Inside the Royal Babymoon Getaway: Heckfield Place
Like many first-time moms, Meghan Markle wanted a private getaway with hubby Prince Harry before the birth of their little prince or princess. For their "babymoon," the duchess and duke escaped for a weekend in Hampshire, England, not far from Windsor, where they have officially moved into their new home to prepare for their family of two becoming a threesome.
As would be expected of a royal couple, Meghan and Harry kept to themselves during their homey weekend, staying in the hotel's biggest and most private apartment "room," at a reported $13,000+ per night.
A "friend" told Britain's The Sun that Meghan and Harry "wanted total rest and relaxation." Heckfield Place is certainly the place for that; check out the property through these beautiful photos!
Originally the home of the Lefevre family — which included a Viscount — during the 18th and 19th centuries, Heckfield Place was refashioned in 2018 into one of the most upscale hotels in England.
Featuring 45 bedrooms in both the original main mansion and a modern wing, the Georgian brick hotel is set amid 400 lush acres, and retains its elegance with a combination of antique and contemporary furnishings. Fireplaces scattered throughout rooms and guest spaces provide a warm ambiance, while rustic and cozy restaurants bring the estate farm's goodies straight to the table — surely the healthy Meghan was able to eat for two without worry during her stay.
Heckfield is not Downton Abbey. While it was built in 1790, it is a modern-day estate meant to pamper its guests while making everyone feel right at home. It is not decorated as a period property, but rather that of a (wealthy) family inviting you into their 2019 home.
The Lofty Long Room Bedroom
The royal couple stayed in Heckfield Place's 1,200-square-foot Long Room, which is a loft apartment featuring a bedroom, living area, kitchen, dining area and two private balconies with views of the estate's lakes and grounds. With vaulted ceilings, the room is secluded from the rest of the house with its own private entrance and even its own guest room (perhaps for an assistant or security?). A personal "Guest Keeper" was available to serve at the beck and call of Meghan and Harry throughout their stay.
In the bedroom, layered textures from stone to wood and wrought iron to silky Italian linens provide a space serene enough for a duchess, as a portrait of Virginia Woolf keeps a watchful eye from above the fireplace. The artwork found throughout the hotel comes for the collection of American billionaire Gerald Chan, who owns the property.
The Long Room Dining Room
Exposed beams and a stone floor in the Long Room's dining room continues the serenity, with a rustic, farmhouse dining table for 10 resting beside a cozy fireplace. Heckfield Place calls it the "perfect place to entertain," but we're guessing at nine months pregnant, entertaining was far from Meghan's mind.
The couple did, however, choose to hide out from other hotel guests by having meals in their "room" during their weekend stay, so the table was seemingly put to good use.
The Long Room Living Room
A fireplace separates the dining and living rooms, with a warm fire available on either side.
The living room's gray palette and velour chairs are a perfect accompaniment to its rustic elements. The room is also of the moment, with a television offering Apple TV and cable. Maybe Meghan enjoyed meals in comfy pajamas on the couch, instead of at the farm table, like any pregnant woman should do!
The Long Room Kitchen
While the couple didn't do any cooking — this was a vacation, after all — the Long Room's very own kitchen is fully outfitted for guests to prepare meals using ingredients picked from the estate's onsite gardens. The oak kitchen features a farmhouse sink, marble countertops, and copper and gold fixtures.
The Long Room Deck
On this Long Room deck, one of two in the apartment, the royal couple took in 180-degree views of the estate. Meghan and Harry also enjoyed breakfast on their private terrace and stayed cozy on patio furniture with soft blankets.
Bathroom in Ochre Room
The Long Room's circular bathroom with a chandelier may have been as luxurious as this bathroom found in Heckfield Place's Ochre Room. Check out the beautiful drapes and the deep soaking tub — pure heaven for a mom-to-be.
Meghan and Harry put on their "Wellies" for walks around the estate grounds, which include fantastic gardens.
Besides watching spring in full bloom for their getaway, the couple enjoyed access to a farm where pigs, chickens and sheep roam. Gardeners and horticulturists often chat with guests; Megan, a fan of the property's biodynamic farming, may have learned more about the process during her strolls.
