Ordinary properties don’t usually come with electric gates and a 70-foot driveway through manicured parkland and an avenue of 20-foot evergreens. And they don’t play host to VIPs, actors and business luminaries looking for absolute privacy. So, Ascot House, sleeping 18 in beautiful Berkshire, is clearly no ordinary stay.
Just ten minutes from three major championship golf courses and within striking distance (by private chauffeur) of Heathrow, Knightsbridge and Pinewood Studios, Ascot House is beautiful inside and out. A mecca for golfers, ladies’ weekends, family celebrations and filming, this designer gem puts everything on a bone-china plate for you.
Inside, luxury oozes from every parqueted floor, every turned leg and every deep skirt. Get together for Sky and Netflix in the cinema room with its 180-inch screen. Yes, 180. Eat around the 18-seat table. Challenge guests with a table tennis tournament. Pour another Prosecco from the disco-lit indoor bar. Refuse to leave. I know I would.
As the electric gates slide back and you purr up the 70-foot driveway through large grounds of sculpted greenery and soaring evergreens, you realise this is special. That’s confirmed with the parking arrangements for eight cars, or plenty more by prior arrangement, the plane trees, the topiary and the blossoming blooms.
Hang out in your choice of gloriously designed outside seating areas. Pipe up the surround-sound Sonos, throw a steak on the barbecue and pop some Prosecco. Play badminton on the lawns. Climb into the hot tub on the wooden deck and savour a special kind of wooded silence. Make a night of it under the lantern-lit covered terrace.
Let’s start with the fun bits. Ascot House seems built on a different scale, and that applies wonderfully to the cinema room, with its 180-inch TV screening a full Sky package, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video nightly. Pull up a pouffe, pour another Prosecco and set up a night of movie magic.
Pick your own space here: open-plan sociability or tucked-away seclusion for recharging the social battery. Raid the bookcase, play table tennis, set up some sounds on the Sonos, post envy-inducing snaps to Instagram over the high-speed broadband. Mix it up with cocktails from the disco-lit bar in the conservatory.
If you prefer dining to cooking, Dinner With Shaun’s on hand for bowl food and canapés, grazing and sharing boards, barbecue hog roasts, or full menus that include rack of herb-crusted lamb confit and breast of Gressingham duck à l’orange. Book a one-off celebration or fully catered break.
If you’re a closet MasterChef, you’ll love the sleek kitchen with its fan oven, combination oven, induction hob, and enough fridges and freezers for a small army. Fill them with fresh veg from Lavershot Barns, fish from Musselman in Egham, and meat cuts from Simmons of Sunninghill.
Eat around the 18-seater table and nibble at breakfast on the bar stools around the kitchen island. Walk to great pubs such as The Carpenter’s Arms for snails, slow-cooked beef stew or vegan lasagne. Or stroll to The Dog and Partridge for modern British such as herb-crusted John Dory and brioche beefburger.
Eat from the pan of Michelin-starred chef Adam Smith at The Barn at Coworth Park, try fillet of Ashdale beef or squid-ink marinated monkfish at Bluebells, or Fego’s Café for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Enjoy wood-fired pizza, salads or steak grills at The Royal Foresters or child-friendly Italian at Piccolino’s.
Ascot House was built for privacy. Wrapped in a wood and surrounded by a half-acre garden, the only sounds you’ll hear are those that can be switched off: the bubbling hot tub and the gentle water fountain. Pick from seven lovely bedrooms sleeping up to 18 and enjoy mattress toppers and luxury linen.
Bedroom one offers a kingsize bed with private en-suite bathroom and a vaulted ceiling. The luxury’s laid on thick here with a balcony and dressing area. You’ve room for a double airbed. Bedroom two offers a single with en-suite shower room and room for a single airbed.
Bedroom three is a double that shares a Jacuzzi bathroom with bedroom four, another double that will take a double airbed too. Bedroom five comes with spiral-staircase access and a double bed with open-plan bathroom, while bedroom six is a double with garden access, and bedroom seven is an en-suite single with its own courtyard front door with room for a single air bed.