On visiting the Four Seasons in Hampshire, one is struck by two things: the mere hour it takes to get there from central London, and how very, very far from the capital it seems.
The latter point is down to the surrounding greenery. Time seemed to bend to the majesty of the countryside and visiting as spring was blossoming was a capital idea – for nature-lovers (I count myself amongst your ranks), nothing is more absorbing than roaming the great outdoors at this time of year.
In fact, so very inviting were the grounds that I entirely neglected my purported reason for visiting Hampshire; I’d wanted to see nearby Winchester where Jane Austen had resided. This is a brilliant move on the part of the Four Seasons – the lake, smattering of benches and freely-roaming animals evoke the feeling of being a treasured guest at a country gathering. As such, you feel the urge to potter close to the mothership for fear of missing out.
The interior of the hotel had its charms, too. The mouthwatering food and Espa treatments on offer at the spa provided ample distraction when indoors (as did the comfortable rooms – snoozers, you’ll love this place).
I’m afraid to say there is one vexing, though singular, discordant note here – the decor in the dining areas was a little corporate and didn’t seem to match the splendour of the rest of the place. This mania for modern dining rooms is not unique to the Four Seasons and I’m sure there are those of you who don’t object to frosted glass lights and the glossiness of them, though I felt that in the case of this hotel something a little more in keeping with the rest of the surroundings would have been far more agreeable.
This didn’t, however, dampen my good time and I have earmarked the hotel for my next attempt at visiting Winchester. Next time, I’ll make it. I hope.