture and history.
No matter how you spend the rest of the festive season, your Christmas spent at Chilston Park will certainly be unforgettable.
The two-night Christmas package runs from 24th - 26th December 2016
A stay in a Mews double room costs £410 per person, including all meals stated, finishing with breakfast on Boxing Day morning. A £100 single person occupancy applies.
For more information, or to book ,visit www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/festiveseason or call 01622 859803
Feature by Anna-Lisa De'Ath
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