We asked Concierge Manager Dawn Pender at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, England, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions she could find—not just her own, but also those of other local connoisseurs, including some she works with every day at the Hotel. Enjoy the leisurely pace of life on an English country estate.
Jane Austen’s World
Take a walk back in time to the era of Jane Austen with Phil Howe, a retired lecturer and acknowledged Jane-ite full of stories of Austen’s probable visits to Dogmersfield Park—now home to Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, then home to Lady Mildmay. He can also accompany you on a tour of other parts of the country associated with the author, including the house in Chawton where she spent the last part of her life.
The U.K.’s most celebrated restaurant, the three-Michelin-starred The Fat Duck, crucible of molecular cuisine, headquarters and laboratory of celebrated chef Heston Blumenthal, lies just 30 miles from Four Seasons Hampshire. It’s the kind of place where Anjou pigeon is “powdered,” sorbets are flambéed and flavoured with barley, and the “Sound of the Sea” entrée comes accompanied by an iPod for enhanced aural gratification. The 14-course menu will be a three-and-a-half-hour experience you will never forget.
The Great Outdoors
With nearly 3 million visitors annually, Windsor Great Park is the only Royal Park maintained by the Crown Estate. Once part of a vast Norman hunting forest that was enclosed in the late 13th century, the 2,020 hectares (400 acres) of parkland includes a Deer Park and varied landscapes of formal avenues, gardens, woodland and open grassland. The antiquity of the landscape is enhanced by the great ancient oaks for which the park and its forests are renowned.