The Love Swing
Heckfield Place's estate includes this intimate "Love Swing," where Meghan reportedly took in views of the lake while Harry gave her a gentle push. (Do you think they took a selfie while they were here?)
Little Bothy Spa
Nothing is better for an aching pregnant body than some time being pampered at a spa. The hotel's Little Bothy Spa features space for personal training, yoga and Pilates (Meghan is a fan), as well as a quiet sanctuary with an emphasis on wellness and connecting to the natural surroundings.
Juices, infusions and even spa products are made using ingredients from Heckfield Place's apothecary garden.
Little Bothy Spa Room
Pilates may have been too much for Meghan at this late stage of pregnancy, but a mother-to-be massage or facial in a private treatment room at the spa would provide just the relaxation she was seeking before baby's birthday.
Cozy fireplaces continue in the common rooms, like the Moon Bar, a blue-hued space perfect for unwinding.
Ingredients are sourced from the farm and gardens, and rare-batch liquors and handcrafted cocktails are served. Of course, only Harry would be able to grab a drink at the bar (which sits under a disco ball!).
Even though Meghan couldn't imbibe while staying at Heckfield Place, she and Harry could tour this 280-bin cellar. Guests of the property can enjoy private tastings here during their visit.
According to the source who spilled to The Sun, Meghan was "attracted to the organic ethos of the hotel, which produces much of its own food on an on-site farm." The fully bio-dynamically certified farm provides signature recipes and ingredients. Meghan reportedly loved the roasted home-grown vegetables, as well as Heckfield Place's signature chocolate-coated candied orange.
Heckfield Place's main restaurant is Marle, where Chef and Culinary Director Skye Gyngell incorporates the estate farm's ingredients in her creations. Gyngell, the former food editor of Vogue and a Michelin-starred chef trained in France, focuses on the freshest produce and the simplest preparation for her meals.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and does not require you to be a guest of the hotel to sample the food.
For another dining option, available only to hotel guests, Hearth is Heckfield Place's weekend lunch and dinner spot. Also under the direction of Skye Gyngell, the restaurant offers an outdoor dining space on its courtyard when weather in England is agreeable. Inside, this photo is proof of the dining space's warmth and charm.
The dining here is so perfected, the estate asks you to plan for 2.5 hours for the "experience."
Dining in the Sun House
Heckfield Place also has areas it reserves for private events. Meghan and Harry stayed in the Long Room for most of their stay, but the Sunhouse would make for an excellent all-seasons dining spot if they ever wanted to return with friends. The room is situated within the fragrant, bucolic Walled Garden.
Heckfield Place's 69-seat private screening room is often used to show movies, as it did to celebrate the BAFTAs (the British version of the Oscars) with award-winning movies playing in rotation. It also welcomes special events and guest speakers.
Perhaps Harry requested a private showing of Meghan's former television show, "Suits"?
You may not be able to afford the Long Room, like the duke and duchess, but there are other signature rooms that are more affordable. The Coppice Room, for example, is an intimate room with a bay window overlooking the lake. With a palette of dusty rose and sage, the smaller room is equally as comfortable as the loft, and located within the Main House.
Alas, Heckfield Place has a strict "no children" policy for Main House rooms, so if Meghan and Harry ever wanted to return to stay here, they'd need to leave the royal baby with grandma, aka The Queen.
Another signature room of the estate showcases the "Raise & Fielded" paneling traditionally found in Georgian homes in the 17th century. The white walls and sage furnishings continue the hotel's calming decor style.
Connecting to the adjacent Chamber Room, this accommodation can be converted into a two-room suite.
There are even low price-point rooms available at Heckfield Place. If you want to experience a weekend similar to Harry and Meghan (without the same expense and private butler), choose from four other room types: Masters, which offers spacious living areas; Chambers, which provides garden views; cozy guest rooms; and the simple (and small) "Friends Rooms."
All offer access to the property's lovely grounds, shown here at dusk.
Location: Heckfield Place is just 35 minutes from Windsor (70 minutes from London). Trains from London's Waterloo Station to Winchfield station will get you 15 minutes from the estate, and they will arrange a private car to meet you.
Rates: Rates start at $380 per night (Friends Rooms).
Book: Visit Heckfield Place to book a room.