Great Fosters was built in the mid sixteenth century although the land upon which the house now stands is referenced as far back as the early thirteenth century as the “land of Foster”. Travel back earlier still, and the moat which is still in evidence today dates back to the Saxon times around the fifth century and a Saxon settlement is anticipated to lie beneath the Grade II listed parterre gardens. In the gardens, you will find a myriad of surprises – from the amphitheatre to the Archery Pavilion and Japanese bridge and not forgetting the sundial at the centre of the Persian inspired topiary maze, given to Great Fosters by Sir Francis Drake himself. The house is regularly cited as one of the five most important historic building in the United Kingdom, with extensive connections to the Tudor royals, evidenced at many turns.
We know the house played host to Henry VIII often, being used as his Royal hunting lodge. We can surmise it was during the time of his courtship with Anne Boleyn and their subsequent marriage, thanks to her personal crest still preserved in the original plasterwork of some of the ceilings. Henry’s daughter who went on to become Queen Elizabeth I also had an enduring connection to the property and this is reflected in her Royal insignia proudly emblazoned on the front of the property.
Today, Great Fosters is a magnificent boutique hotel with acres of glorious parterres gardens, thirty-eight rooms & suites, seven private hire spaces, a cocktail bar, Painted Hall bar, several terraces (one even has a pizza oven) and much more – not least the Saxon moat and grassed amphitheatre. Proud holder of four red stars, you can expect personable, timely and anticipative service set in regal and historic surroundings contrasted with bold new artworks, vibrant velvet sofas and contemporary fixtures.
Cuisine is at the heart of the offering at Great Fosters with both the Michelin-starred Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room and the rosetted Estate Grill. Both restaurants draw on the ingredients found within the gardens and extensive vegetable beds and greenhouses. A apiary is also found within the grounds with 60,000 bees, which produce delicious Great Fosters honey and of course support the ecology of the grounds. The hotel is passionate about their drink and cocktail offering, served primarily within the cosy cocktail bar with views of the fountain and Japanese bridge – some even featuring Great Fosters signature blend of gin.
Great Fosters has long been known as a cultural hotspot for interesting and innovate events and occasions, including the Taste of Christmas events and our Cocktails Al Fresco in the Summer. The parterres gardens play host to many of these occasions and in the glorious summer days the grounds and (deleted our) beautiful outdoor heated swimming pool become a mecca for sophisticated relaxation.
Great Fosters is mere moments from London Heathrow and 30 minutes from London Waterloo.