So you’ve managed to convince your in-laws to babysit for the weekend or have farmed out your offspring to various unsuspecting aunties and uncles. But now just where to you go to make the most of your precious time sans infants?
The last thing you want to do is waste hours stuck in the car so opt for one of these luxe romantic spots that are all within a couple of hours drive of London.
Chewton Glen is the quintessential English country house hotel, indeed it has been voted best of it’s kind in the world, amongst many other accolades.
While all the rooms are all fabulous, the tree house suites are beyond amazing. Fully kitted out with their own wood burning stoves, terraces and hot tubs, they are the height of luxury.
Nestled in a 130 acre estate on the edge of the New Forest, the list of nearby attractions includes beautiful woodland walks, fishing, golf, cycling and sailing on the South Coast. But if you prefer not to stray to far from your gorgeous room then the onsite activies are very impressive too. Pop into the spa, swim in the heated outdoor pool or even try your hand at falconry.
Much of the food served in the Dining Room restaurant is produced in the hotel’s kitchen garden and can be washed down with one of the 1800 wines on their wine list.
Chewton Glen is the kind of hotel that you’ll always long to return to.
Country manors don’t come much more glamorous that Coworth. The 17th-century mansion and polo estate has been treated to an intelligent and eco-friendly modern makeover that’s given it three restaurants, a spectacular spa, and an air of quietly confident grandeur.
Set in 240 acres it has an onsite equestrian centre with a Guards Polo Academy where you can have lessons or simply head out on horse back on a ride through the stunning grounds.
Afternoon tea in the Drawing Room is a particular highlight. Then later dress up for cocktails in the super chic bar.
If you’re looking to be swept up in a truly glamourous getaway then this is the place.
The Pig near Bath
This is the third little piggy following in the footsteps of the The Pig and The Pig in the Wall. It is perhaps the prettiest of them all. A beautiful country house that makes you feel as if you are in the set of a period drama with it’s tastefully decorated rooms, sweeping gravel driveway and stunning oil paintings.
However the real highlight is the gastromy. Head chef Kamil Oseka sources everything within a 25-mile radius, much from the hotel’s own well stocked and much loved garden, and rustles up unfussy seasonal feasts.
It’s a place to relax, unwind and enjoy feeling like a house guest at a fantastic county pile.
This place really does tick every imaginable box. Michelin- starred restaurant, award winning spa, 500- acre estate – there is even a cookery school if you feel like trying out something different a deux. You’ll be in the capable hands of head chef Hywel Jones who earned the place its Michelin star. He serves up elegant culinary creations in the opulent dining room that was once a ballroom. Check out the stunning ceiling with a fresco of the sky.
On a sunny day wander around the stunning formal gardens and on a chilly one make yourself at home in the beautiful library.
This is the kind of place you can wear long to dinner and no one will bat an eyelid.
The Close Cotswolds
With it’s dark painted walls and quirky interiors, The Close is a modern take on the Cotswolds. You’ll still find that old world charm but it’s mixed with a modern edge that gives the revamped 16th century farmhouse a comfy chic feel.
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, it’s a great place to explore the area or just chill out on one of the many deckchairs in the garden. With two restaurants and a stylish bar it offers a relaxed, yet stylish, break.
The Dormy House Hotel
This boutique hotel is one for those with a love of great interiors. The 17th-century farmhouse was given a 21st-century makeover by interior design talents Todhunter Earle. We love the combination of calm neutral textures and bold geometric prints.
Add to that the award winning, sleek, Scandi-chic House Spa that spans several floors and you realize this is a place where you can while away hours on a cold winter weekend.
But if you do decide to venture out the hotel can organize endless activities such as bike hire and picnic hampers to enjoy on the 400-acre estate or a round of golf at the neighboring Broadway Golf Club.
Eat in the Garden Room restaurant with its picture perfect views over the nearby village or try a relaxed pub lunch in the Potting Shed.
Rustic chic meets cosmopolitan style would sum up this Cotswold’s star.
The Gallivant East Sussex
If you’re looking to blow the cobwebs away on one of the UK’s most dramatic beaches, then a stay at the Gallivant could be just the ticket.
Describing itself as a ‘restaurant with rooms’, this relaxed beach spot is just across the road from the rolling dunes of Camber Sands.
With a clutch of awards (coolest beach hotel etc), it has 20 rooms all decorated in a Hamptons esque style.
The New England feel continues into the restaurant where you’ll be served with the delicious local fare that got the Gallivant included in Squaremeal’s top 100 Restaurant List 2016.
The Hoste Hotel, Burnham Market, Norfolk
Who doesn’t love Burnham Market? All those lovely galleries and shops to potter around in and some of the most best beaches in England, such as Brancaster and Holkham, just a stone’s throw away.
And right on the high street of this pretty village you’ll find the Hoste Hotel.
Traditional, cosy and full of charm, each room is individually decorated – you can see them all on the website and pick your favourite in advance. The superb restaurant that prides itself on using ingredients sourced from within a 30-mile radius of the kitchen is a busy, lively affair and always booked up so be sure to make a reservation.
There is a private cinema room with your own personal waiter and don’t forget to spend some time in the Hoste’s excellent spa and try one of the Espa and Gatineau treatments.