In Slebech Park in Pembrokeshire (Wales), LUXURY TRAVEL BUTLER has spotted a stunning five-star waterside retreat for short breaks and special occasions where much of the food is sourced from the estate itself, especially vegetables from a magical kitchen garden. And there is something special: this summer courses by TV chef Angela Gray will guide guests from vegetable patch to plate in a series that is dedicated to locally sourced natural food.
After 10 years in the planning, the conversion of the waterside Coach House at Slebech Park into a unique destination is now complete and already it has gained 5 star status from Visit Wales and a coveted place in Welsh Rarebits, the discerning peoples guide to Welsh hospitality.
The venue has 15 bedrooms and an acclaimed Restaurant set in some of the most striking scenery in Wales.
This is not a hotel in the normal sense of the word; the rooms have been designed by Georgina Philipps to be contemporary chic but with a simplicity to complement the views outside the window but with all the comforts appropriate to its five-star star status.
It is an intensely relaxing environment where you can enjoy the privacy of your own space, free from the intrusive stuffiness of conventional hotels with their receptions and lounges.
Delights from the terraced kitchen garden
The restaurant is dedicated to slow food concepts with mouth watering beef and lamb from local farms, fish straight from inshore boats fishing in St Brides Bay, and, game, pigeon and rabbit from the estate.
But it is the 18th century terraced kitchen garden that is the ‘piece de résistance’. The south facing banks running down to the estuary provide an extraordinary environment for the growing of wonderful vegetables and herbs picked by head chef, Mark Cheeseborough and his team, just a couple of hours before arriving on the plate.
In winter you dine in front of a roaring log fire while in summer you can sit out on the terrace savouring a cocktail in the soft light of sunset over the water.
Cooking courses...and photographic courses
This spring TV Chef Angela Gray will be running a range of weekend cookery courses at Slebech Park for aspiring cooks of whatever standard.
For something different, for the non culinary, there are mid-week photographic courses with tutor Andy Davies composing stunning landscapes or using micro photography to look at those aspects of nature that are not always evident to the naked eye opening up new delights with your digital camera - all within the grounds of the estate.
For those not participating in courses there is lots to do in and around Slebech Park.
There are wonderful walks along the estuary and through the ancient woods of the estate without the need to get into your car. There are cycle rides along deserted lanes visiting some of Pembrokeshire’s Norman Castles and taking in a lazy lunch by the waterside and there is tennis on the all weather court or croquet on the lawns overlooking the estuary.