British Travel Journal | Spring 2023

Page 1



An eclectic collection of unique properties, with personalities as distinctly individual as our guests. Effortless comfort, sublime locations, absorbing stories and a consistent ability to deliver the unexpected.







FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Rutherford


HEAD OF DIGITAL Adrian Wilkinson


Sophie Farrah, Chantal Haines, Vanessa Humphrey, Jane Knight, Sophie Minto, Adrian Mourby, Karyn Noble, Natalie Paris

Blossom by blossom the spring begins, prompting an array of floral masterclasses (page 78), and other wonderful courses, including cooking, surfing and beekeeping (page 38). Once you have learned a new skill, why not celebrate with a wellness break from our restorative assortment of Holistic Highs (page 52) or hide away in a romantic bolthole for two (page 90).

If you’re ready for a pawsome adventure with your beloved four-legged friend, you’ll be pleased to discover that almost all the hotels and self-catering properties featured in our Travel News (page 9) are either entirely dog-friendly or have designated bedrooms for ‘pawfect’ stays.

One such pooch-welcoming retreat is Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds. Here, we meet executive chef Ricki Weston to learn more about his life as a rising star in modern British gastronomy and the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant (page 44). And we even master the art of paddleboarding in the Lake District with a five-year-old vizsla in tow (page 64).

If it’s a city break you’re after this season, our writers uncover the most à la mode attractions in beautiful Bath (page 28) and walk the charming maze of twisting narrow lanes in York (page 84). 3 Paddleboarding on Derwentwater in the Lake District National Park All rights reserved by Contista Media Ltd. Copyright is either owned by or licenced to Contista Media Ltd, or permitted by the original copyright holder. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. While every care is taken prices and details are subject to change and Contista Media Ltd take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Views expressed by authors are not necessarily those of the publisher. CONTISTA MEDIA
–@BritishTravelJournal @BTravelJournal @BritishTravelJournal Published by Unit 6, Basepoint, Andersons Road, Southampton, SO14 5FE 01489 660680


Time to be awakened. By the incomprehensible array of plants in bloom at the Abbey Garden. By an equinox yoga practise or a cool coastal escape. By open water swimming, Tresco-wide walking, by nourishing nature as it comes to life with the island’s unique rhythm.

Tresco: 28 miles off the Cornish coast. Somewhere else altogether.


SPRING 2023 | ISSUE 14



Why just wander through Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage streets when you can glide above them in a hot-air balloon! Be sure to embrace a revitalising dip in the UK’s only naturally hot thermal waters and don’t miss the city’s hottest new restaurant opening, Beckford Canteen



Take on an exciting new challenge while learning a new skill. From horse riding in the Highlands and cooking like Raymond Blanc with his mother's own recipes in Oxfordshire, to painting spectacular Cornish landscapes


Find unique ways to nurture yourself with a wellness stay at one of the UK’s leading spa retreats, including rediscovering yourself in Cornwall, harnessing the power of nature under a full moon in West Sussex, and taking a Wim-Hof-style cold-water plunge in the Surrey Hills


There's water, water everywhere in this stunning part of England, and oh so many ways to enjoy it, including paddleboarding on Lake Derwentwater with dog Wilbur in tow


Take a stroll inside the medieval walls of York as you locate some of the city’s most remarkable buildings and landmarks, including York Minster, Lendal Bridge, York Art Gallery, The Shambles and Yorkshire Museum



Young, ambitious, and experimental, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa's Ricki Weston chats to us about his classical culinary techniques, eco-escapism, having guests in the kitchen, and the launch of his new tasting menu this spring  5
64 28



There’s lots to experience and look forward to this year, from wild Scottish cabins with Nordic saunas and a pond for swimming to luxurious stone cottages in an entirely new Cotswolds village, or travel pier to pier on a brand-new cycling route in Somerset



Discovered during a hotel stay at the recently refurbished Goodwood Hotel in Sussex, their new homemade Levin Down Goodwood Gin is perfectly balanced. First sipped in the hotel bar and later enjoyed at home following a visit to the Goodwood Farm Shop, it's handcrafted from locally grown wild botanicals, and distilled with mineral water filtered through the very chalk Downs that surround the estate. You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel for a taste of this authentic London Dry refined from the wilds of West Sussex, as it is also available to order online.

