IT IS a rather unique experience to see the cows that have produced the milk for your frothy coffee and the chickens that laid the egg for your breakfast, but at Heckfield Place that is exactly what guests can expect.

The luxury hotel is just a 15-minute drive away from Basingstoke but is mostly enjoyed by its overnight guests including famous faces such as Ant McPartlin who had his wedding reception there in 2019.

Now, the hotel is opening its doors to a wider clientele thanks to a 'friends' scheme which invites those who live locally to enjoy everything the beautiful venue has to offer.

The elegant house was once a Georgian family home and has been lovingly restored to its historic origins, creating a place where guests can feel at home.

READ MORE: Ant McPartlin marries Anne-Marie Corbett in front of celebrity guests at Heckfield church

Basingstoke Gazette: Heckfield PlaceVisitors can enjoy a walk around the 438 acres of secluded Hampshire countryside surrounding the hotel, offering a rural haven, sculpted over centuries to produce something which is both tamed and gently wild.

Every detail has been designed to compliment nature’s rhythms, from the house positioned to align with the movement of the sun, to the organic home farm and biodynamic market garden which supply the estate’s restaurants and The Bothy by Wildsmith – a stunning spa nestled amongst the trees which opened in 2023.

Comfort and elegance are key at Heckfield, where the 45 bedrooms are characterised by natural materials and meticulous craftsmanship, with breathtaking views across the gardens, lake and surrounding countryside.

Around every corner is something new to look at, with the walls adorned with original British art.

Impressive floral displays bring a fresh feel to each room, which at this time of year makes use of the vibrant colours of spring from tulips to green foliage.

Basingstoke Gazette: Heckfield PlaceHeckfield Place’s culinary offerings comprise two signature restaurants – Marle and Hearth – overseen by culinary director Skye Gyngell. It also has a biodynamically certified market garden and organic home farm, as well as the exclusive and intimate Moon Bar for overnight guests to enjoy.

Basingstoke Gazette: Heckfield PlaceWith a Green Michelin star, Marle uses a pared-back style of cooking allowing guests to experience the excitement and immediacy of food served straight from the estate.

Basingstoke Gazette: Heckfield PlaceTo add to this experience, guests can enjoy a tour of the home farm as part of their stay to see exactly where the food comes from.

This unique experience showcases to guests the biodynamics used at the farm - a system of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach using only organic, usually locally-sourced materials for fertilising and soil conditioning.

Everything is done by hand - from sowing seed, weeding, planting and harvesting - carried out by a committed group of farmers, gardeners and conservation experts, all dedicated to the continuous evolution of the estate.

Its regenerative approach to agriculture evades the use of chemicals such as pesticides and fertilisers, resulting in healthy and nutrient-rich foods grown on the farm where the land has been carefully restored and nurtured through years of natural preparations.

Heckfield’s herd of Guernsey cows produce organic milk, cream and butter for the hotel and the local community while its flocks of hens provide a daily supply of eggs.

Basingstoke Gazette: A board inside the hotel lists all the ingredients used from the farm that day, such as kale, rocket, cauliflower, Swiss chard, parsley and rhubarb, used to inspire the ever-changing menu which puts the spotlight on ingredients that might otherwise be overlooked and unloved.

The restaurant is connected to its surrounding landscape, from marble, slate and wood interiors to the views across the woodlands and lakes overseen from the al-fresco terrace.

At Hearth, the heartfelt food and drink is designed to be shared in a warm, atmospheric countryside setting. Its ever-evolving ‘estate to plate’ menu focuses solely on the best produce available daily from the estate and its partners at Fern Verrow – a certified biodynamic farm in Herefordshire.

Using classic cooking methods centred around an open fire, the result is a series of expressive and refined dishes which showcase the bounty of the surrounding land.

The restaurant, previously the estate’s stables, has been transformed into a stunning destination venue, retaining its original character with bare-brick walls, arch-shaped windows and flagstone floors.

Being immersed in the natural surroundings is encouraged at Heckfield, where guests are invited to enjoy an array of activities such as boating, fishing, estate walks through the ornamental gardens, market garden and woodlands or (for the brave) wild swimming on the lower lake.

The hotel also has its own 67-seater screening room which hosts regular showings of current films as well as engaging talks.

Basingstoke Gazette: Heckfield PlaceFriends of Heckfield Place can enjoy exclusive benefits with a programme available just for the local community.

This includes access to screenings and events, seasonal tours of the estate, 20 per cent off food and drink in both restaurants from Sunday to Thursday, and 15 per cent off overnight stays from Sunday to Thursday.

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