Birch is one of CW’s favourite discoveries of 2022. Why? Because it successfully straddles the categories of ‘hotel’, ‘member’s club’, ‘retreat’, ‘luxury escape’, and, somehow, ‘family adventure holiday’, while feeling warm and genuinely inclusive. Truly, the sheer range of ways you can fill a stay at Birch means this sanctuary is a bit of a chameleon, but in the best possible way.
Located in a Grade II-listed former Manor House on a 55-acre wooded estate in Hertfordshire, Birch fuses countryside zen with London chicness. Its proximity to the city (a 40-minute train ride from Liverpool Street) allows leading fitness instructors to leave their city studios to teach a programme of yoga and toning classes. While more specialist activities include foraging, chocolate-making, pottery and drop-in sourdough demonstrations.
It’s outdoorsy too, boasting a lido nestled in a walled garden and fire pits to huddle around in the evenings. Meanwhile, an onsite tepee hosts a programme of live entertainment.
Members can book a meeting room and invite in colleagues for some out-of-office hive-minding, while all guests can park up at a desk in one of several quiet, working areas dotted throughout the site and catch up on some admin.
There are plenty of food and drink stations but a stay here wouldn’t be complete without a trip to The Zebra Riding Club, Birch’s lofty, rustic flagship restaurant, which boasts a seasonal tasting menu curated by Robin Gill, of The Dairy and Darby’s acclaim.
Birch is no secret: it opened in peak pandemic and was instantly tipped as one of 2020’s hottest new hotels. Our advice? Book in while they’re still able to accommodate last-minute stays. Birch is is that rare thing: a hotel likely to appeal to all.
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Lieutenant Ellis Way, Cheshunt, Goff's Oak, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire EN7 5HW