The Summer of Love Pop Up Cocktail Bar at The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

I was born in London, but I was brought up in Hertfordshire. I’ve lived between London and the countryside throughout my childhood and as I grew older, The Grove Hotel was somewhere I’ve always wanted to stay. I’ve visited its restaurant The Glasshouse and enjoyed cocktails on the terrace – but now in my serious adult life this is the first time I’ve returned and I’m so glad I made the new journey.

The main reason for our visit to this plush five-star hotel was for its latest pop-up – The Summer of Love. An outdoor cocktail experience which is paying homage to a defining moment of the 1960’s and a social phenomenon that changed the course of history. The year was 1967 and it started in San-Francisco. Now, 5o years later it’s being celebrated for its 50th anniversary and The Grove Hotel are leading that movement. Bubbles and all.

Making our way through the grand hotel and into the grounds, I was so taken back by the hotel – both its size and also its immaculate grounds. You’d need the whole day to really explore them. Our master mixologist was on hand to greet us from the pop-up cocktail bar which is housed within a VW camper – transporting you back to the swinging 60’s.

A shake and a stir later and some of the delicious cocktails started to arrive. There’s a big focus on Plantation Rum in these cocktails and for good reason, because it’s quite delicious. First up for us to sample was a non-alcoholic concoction. Not something I’d usually divulge in, but refreshing at the least! The ‘Love Heart’ was a mix of cucumber, mint, fresh lime, agave nectar and cloudy apple juice. Perfect for those not wanting a sore head the next day.

The ‘Peace Out’ cocktail was a made up of Plantation rum, orange curacao, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon and ginger. A lovely fresh drink and the garnish of Summer fruits coming from the hotels walled garden. Of course a few flying saucers couldn’t be resisted.

Joined by the lovely Angie Silver who was actually hosting this evening along she seemed to have enjoyed the ‘Flower Power Fizz’. Grand Marnier combined with Chambord, strawberry, orange and Skinny Prosecco.

The Grove’s take on the pina colada was another favourite of mine and this classic really is a favourite of mine when on holiday. A combination of Plantation 3 white rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and tropical fruits – plus a good shake and stir.

Classic cheese and pineapple bites on sticks, as well as cantaloupe melon wrapped in prosciutto. A real vintage retro throw-back – even if I was born in the late 80’s.

A quick tour of the surrounding grounds later we were a little peckish and headed for dinner at one of the hotels restaurants – The Stables. Passing though the lush green gardens, water features and stunning views.

Dining in one of the hotels three restaurants, The Stables – it was the perfect place to eat for an early evening Summer dinner. This area of the hotel was actually once the stable block and it’s a marvellous space. I ordered the special of the day which was grilled succulent prawns.

While Angie Silver ordered seabass for main, I ordered a gargantuan chunk of juicy sirloin steak and so did our other lovely company – Twins That Travel. I’m so glad I finally visited The Grove Hotel and while it wasn’t quite the full overnight experience – it was such a lovely introduction. The Summer of Love Pop Up Cocktail Bar is open until 28th August – so you’ll need to be quick! This is one event you won’t want to miss.

NB: My evening was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.