As we sat around the vast circular table with pithy remarks firing back and forth across the polished veneer, it became increasingly apparent that there was no one else left in the restaurant. We were lost in our own amusement, labouring over coffees and desserts as we set the world to rights.
The groups of business delegates had long since retired, dressed in their awkward shirts, jeans and casual-smart shoes. The attentive French waiter now only had eyes for us as we languished into the late evening hours amidst guffaws of laughter and excitedly raised voices.
Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey, had managed to bridge the tricky gap between producing a chic modern hotel sporting cutting edge design and creating a friendly, indulgent atmosphere that makes you feel at home rather than an outsider. The gap gets ever trickier when one considers that the main clientele of the hotel are those awkwardly dressed business people who simply need a temporary base between Very Important Meetings with every amenity available to them but very little attention paid to their surroundings.
As I slid into my giant king size bed later that evening, it occurred to me that this was why Brooklands was the perfect accommodation partner for Fetcham Park, where I had been working all day. Aside from their completely contrasting histories, architecture, design and ambience, there was an affinity between how subtly indulgent they both felt.
If I were a wedding guest spending a whole day at Fetcham, I would not want to come out of my sumptuous bubble once the nuptials were finished. Instead of retiring to some sub-standard accommodation for the evening, I’d want the flood of excitement at seeing an amazing art deco building shining at the end of the long road on which it sits.
I’d want the wow factor of epic chandeliers hanging above a line denoting the original Brooklands race track slicing through reception. I’d want the incredulousness of checking into a room bigger than my flat. I’d want to feel like I was part of the elite by perusing giant hardback books of luxury toys waiting on the writing desk. I’d want to indulge in watching TV on a vast screen from a bed that curves at the headboard as though cuddling you as you fall asleep.
And then, if I felt like it, I’d want to extend my weekend by booking in for a spa treatment after a lazy languorous breakfast within sumptuous plum hues and a view overlooking the historic motor racing track. I’d want all of this in an entirely unfussy, friendly and professional atmosphere exuded by a team of staff who are just very good at getting on with their jobs.
Somewhere between the 18th century architecture of Fetcham Park and the art deco design of the super contemporary Brooklands Hotel, I found myself wrapped up in a world of sensory delights. Despite their vast stylistic differences, the two venues compliment each other with a natural ease, elegance and grace. Wedding guests from Fetcham Park will find themselves feeling especially spoiled as they check in to their digs for the night.