Stephen Killick

Back to Inspirations
From the game's earliest days golf has been as much to do with food and drink as it has been about the game. Scarce wonder then that the victorious professional golfer at the Open championship walks off with a claret jug. And at amateur level golf is a most companionable sport where friends can travel and enjoy the very best an area has to offer both in terms of golf and places to stay. I have identified ten of the very best British resort hotels where my yardstick is simple: what is on offer indoors must, at the very least, match the quality of the golf outside. Enjoy!
Gleneagles (King's)

Home to the 2014 Ryder Cup and also one of the world's great hotels, Gleneagles is hugely popular with US tourists who enjoy some of the finest Scottish beef and salmon in the classical Strathearn restaurant or savour the two Michelin starred extravagance of chef, Andrew Fairlie. Fairlie's signature dish is smoked lobster that is infused for 12 hours over whisky barrels. After fine dining or simpler, but equally delicious, fare available in the Dormie Clubhouse any self-respecting golfer will be in need of some exercise. And what a choice! The classic James Braid design of the King's Course, demands pin-point accuracy although it is easy to lose concentration amongst such majestic scenery, with soaring mountains to the north and rolling green hills to the south. The 2014 Jack Nicklaus designed course is the venue for Europe's next Ryder Cup competition while the Queen's course, though shorter, has attracted such legendary golfing names as Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman.

Auberge du Lac

Brocket Hall is one of the great stately homes of England. Although the present red brick mansion set in over 500 acres dates to the late 18th century, a privately owned house has been on the same site since 1239. Only 45 minutes from central London, Brocket not only offers first-rate golf on its two courses, each named after former British Prime Ministers who lived in the Hall, the Lords Palmerston and Melbourne. The venue is hugely popular with corporate clients but also caters intimate, fine dining for couples simply looking for a relaxing weekend break in historic and extremely comfortable surroundings. The Auberge du Lac is Hertfordshire's only Michelin starred restaurant set in the old hunting lodge on the banks of Broadwater lake which comes into play on the 18th hole of the Palmerston course where players can reach the green by boat!

The Grove

The very best rooms are to be found in the old mansion house, at Chandlers Cross, just off the M25 motorway in Hertfordshire. However the more modern wing provides comfortable accommodation in 191 spacious rooms. Just like the bedrooms, food comes in a variety of guises with everything on offer from an eight-course gourmet menu in Colette's restaurant that includes foie gras and scallops to simple pies and grills in The Stables. And, if guests are not going to make use of the excellent spa and fitness facilities, then walking off dinner on the golf course is a must and the Grove's championship standard a worthy addition to golf in the south east. Kyle Phillips, who designed the stunning Kingsbarns course in Fife, put together what many describe as the finest track inside the M25.

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