Country houses don’t come much grander than this flamboyant Italianate mansion with acres of woods, formal gardens and a stretch of the Thames to call its own. Cliveden lives and breathes unashamed extravagance, and with ex-Galvin at Windows chef André Garrett newly installed, it’s a dream ticket for those craving a taste of the good life. Garrett delivers quietly impressive, contemporary French cuisine, whether a superb roast game consommé topped with Jerusalem artichoke cream and served with a mini cep brioche or his update of classic sole Véronique. Elsewhere, saddle of West Country venison Grand-Veneur promises melting textures, deep flavours and glossy saucing, while memorable desserts include an unmissable rice-pudding soufflé. For all its chandeliers and tradition, the sumptuous, softly hued dining room exudes intimacy, the view is stunning and staff are full of enthusiasm. In short, an entrancing and seductively graceful experience from start to finish.