Middle Lodge, a server later tells us, was once the hotel’s cooking school. That explains the huge, well-equipped kitchen with acres of space for a multi-generational party. The awkward little living room off the hallway could use some comfort. Beware, beyond the kitchen there is a second, sprawling one (including the biggest TV my kids have laid eyes on). This setup makes a lot of practical sense for multi-generational breaks – adults can watch Antiques Roadshow in a living room while youngsters…what? Make TikTok videos in the other?
The three bedrooms lack the canopied theater of those in the main hotel, but each is generous in size. The bathrooms are in marble, the tubs with claw feet; walls in adult neutral tones, fabrics with relaxing and sober patterns. Everything is extremely comfortable, and I feel excited about the concept. Daily housekeeping of bedrooms; room service is available day and night. You have a generous basket of provisions left: fresh bread and pastries, milk and wine, berries, cold cuts. But from this summer, you can choose to have breakfast served at the brasserie instead, if you wish (at an additional cost, please note).
And there’s something liberating about using all of the hotel’s lavish facilities and then retreating to our own secret space. Lucknam has bikes for rent and helmets of all sizes. Our children (eight and 11) commandeer two and roam the terrain freely. There they find the equestrian center, the new cooking school (with adult and children’s lessons) and a playground (another opens in August). There are tennis courts, a football pitch, and a Tardis-like wooden pavilion that houses everything from a sensory wall for babies to enjoyable PlayStations for teens.