When we heard that the Grove Narberth’s exciting new chef will be rustling up the turkey and trimmings this Christmas (and refining the restaurant’s à la carte), we booked our festive break there in less time than it takes to read the specials.
So, (very) merrily we’ll go to this picturesque boutique hotel in Wales for chilly country walks, more Alpine greenery than an Austrian mountain, and warming mulled wine…
Style Romantic country pile
Setting Pembrokeshire hillside hollow
Why this Christmas? Alongside five-star feasting, the hotel’s Christmas Ball is held on 12 December: a festive affair that invites ‘as glittery as the tinsel’ finery over ironic jumpers. Apéritifs by a toasty fire kick things off, then guests are plied with sparkling cocktails and entertained by the Swing Kings until midnight. Luckily, there’s a cloud-soft bed to fall into, and a restorative Welsh country breakfast awaits the following morning.
‘Tis the season …to get 50 per cent off a three-night festive stay. You’ll find the halls immaculately decked, the tree a’twinkling, and your time huddled fireside with your nearest and dearest or bundled up for strolls through Pembrokeshire’s countryside. New head chef Peter Whaley (an alumnus of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck) will be serving up an indulgent Christmas Day menu, too.
Ring in the New Year The hotel bids adieu to 2015 in style, with champagne and canapés. After a decadent six-course dinner, guests are given hot toddies (hot chocolate for abstainers) and head to the terrace to watch fireworks.
What’s cooking for 2016? On 6 January 2016 executive chef Allister Barsby, who worked under culinary legend Michael Caines at fellow Smith stay Gidleigh Park, will bring his kitchen wizardry to the Grove Narberth. Expect a modern British menu with a few surprises; the kind of New Year diet we can probably stick to.
Copy by Lauren Coffey