Phil Crewdson discovers the perfect place for a restorative country break.

garden house surreyStaying at the Garden House hotel is akin to receiving a warm welcome from friends at their beautiful country house—except you can be assured that the plumbing and heating will work. Part of the 400-acre Beaverbrook estate near Leatherhead, it’s a Surrey secret you’ll want to share.

It’s all in the detail here—the classic paperbacks that line the walls lend a luxurious yet homely feel to the interiors, which were designed by Nicola Harding. I found the Ladybird Book of British Birds to be the ideal accompaniment to a sip of sloe gin from the complimentary bottle in our room, although a whisky from the drinks bureau on the landing might have called for a slightly weightier volume.

Our room—one of 11—overlooked the kitchen garden, which supplies the produce that’s put to excellent use by head chef Kaz Suzuki. He combines classic English food with an Italian influence and the resident sommelier, Euan, will match wines to each course—his choices were perfect. The hotel even runs cookery courses, such is the standard of the cuisine. The main house, the former residence of Lord Beaverbrook, is being sensitively refurbished and is due to open in September, offering a further 18 rooms and a spa.

garden house surrey

As the hotel overlooks the Surrey Downs, the views here are truly glorious—just the place to explore and enjoy some fresh air. the secret is well and truly out: Beaverbrook’s Garden House offers the perfect restorative country break.

Double rooms start from £280 (01372 571300; http://beaverbrook.co.uk)