FAQs

Is Birch open?

Yes!

Can anyone stay and visit Birch?

Short answer: yes.

Slightly longer one: just do one of four things…

  • Book a room for the night.
  • Book into The Zebra Riding Club for lunch or dinner.
  • Host an event, work meeting or party at Birch, or be a guest of one of those.
  • Become a member and you can come and go as you please.

Where can I book?

If you want to sleep with us, head here.

If you want to become a member you can join today here

If you want to eat at The Zebra Riding Club – our indoor/outdoor restaurant open Wednesday to Sunday – book a table here.

 

Can anyone eat in The Zebra Riding Club?

Yes. You don’t need to be staying the night with us, or a member, to eat in The Zebra Riding Club. You do need to book ahead though. Head here to do that.

What are the Weekender and WFB stays all about?

When you come to book a stay, and once you’ve decided what size room you want, you’ll notice one of two options: weekender or WFB. Here’s what those mean…

Weekender: Book a stay for Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday night’s on us. You don’t have to use it, but we feel that an extra night means you can make the most of your weekend and really settle into your Sunday. Note: To unlock the ‘Weekender’ availability, set your arrival to Friday and your departure to Monday. Don’t worry, the rate you will see is just for the two nights. 

WFB: Switch ‘working from home’ to ‘working from Birch’ with a midweek stay. You’ll get full use of our Wellness Space, 55 acres of nature, and co-working space (The Hub). So whether you’re looking for a little reset, or just a new office for the day, we’ve got you covered.

What time is check-in and check-out?

We guarantee your room will be ready from 3pm. Check-out is 11am. Feel free to arrive earlier or leave later… There’s plenty to do around the grounds, in The Hub, or in our two restaurants and three bars.

What’s your room cancellation policy?

As we come further out of lockdown no one really knows what might happen to the world in the coming weeks or months. That’s why, until the end of 2020, you can cancel a booking up to 7 days prior to your stay and still get a full refund.

What kind of stuff can I do while I’m at Birch?

Birch looks like a hotel but feels like a festival (i.e. there’s a lot to do here). 

We run a full events programme (from art workshops and maker masterclasses, to festivals and parties), a busy workout schedule (30+ yoga/spin/HIIT classes every week), and a growing programme which includes gardening lessons, foraging walks, and pottery classes.

Work, rest, and play in our Interactive Bakery, three bars, two restaurants run by Robin Gill, co-working space called The Hub, Wellness Space, and pottery, screening, music, and art rooms.

Of course, you can always just rest and reset with a long sleep and lazy walk around our 55 acres of nature.

Can I book one of your events or classes?

We run a range of events – like pottery workshops, candle making masterclasses, or spoon carving courses. And classes – like riding, stretching, and sculpting. You get total access to them when you stay with us or if you’re a member.

If I’m staying with you, how can I book an event or class?

Two weeks before your stay we’ll send you details so you can log in to our website, see what’s going on while you’re with us, and book any events or classes you want.

You can also walk up to one of our on-site butchers, bakers, or pottery makers at any time and ask them to teach you something new. They don’t bite.

 

What can I do for exercise?

There are plenty of ways for you to work up a sweat at Birch… Run in our 55 acres of land or in the Gym. Swim in our 25-metre lido (opening Spring 2021). Spin, sculpt, and stretch in one of our 30+ weekly classes. Or head out for a foraging walk with farmer Tom.

What’s the easiest way to get to Birch (handle.silk.comet)?

Catch a train from London Liverpool Street station to Cheshunt station. It’s then a 5-10 minute taxi or Uber from the station to us. If you’re getting an Uber, book it around 5-10 minutes before you arrive at Cheshunt station and it should get there when you do. The whole trip should take 30-40 minutes.

Our postcode is EN7 5HW. Our what3words is ///handle.silk.comet. If you’re driving, we’re just off the M25 and have plenty of space for parking. Cycling? We can store your bike safely.

Are kids welcome?

Of course. We just ask that children are always with a parent or guardian.

If you’re sleeping over then you may want to choose a Bunk room which is ideal for families. We also have some double rooms that fit an extra bed. Got more than two kids? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Drop us a note and we’ll try sort something.

Is there stuff for kids to do?

Yep – a bucket and spade load.

Outside you’ve got trees, nature, chickens, and open spaces. Inside you’ve got the Arcade (our games room), bakery, Art Room and Screening Room. And all over the place we’ve got frisbees, films, and board games.

We run events for kids too. Like Forest School every Saturday. And there are also plenty of family friendly classes such as pottery workshops or Collage Club that are great to do together with your children. That’s not to mention nature walks and egg collecting with farmer Tom, or drop-in soda bread making sessions with the bakers. We adapt our schedule to seasonality so there’s always plenty going on at the weekends and during the school holidays.

