Holly Vallerius heads to the New Forest and recommends three secret retreats for event planners…
Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort
Overlooking the solent coast, which can be admired from the hotel’s back lawn, this 19th century manor house offers 42 en-suite bedrooms in its adjacent courtyard along with a very lovely Scottish Steak Club restaurant. The hotel’s ballroom boasts a lofty sculptured ceiling and a large fireplace and can host 150. I’d certainly recommend it for private dinners and overnight accommodation as the rooms are both spacious and comfortable.
Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa
With 77 plush bedrooms and suites, three onsite restaurants, and it’s award-winning SenSpa, Careys Manor is perfect for that weekend retreat. The property has four main meeting rooms, which can cater for up to 150 delegates in a variety of room configurations. Located next door to Careys Manor and accessible via the hotel grounds is Bridge Farm. The hotel has access to 10 acres of wide open space on the farm to host team building events. This large field is suitable for activities such as team challenges, most country pursuits, Segways, blindfold driving and much more. For the winter months there is also an arena that can be used to ensure that events can still go ahead.
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
Ok so Chewton Glen may not exactly be a well-kept secret but did you know that this popular luxury Hampshire hotel now has its own cookery school, featuring celebrity chef, James Martin?
Courses for groups of 12 at The Kitchen Cookery School start with a stroll through the garden to see what’s growing in the greenhouse before delegates are shown to their individual workstations, where they’ll learn new skills to create their own masterpieces under the watchful eye of the chef.