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The summit of Box Hill – one of the spots Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ might have walked and picnicked amongst the Box trees.

”It was a delightful visit;-perfect, in being much too short.”  Jane Austen Emma

Mercure Box Hill Buford Bridge Hotel, Surrey launches an exclusive ‘Jane Austen experience’ – a limited afternoon tea and walking map inspired by the bicentenary of the writers passing on the 18th July.  Having always been a Jane Austen fan I was very keen to trace the steps of the literary heroine, 200 year’s after her death.

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Too pretty to eat!

 

The limited afternoon tea is a real treat featuring Austen’s favourite Bath buns and cucumber sandwiches both of which are mentioned in her famed novel ‘Emma,’ part of which she wrote whilst staying at the Buford Bridge hotel.

Austen’s infamous quote can be spotted on the wall of the Emlyn restaurant where we experienced fine British contemporary cuisine looking out over Box Hill, an area of outstanding beauty following our literary walk.  ‘They had a very fine day for Box Hill…Nothing was wanting but to be happy when they got there.  Seven miles were travelled in expectation and enjoyment and everybody had a burst of admiration on first arriving.’

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Walking Map inspired by Jane Austen and the other notable literary guests who have stayed at Box Hill Buford Bridge.

Mercure Box Hill Buford Bridge is rich in history and literary connections.  Other notable guests include the young poet John Keats who found inspiration in the hotels gardens to complete his epic poem ‘Endymion.’  Queen Victoria, Wordsworth and Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton also stayed at the hotel.

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Local historian talking us through the hotels notable literary connections.

 

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Surrey K’s Ross and Emma enjoying the bucolic surroundings.

 

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Experiencing the admiration for Box Hills beauty that Austen’s Emma speaks of in the novel for myself.

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Word of warning – the climb is steep.

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However the stunning views at the top are worth every step of the climb.

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Box Hill Fort

The Jane Austen experience will be available to book directly with the hotel from 12th July until 10th September 2017.

I would also recommend treating yourself to a meal in the hotels Emlyn restaurant.  I attended a masterclass with the restaurants chef Nick Sinclair and his team in November 2016 and was impressed by their dedication and commitment to serving high quality local and regional produce.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto

I cannot recommend the Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto enough.  I’m a huge risotto fan and I think its fair to say this is one of the best I’ve ever eaten.  A good example of what to expect from Nick and his team, the artichoke has been matched with three complimentary elements, walnut, pear and norbury cheese to bring the dish alive.  So moorish I wish I’d ordered it in a larger quantity for mains rather than as a small plate to start.

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Seared scallops & maple bacon, cauliflower, Ras en halout, golden raisins, Ver Jus.

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Beetroot Cured Salmon, Horseradish, vacations of Beetroot, Cream Fraiche.

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Pulled Hand of Pork & Nduja Croquette, pickled red cabbage, mustard mayonnaise.

 

My husband and I both enjoyed the slow confit belly & pan roast fillet of pork, creamed kale & pancetta, cider braised apples and burnt apple puree for mains.

The only downside of our time at Box Hill Buford Bridge was that we had to pass on pudding to get home in time to relieve our childminder.

The Jane Austen experience offered by Mercure Buford Bridge Box Hill would be the perfect gift for a family member or friend who has a keen interest in literature. And for those of you who are not so keen on literary history then I promise the hotels hand-made bath buns served with strawberry jam and clotted cream and delicate afternoon tea pastries are so delicious that you’ll not be disappointed.  If you are a tea geek like me then your afternoon tea also comes with this awesome timer and infusion card to ensure the perfect cup.

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This kept me amused for ages and did indeed produce the perfect cup of mint tea.

There is something to please everyone this summer at Mercure Box Hill Buford Bridge Hotel, a fascinating Jane Austen experience, beautiful surroundings, and fantastic food and drink.

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Jane Austen limited afternoon tea.