On summer days, everyone wants to escape the big cities and head to the countryside, to take in the English countryside at its best. Here are our Top 10 recommendations for a splendid day out to a country estate, combining excellent fine dining with country walking at its best. Just don’t forget your camera… (and umbrella, just in case!)

  1. Gidleigh Park, Devon

We know it’s a trek, but it is well worth it. Not only for the acclaimed 2 Michelin starred cuisine by famed chef Michael Caines MBE, but also the setting of Gidleigh Park – an imposing mock Tudor mansion set in 107 acres in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, which makes it so special, with extensive walks through the grounds, along the River Teign and into the moors themselves.

DR Members: Complimentary dining when in a party of 4, lunch and dinner Mon – Thurs and dinner Sundays

2. Chewton Glen, Hampshire

With an international reputation for being the finest country house hotel in England, nestled in the heart of the New Forest and on the South Coast, Chewton Glen has always led the way in luxury boutique country house hotels. With stunning terraces overlooking the estate, and only 1km from a sandy beach, there is plenty to do and explore at Chewton Glen.

DR Members: 10% off the total food and beverage bill, seven days a week lunch and dinner

3. Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire

Set in over 350 acres of historic parkland and gardens, plus a Championship golf course, this 18th century Palladian mansion set behind a sweeping driveway has been the setting for many films over the years, and is a popular gem just an easy distance from London itself.

DR Members:  10% off all food and beverages when dining in San Marco, seven days a week, or the more formal Dining Room lunch and dinner Monday – Thursday, lunch Friday and dinner Sunday

4. Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire

This magnificent Victorian mansion in the heart of the Cheshire countryside is surrounded by parklands and beautiful gardens, and bordered on three sides by the stunning 60 acre lake. A classic country house, with impeccable service and fine dining, served in the dining rooms or on the delightful terrace overlooking the gardens and countryside.

DR Members: Complimentary dining lunch and dinner, Monday – Friday

5. Bovey Castle, Devon

Bovey Castle is history, excitement, glamour and adventure situated in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park in the heart of Devon, within stunning and extensive grounds which are begging to be explored.

With elegant Art Deco styling and hand-painted Chinoiserie wall coverings, The Edwardian Grill, Bovey Castles fine dining restaurant, transports you to an era of elegance and fine living.

The modern British menu makes the very best of the finest local ingredients and the superb cellar is sure to offer your favourite wine to accompany.

DR Members: Compllmentary dining for dinner seven days a week, and lunch on Sundays

6. Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire

This magnificent country estate that is Rushton Hall exudes wow factor from the moment you drive through the gatehouses along the serpentine driveway to the house itself.

Built in c1438, Rushton Hall is full of art, wonderful architecture, beautifully carved fire places, fine paintings, stained glass, manicured grounds, ornate plasterwork…the list is endless. Blend this with stylish furnishings that add texture and brightness to the estate and you will be spellbound.

There are a wealth of local walks both around the grounds and parklands and surrounding countryside.

DR Members: Complimentary dining for lunch and dinner, seven days a week

7. Rudding Park, Harrogate

This lovely converted grade 1 listed building, set in mature gardens just outside Harrogate, has gardens and countryside to explore for all guests. The striking dining room, conservatory and bar make a lovely place to enjoy local seasonal dishes in splendid surroundings.

DR Members: Complimentary dining for dinner Monday – Friday and Sundays

8. Ashdown Park, East Sussex

Ashdown Park is a beautiful listed 19th century mansion house set in the heart of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Surrounded by 186 acres of landscaped Sussex countryside combining immaculate lawns, secret gardens, lakes and woodland trails, plus 6,400 acres to explore in Ashdown Forest itself, this is the perfect setting for a country walk after lunch in the elegant dining room, with its stunning views over the Sussex countryside.

DR Members: Complimentary dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday – Thursdays


9. Lucknam Park, Chippenham

One of the best country house hotels in the UK, there are over 500 acres of gardens and parklands around 18th century Palladian mansion house, including a magnificent mile long avenue of trees, the Walled Garden, Rose Garden, Herb Garden and 1.5 acre Arboretum to explore.

Combine a magnificent meal, within the Michelin-starred Park Restaurant in the house’s former ballroom, or perhaps within the more informal Brasserie, and take time out to explore this slice of British heritage and beauty, only 6 miles from Bath.

DR Members: The Michelin-starred Park Restaurant – 10% off total Food and Beverage Bill dinner Tuesdays – Thursdays, The Brasserie – 10% off total Food and Beverage Bill, lunch and dinner, Monday – Thursdays

10. Fredrick’s at the Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk

Set in 1,800 acres of National Trust parklands in the heart of Suffolk, the restaurant at the Ickworth Hotel has a selection of stunning views and walks to enjoy. One wing of the House is a National Trust property, whilst the family-friendly Ickworth Hotel occupies the East Wing. The restaurant occupies the former family dining room, and overlooks the beautiful Italian gardens. A memorable setting for a lovely day out.

DR Members: Complimentary dining lunch and dinner, Monday – Thursday

There’s never been a better time to become a member of Design Restaurants and to take advantage of these exclusive dining offers…join us today.

Posted by:Luxury Restaurant Guide

Luxury Restaurant Guide is the place to discover and book the finest dining experiences at all highly awarded restaurants throughout the UK. A must-visit site and FREE app for all food lovers. Subscribe to the Club, the largest fine dining club in the UK, to receive instant rewards, insights and invitations from over 500 leading restaurants.

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