Wander the woods. Get dirty. Make memories. Birch is a playground for all.

Can I bring my dog?

Yep. They’re welcome in all our communal areas (excluding the Interactive Bakery). Just be considerate of others. While you love your dog, and we love your dog, not everyone may be a fan.

If you want them to sleep over too just let us know in advance via the comments box at the time you make your reservation so we can plan accordingly. It’s £15 for the stay (regardless of how many dogs you’re bringing or nights you’re staying).

 

Cash or card?

Birch (handle.silk.comet) is cashless so no notes or coins needed. We accept all major cards, including Amex.

Our Approach to Covid

Has Birch changed because of COVID?

Yes in terms of keeping things safe. But no, not in terms of what you can do with us…

Birch is about creating open spaces that bring people together. And while recent months have changed some things, they’ve not changed how you can enjoy Birch. 

We’ve made sure everything is safe inside, but Birch is best on the outside anyway. From garden feasts and fire pits. To laid-back picnics with plenty of drinks.

Guidelines have been followed and best practices are in place. And with 55 acres of nature to explore, enjoy, and escape in, you can be as solitary or as social as you like at Birch.

 

How are you keeping Birch safe? 

– We’ve carried out risk assessments and put together our own policy and practices to keep everyone safe.  

– We’ve put in place measures to make sure that any of the Birch team you interact with are safe and healthy.

– We’ve implemented processes to help with safe and social distancing.

– We’ve set up shed loads of sanitising stations for everyone to use.

Help us with the safe stuff above, and we promise to let you get on with the best bits of Birch. Without any mention of the C word.That’s some of the physical health pointers, but your emotional health is also so important. Fun, laughter, and togetherness are at the top of our priority list right now. 

It will be safe, sociable, and damn exciting. It’s time to reconnect.

Let’s face this together

We’re not fans of setting rules and regs that you have to follow. However, this one’s important as it’s to keep everyone safe (and is new government legislation)…

What you need to know
On 31st July, the government announced a change in the law which makes it mandatory for people to wear face coverings in public areas of hotels as of 8th August. This excludes children or those who have circumstance not to.

What this means for you at Birch
If you’re in an indoor public space you need to wear a face covering. There are some exceptions. Firstly, if you’re eating or drinking in our bars, restaurants, or at The Hub. Secondly, if you’re in the Wellness Space exercising. And if you’re outdoors? Crack on, savour the fresh air, and show everyone your beautiful smile. So… If you’re at The Zebra Riding Club restaurant, working in The Hub (which is a food and drink area), drinking or eating in the bar, doing a wellness class, or just chilling in a deckchair outside – no worries. Show us your pearly whites. Wandering around inside, walking the floors, composing your next hit track in the Music Room, watching the baker, picking up your grub? Sorry, time to cover that pretty face.

What our team is doing
Our staff are wearing face coverings too (and smiling underneath), and we have pretty strict protocols in place to make sure our team and you are not at risk. We’re all together in this.

What’s open?

Everything, unless advice changes (the Lido opens Spring 2021). Of course, how you would ‘normally’ use The Wellness Space, The Hub, Valeries or our bars is slightly different. But…

Our two restaurants, The Zebra Riding Club and Valeries, are in full swing (see below for opening and closing times). The drinks trolleys are out. And there are some hidden extras along the way.

If you are using the Wellness Space just remember that although we have changing rooms it’s currently best to arrive in your kit and shower at home if you can. And do remember your water bottle. We have a fountain but, for obvious reasons, it’s currently no mouth to tap.We’re running a full events and classes programme which includes workshops, talks, and drop-in sessions. And with summer here we’re making full use of our 55 acres of nature.

 

I’m bored working from home. Can you help?

Ok, we’ve planted this question. But while you’re here, the answer is yes… 

Our co-working space, The Hub, will be open. Bring your laptop, grab a coffee, and get creative. There are plenty of charging points around, with hot desks and phone booths also available.

The Hub is open to members and anyone staying with us (if you’re coming midweek then our ‘WFB’ stay is for you – more on that above). Want to know more about membership? This way please.

How will I eat and drink?

Well.

Robin Gill, who’s in charge of all our food and drink, has created numerous new ways for you to feast on food. Like The Zebra Riding Club restaurant which makes full use of its inside/outside space, and our all-day dining restaurant Valeries. That’s not to mention special snacks for you to enjoy on rugs outside.

Rest assured, there’s plenty on the menu.

Staying with us?

The next few questions are for you…

How does check-in work?

 Two days before your stay we’ll send you an email so you can check in online. Keep an eye out for it. It will make your arrival even easier.

How do I get through Birch’s entrance gate?

