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Heckfield Place, the award-winning Georgian manor estate turned luxury hotel in Hampshire, England, has announced an Autumn Equinox celebration this September to allow guests to reconnect with nature on the bucolic estate. The events are perfectly timed following the UK’s reopening to vaccinated American travelers, who can enter without quarantine as of this week.

Set in its own 438-acre estate of ancient woods, lakes, working farmland and gardens, the 18th-century property located just an hour outside London is the ideal oasis to embrace nature. Earlier this year, Heckfield Place’s Market Garden achieved 100% biodynamic certification, becoming the very first hotel in the United Kingdom to receive this designation. Heckfield’s fully organic Home Farm now provides in myriad ways for the hotel: from flowers, to rotating arable crops and organic produce that inspire the seasonal menus at the hotel’s restaurants Hearth and Marle, led by Culinary Director Skye Gyngell, who champions a root-to-plate ethos.

This September, Heckfield Place has planned a number of events to celebrate the Autumn Equinox as part of its Assembly program to help guests reconnect with the natural elements that surround them. Highlights of Heckfield Place’s Autumn Equinox weekend include the following:

September 17
Watercolor class: Artist Mary Ellen Taylor’s autumn botanical workshop
Guests can reconnect with nature to create a watercolor drawing with the help of renown botanical artist Mary Ellen Taylor. The experience is paired with a three-course lunch.

September 18
The Art of Preservation by Heckfield Kitchen: Heckfield’s Development Chef Dor Harel will demonstrate how to make creations such as chutney, kimchi and preserves using ingredients from the Heckfield orchard, the biodynamic Market Garden and around the estate.

Foraging: The hunt for mushrooms and wild food with Fergus the forager
Professional forager Fergus Drennan will take guests through the Heckfield Estate to search for the season’s pick of wild autumn foods, while learning to safely identify and gather fungi, as well as hedgerow leaves, fruits, nuts and roots.

September 19
Wild swimming talk and dip with Dip Advisor’s Ella Foote: Ella Foote, a swim instructor, explorer and editor, will share stories behind “wild swimming” and lead guests on a dip in the Lower Lake on the Heckfield Estate. The event will finish with a three-course set menu, using the freshest ingredients of the day, in Heckfield’s farm-to-table Marle Restaurant.

Other activities perfect in the autumn include guided walks around the estate, hiking around the nearby Bramshill Forest, biking to one of the local country pubs, bird watching in the woods and a forest bathing excursion. Local excursions that the Heckfield Place team can arrange include horseback riding at the Duke of Wellington’s estate, a round of golf at Bearwood Lakes Golf club, and wine tasting at the eco-friendly Hattingley Valley winery, which specializes in sparkling wines. Guests looking to challenge themselves can try out Heckfield’s Farm Fit circuit-based training using equipment found on the farmland, such as tyres, weighted milk churns, ropes, hay bales, logs and sandbags.

A Georgian family home dating to the 1700s, Heckfield Place has been lovingly restored to its classic origins and rewoven into its surrounding 400 acres of farmland, ancient heather and woodlands. The estate’s farm, two walled gardens and orchards nourish renowned chef Skye Gyngell’s epicurean cuisine, bringing the outside gloriously into the property’s three restaurants–Marle, with its outdoor balcony overlooking the property, the Sun House, a unique space for up to 30 guests in the Upper Walled Garden, and the open-flamed Hearth. Aiming to be as sustainable as possible, the estate has a biomass energy center to power hotel water and central heating; an aerobic digester to process all recyclable waste and provide compost for the garden and pellets for the biomass energy center; harvests rainwater and captures spring water. As part of the Assembly, the hotel’s event rooms can host up to 120 guests and the new state-of-the-art, Dolby Atmos surround sound cinema can accommodate 67 viewers. There is also an extensive wine cellar and tasting room, as well as the full service Little Bothy Spa.

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