De Vere Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor
You get the works at The De Vere, Beaumont Estate
courtesy of 21st century style in a historic setting
So down to Old Windsor for a weekend break at this intriguing and undoubtedly distinctive estate. There’s a Georgian white mansion house and dramatic chapel that must make the historyhunting overseas tourists go “Oooooh!”, all sitting in 44 acres of grounds that would have Jane Austen expecting to find a choice of landed gentry husbands for one of her ladies.
Then there’s the stunningly refurbished School House where we were settled (it was once known as ‘the Catholic Eton’), and enough art along corridors to make you think you’re staying in a gallery curated by those obsessed with gilt mirrors, Victorian prints and modern day interpretations. Our room oozed ‘Best of British’ and had a picture above the bed of a stag (as you do) but with a tree growing out of its antlers. The truth is that you are probably not going to discover and admire all the quirks of this place over a weekend, and what we noticed is that the overseas visitors were at least matched in numbers by Brit families who knew they’d discovered a gem so were enjoying a ‘staycation’.
Fair enough, it was last chance before back to school, but what’s not to like? There’s an indoor pool and gym, the internet actually works quicker than all the majestic old trees growing across the centuries at their own pace, and flatscreen TVs sit on walls opposite those stag paintings.
The great thing here is that even with a wedding going on and people arriving for conferences there’s so much room for everyone to spread out that those seeking a peaceful escape are as happy in the friendly atmosphere as others in their business suits or parents trying to run children ragged so they go to bed. You relax.
ABOVE: Sweet dreams: beneath some fascinating art