We should have your car reg assuming you’ve checked in online. We will get you set up on the gate so that you can come and go as you please during your stay. Any issues just shout. If you’re arriving by taxi, just ring the buzzer.

Where do I park?

There’s loads of parking which we’ll direct you to when you arrive. First off though, swing by the Mansion House to say hi.

When will my room be ready?

3pm is the general rule of thumb. However, feel free to arrive earlier. Grab some food. Work in The Hub. Work out in the Wellness Space. Meet the chickens. Birch is all yours.

When does my room get cleaned?

Before your stay we’ll do a deep clean and check of the room. Once you’re in, it’s your private space and we won’t come in again until you say goodbye. We want your room to be your space.

Of course if you need anything then just ask our Placemakers.

How do I contact a Placemaker? 

Call, text, WhatsApp: 07899 005 487. Any time. Any request.

What if I need an iron?

Speak with our Placemakers and we’ll sort it. FYI: this goes for most things.

You say Birch is ‘pay as you go.’ What does that mean?

Nothing too tricky here… You pay for things as you use them. Eat something, pay there and then. Drink something, ditto. This avoids any annoying check-out nonsense so you can come and go easily. 

Wanna go old skool and set up a credit account to charge things to? No worries. Chat with our Placemakers and we’ll sort it.

What do I need to do to check out?

Basically nothing. Just drop your key at Reception whenever you want to go before 11am and leave it at that. This avoids you having to queue in a check-out line for 20 minutes. 

So, just to repeat… Drop your key at reception. That’s it. 

What do I do for food??

You’ve got a few options here.

The Zebra Riding Club: our main attraction open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday, and for lunch Friday to Sunday. Tables are spaced and, as The Zebra Riding Club is an indoor/outdoor restaurant, there’s plenty of fresh air to drink in. Bookings open a month in advance of a given day. Note: it’s best to book ahead to avoid a sad face come your stay. You can book a table here (dinner bookings are between 5-8pm, 8pm being our last sitting, with the restaurant closing at 10pm).

Valeries: our all-day dining restaurant in the middle of the Mansion House. Head there 7am-10pm for pastas, salads, grilled goodies, and sweet treats. 

Store: in The Hub and open 7am-5pm. Ideal for brekkie, coffees, lunch-time sarnies, and all-day snacks. 

Links Bar: order food (like flatbreads, crab on toast, crudités, and chips) from the bar menu and take it wherever you like. Our fave spots? The back lawn and Links Garden. Want a more serene spot? Try the Library, or even on a deckchair in the Screening Room.

Need a nightcap? Our restaurants and bars will now close at 10pm. Fear not though… If you’re sleeping over then very soon you’ll be able to order bottled cocktails, bottles of wine, and other goodies direct to your room post 10pm
.

What about drinks?

The Links Bar is open as usual but only doing table service. Put your feet up. We’ll be with you as quickly as possible.

It’s Saturday morning and, for reasons I don’t want to share on a FAQs page, I want someone to look after my kids. Can you help?
Yep. This is what Young Adventurers Club (that’s our name for it, you might just call it ‘childcare’) is for. Our experienced Forest School team will take care of your young saplings for 2 hours of outdoor fun and adventure available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Suitable for children aged 5-11 (those under 5 need to be accompanied by a parent), they’ll explore the woods, play games, and get involved in a range of nature-connecting activities. Like making tree swings and mud pies, or getting familiar with the farm and cooking. You can book Young Adventurers Club on our website or via a Placemaker.

I haven’t booked any events or classes. Can I still join one? And how do I know what is on today?

See what’s on at our events  or  classes  page. You can book through there. Or, head to Reception and you can see that day’s schedule. The Placemakers can get you booked onto things and chat to you about what’s what.  

Yes, it’s best to book this stuff in advance. However, there’s plenty going on so we’ll do our best to get you into something.

Final one… What is open?  And when is it open?

The Zebra Riding Club

Wednesday and Thursday: 5pm-10pm (last sitting at 8pm)

Friday and Saturday: Midday-4pm & 5pm-10pm (last sitting at 8pm)

Sunday: midday-4pm. Starting from 4th October this will become midday-9pm (last sitting at 7pm).

Valeries

For lunch and dinner, every day (7am-10pm).

Links Bar

For food, every day (midday-10pm).

For drinks, every day (9am – 10pm). 

Store

For breakfast, every day (7am – midday).

For lunch, every day (midday – 4pm).

For dinner, sorry, we shut up shop.

Wellness Space

Monday – Friday (7am – 8pm)

Saturday – Sunday (8am – 6pm)

 

P.S. If you can’t find what you need, don’t have want you want, or just fancy a natter, our Placemakers are there to chat. No question too small or silly.

Right, enough of all the questions already. Just come see for yourself.

Chickens