The Corinthia Hotel London has launched a town-and-country experience for its guests that we say is a must for fans of "Downton Abbey," traditional English leisure activities or just those looking to get some fresh air for a day.
Visitors to the hotel can go on a day’s outing to an English country estate, Petworth House, where they can go hunting for game, take a tour of the ancestral home of Lord and Lady Egremont, see the largest private collection of artwork by Turner, and unwind over a traditional English Afternoon Tea in the countryside.
What's involved? Plenty. The day begins with an early morning pick-up from the hotel in Whitehall Place (and yes, Range Rover or helicopter options are available) to the Petworth estate in West Sussex, less than 80 minutes from the hotel.
Head Keeper/Deer Manager David Whitby greets guests in the gun room, where shooters are fitted with everything from hearing protection to cartridges and guns. The day includes a morning of simulated game shooting followed by an afternoon drive of live game. From October to January, gusts can spot birds such as pheasants; April to September is simulated stalking and shooting live deer when available.
Those more interested in fishing will be in luck: The estate has rivers and eight lakes with rainbow or brown trout, and fly-fishing instruction is available.
The Petworth estate, which was designed by English landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1752, is part of the National Trust, so architecture and history buffs can take a guided tour of the ancestral 17th century home. They may even run into Lord and Lady Egremont, who still live there.
Breakfast and picnic lunch (depending on weather) and afternoon tea are included in the day, prepared on the estate by Corinthia’s Executive Chef Garry Hollihead and delivered to guests by butlers and estate staff. On cold days, food is served in the shooting lodge. The autumn menu typically revolves around game and food such as wild mushrooms or chestnuts foraged on the estate.
At the end of the day, guests may get oven-ready game birds, fish and/or venison, which Corinthia London can prepare for their dinner when they get back to the hotel in the evening.