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Hotel Review: The Crown Inn, Amersham in Buckinghamshire

Words by Zana Wilberforce

Set in the gingerbread town of Old Amersham with the rolling Chiltern Hills providing the backdrop, The Crown Inn is a charming countryside coaching inn, whose first check-ins date all the way back to 1728!

With rustic creaky-floored bedrooms redesigned by Scandinavian interior designed Ilse Crawford, the whole inn provides a cosy yet modern feel.

Only 45 minutes from London at the end of the Metropolitan Line in Amersham, this modern coaching inn is exactly what us city dwellers have been desperately seeking. There’s an instant sense of escapism when leaving the tube on the way to the The Crown.

Despite the drizzle, we decided to embark on a scenic route through a shaded wooded valley passing wheat fields and superb country houses, perching on a bench once in a while to slow down and take in the soothing silence.

The reception area has a cosy reading corner on arrival with piles of newspapers and magazines, instilling a sense of comfort and palpable peace. If time permits, lounge here after check-in with a refreshing local ale in hand.

The bedrooms

The first attraction might have been the large bed centred in the middle, held together with stern black beams that replicate a 19th-century boudoir with a striking minimalist twist.

Bedrooms have a rustic-scandi vibe with pared back decor and cosy touches

Or it might be the luxurious free-standing roll-top bath across the room adding a touch of elegance and romance to the pared-back portrait.

The stylish bathroom isn’t immediately in view, concealed coquettishly to the right in an airy space boasting a spacious modern shower and squeaky-clean white tiles. Other modern flourishes include surround sound speakers pocketed in all four corners of the room and a huge TV.

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is in the main building and includes a continental spread sprawled out across a large wooden dining table in the style of a decadent banquet. The feast is made up of delicate pastries, pungent juices and an abundance of fruit.

The restaurant offers an aura of antiquity in contrast to the minimalist boutique bedrooms

From the breakfast menu, choose from hearty English and vegetarian breakfasts and a comforting cup of coffee or a pot of tea. The archway doors, rustic wooden beams and bare brick offer an aura of antiquity in contrast to the minimalist boutique bedrooms.

How about lunch?

Lunch is set in the comfy bar-area-turned-restaurant, Bubble&, by Million Pound Menu winners Rupert and Marita who have created a modern version of bubble and squeak.

The couple garnered chef Atul Kochhar’s attention during the BBC TV show, and moved in February this year to charm locals and guests from further afield. Their signature is the “Bubble& Classic”, soft-poached free-range eggs with smoked bacon and hollandaise sauce.

We couldn’t resist Rupert’s BBQ menu made up of rump steak or chicken tikka with a side of fresh salad, apple and fennel slaw and an accompaniment of harissa yoghurt.

There’s a vast selection of crisp local ales to pair with your meal and an extensive wine list behind the bar. Take yourself out to the cobblestone courtyard and enjoy the clean country air.

Atul Kochhar is a twice-Michelin-starred chef, whipping up new recipes combining Indian and British flavours at Hawkyns restaurant within the hotel grounds

And what about dinner?

Atul Kochhar is a twice-Michelin-starred chef, whipping up new recipes combining Indian and British flavours at Hawkyns restaurant within the hotel grounds. Opt for Kochhar’s tasting menu to sample a range of the best bits. The samosa chaat appears first on the menu, shrouded in sweet yoghurt and tamarind chutney.

If you opt for the wine pairing option, the samosa is expertly matched with Bodegas Sauvignon Blanc from Chile to subtly contrast any underlying spice. Next comes the sea bass with a rich coconut moilée sauce to break up the palate.

Hawkyns serves delicious Pan-Indian cuisine including a popular tasting menu

The main event has to be the tandoori chicken with makhani sauce, or grilled lamb chops (Erachi Chettinad) coupled with Pinot Noir McManis from California.

This is another lighter wine on the list that steers clear from being too rich or dominating, showcasing the freshest ingredients and making sure the food steals the show.

Sides are a good call—soft warm garlic naan bread and pilau rice are classics. Dessert is light, featuring a fruity concoction of tandoori pineapple and mango bhapa doi that arrives in a decorative flourish, validating Kochhar’s eye for presentation.

Within a short walk you’ll find

The quiet village of old Amersham is ideal for ambling and exploring the low ceilings and intimacy of the local pubs. A bit of retail therapy is also on the cards for fans of contemporary clothing brands like Whistles and Hobbs and a few charity shops.

Room rates:
Standard – £125
Deluxe – £155
Superior – £195
Suite – £250

Address: 16 High St, Amersham HP7 0DH
Phone: 01494 721541