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article imageReview: Sopwell House, the Georgian mansion in St Albans Special

By Tim Sandle     Aug 2, 2015 in Travel
Saint Albans - Sopwell House is an historic Georgian country house, now a luxurious 128 bedroom hotel, country club & spa. Digital Journal paid a visit.
Sopwell House is located in St Albans, Hertfordshire, U.K. down a winding country road. The site, which dates back to 1604, was transformed into a country house by the builder Edward Strong in the 18th century. The house was originally called New Barnes. Many of the original features are still in existence.
At the beginning of the 18th Century  Edward Strong  a Master Mason known to have worked on St. Paul...
At the beginning of the 18th Century, Edward Strong, a Master Mason known to have worked on St. Paul's Cathedral, leased the house and it is assumed that he developed the house further during his tenure.
As house the mansion is steeped in history. For example, the parents of the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, married in the grounds.
The hotel lobby at Sopwell House. This are has recently undergone a recent refurbishment. the recept...
The hotel lobby at Sopwell House. This are has recently undergone a recent refurbishment. the reception area looks fresh and inviting with an open fire. There are huge comfortable sofas brimming with fluffy cushions on them.
The hotel has many period features  such as this grandfather clock. This is an impressive  freestand...
The hotel has many period features, such as this grandfather clock. This is an impressive, freestanding, weight-driven pendulum clock.
In 1969 the house was sold by the Earl of Verulam and it became a hotel (the current owner, Abraham Bejerano purchased it in 1986.) Today the facilities comprise of a luxurious 128 bedroom hotel, country club and spa. Nearby is Verulam Golf Club.
A hallway in Sopwell House  with a place to rest. The hotel has a number of display windows featurin...
A hallway in Sopwell House, with a place to rest. The hotel has a number of display windows featuring interesting collectable items, from teapots to clothing.
Inside the hallways feature signed items from the famous people who have stayed in the hotel. This includes sporting memorabilia.
Sopwell House gained fame as the gathering place for the England national football team before inter...
Sopwell House gained fame as the gathering place for the England national football team before international football events, as well as welcoming club and international football teams from across the world since the nineties.
A signed football shirt  featuring the signature of many of the players from the 2002 Arsenal squad ...
A signed football shirt, featuring the signature of many of the players from the 2002 Arsenal squad that won the 2002 F.A Cup. On display at Sopwell House.
As well as many floral decorations.
One of the floral decorations inside Sopwell House.
One of the floral decorations inside Sopwell House.
The hotel has three main dining areas: a brasserie, cocktail lounge, and a more formal restaurant. Meals and drinks can also be served on an outside terrace. The fine dining restaurant serves a modern British and European menu.
With the other places offering food and drink, the cocktail lounge is a very relaxing place, great for taking morning tea or something a little stronger later in the day (hint: try the Lord Mountbatten cocktail.)
The cocktail lounge at Sopwell House  luxurious and elegant.
The cocktail lounge at Sopwell House, luxurious and elegant.
Of the main eating places, the brasserie is best. The are has floor-to-ceiling windows making it airy and light during the day. In the evening the area transforms into a cosy eatery in the evening with soft lighting.
The Brasserie at Sopwell House offers all-day dining in a relaxed  contemporary and vibrant setting.
The Brasserie at Sopwell House offers all-day dining in a relaxed, contemporary and vibrant setting.
Sopwell House has a well stocked bar and there are a number of interesting cocktails on offer.
Sopwell House has a well stocked bar and there are a number of interesting cocktails on offer.
The outside terrace area at Sopwell House; a pleasant place to have a drink or to take some tea and ...
The outside terrace area at Sopwell House; a pleasant place to have a drink or to take some tea and gaze at the interesting grounds.
Outside in the grounds is a wishing well where those hoping for a change in fortune can throw in a few coins. The money collected goes to a local charity.
The wishing well in the grounds of Sopwell House.
The wishing well in the grounds of Sopwell House.
Many parts of the grounds have a Japanese theme and they make for a nice stroll, particularly after a meal.
The grounds of Sopwell House feature a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arran...
The grounds of Sopwell House feature a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes,
Other parts of the grounds are more traditional, although no less pretty.
Part of the grounds in Sopwell House  a very English retreat.
Part of the grounds in Sopwell House, a very English retreat.
Sopwell House is an interesting place to visit, especially if you are after a relaxing drink. Although it is run as a business, the hotel remains faithful to its Georgian heritage.
More about sopwell house, Georgian, georgian house, Mansion, Hotel
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