 Priced £40,


One of four luxury spa days for two (with heavenly treatments and sumptuous food) could be yours, thanks to four idyllic Pride of Britain Hotels: Ockenden Manor; Hartwell House; Calcot & Spa; and The Headland Hotel


In our curated selection of luxurious hotel bathrooms you will find lavish interiors, spacious walk-in rain showers, side-by-side bathtubs, twin sinks, outdoor tubs on private terraces, high-tech innovation and fabulous views



Which floral masterclass is right for you? Take your pick from crafting fresh spring wreaths made from Cumbrian foliage; growing flowers at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ Hartley Botanic glasshouse; or creating beautiful bouquets at Scotland’s charming Victorian mansion, Cromlix



Treat yourself to a luxury spring getaway; whether you prefer a design-led bothy, a chic cottage or a windswept clifftop cabin, we have a remote hideaway for you and your loved one to snuggle down in


Get outside and explore with our spring book recommendations, or sharpen the mind with a crossword challenge for the chance to win a stylish Ettinger passport cover and luggage tag


Let your feet do the talking and invest in a new pair of comfortable trainers this spring. As well as shoes, ARNE have launched a new range of activewear.

 Womens Active Runner, £100


The PerfecT GifT

PoB Hotels gift vouchers can be redeemed for an unforgettable stay, delightful dining, or an inspiring experience at any of their hotels across the British Isles.


Alberta Whittle: Dipping below a waxing moon, the dance claims us for release

Until 8 May 2023

Painted Love: Renaissance Marriage Portraits

26 May to 1 October 2023

Michael Simpson: Drawing towards Painting

Against the backdrop of a renowned collection experience critically acclaimed exhibitions of historical and contemporary art, lectures, concerts, workshops and events or indulge in our Garden Café.

6 May to 17 September 2023

Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery

George Shaw

14 July 2023 to 7 January 2024

A Corner of a Foreign Field

‘Without Hands’ The Art of Sarah Biffin

Édouard Vuillard

29 September 2023 to 14 January 2024

The Poetry of the Everyday Lauren Child

Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris

The Art of Illustration

27 October 2023 to 14 April 2024


A Life in Print

Henri Matisse

Master of Line

Against the backdrop of a renowned collection experience critically acclaimed exhibitions of historical and contemporary art, lectures, concerts, workshops and events or indulge in our Garden Café

Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB

Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB


From cosying up fireside in a country cottage, to stargazing from a dreamy hot tub at your clifftop hideaway, escape the everyday and seek the magic of a staycation with Boutique Retreats. With over 260 luxury abodes to choose from, uncover our curated collection of luxury retreats, set in unique locations across the UK.

2019 HIGHLIGHTS +44 (0)1872 553 491 enquirie s@


Hip hotels, budget beach boltholes and a stunning treehouse for 10 are among our latest batch of hot new properties to tempt you this spring


from page 10

from page 14

from page 16

from page 20

Pictured above: The Braken Hide Hotel. Inset, left to right: Boys Hall Hotel; Forest Holidays, Garwnant; West Barsham Estate; Wild Drovers Way


Hux Hotel, Kensington

When they say they didn’t hold back with their new suite, the folk at the hip and happening Hux Hotel next to Kensington Palace Gardens weren’t kidding. With vibrant walls and lavish furnishings, The Huxy One features work by Icelandic artist Kristjana S Williams. Stuffed animals abound: a peacock stands in the blue sitting room, a swan is stalled in flight in the swish bathroom, and a parrot occupies a dressing-room perch. We’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s the last word in extravagance or an animal-lover’s nightmare. ◆

 From £1,050 a night,


No 42 by Guesthouse

The Telegraph calls Tracey Emin’s hometown a ‘beacon of Bohemia’ and Tatler says its art scene rival’s Ibiza’s. From June, you can take in the wonders of Margate while based at this 21-room hotel, which has record players in the rooms along with coffeemakers in mini beach huts, a rooftop bar and a beachfront cafe. ◆

 Rooms from £155,


Tongue Hotel

The views are already pretty good from this former sporting lodge, which overlooks the Kyle of Tongue, on the scenic North Coast 500 route. Now it’s equally enticing within, following a facelift from new owner Highland Coast Hotels, which added bursts of colour and fresh furnishings to wood panelling and antiques. ◆

 Rooms from £149, with breakfast,

Hotel News


Barnsdale Lodge

Following its success with Berkshire’s Retreat at Elcot Park, The Signet Collection is introducing the same formula to rural Rutland. With sublime views of Rutland Water, Barnsdale Lodge is surrounded by walking trails, and comes with an on-site beauty salon.

 Rooms from £120, with breakfast,

KENT Boys Hall

Sometimes restaurants with rooms are more about the food than the furnishings. Not so at this Jacobean manor house, with its seven super-smart bedrooms – think rolltop baths, four posters and window seats. The enormous, beamed restaurant makes a great backdrop, too, for chef Shane Pearson’s gourmet version of home-cooked favourites. Just a 35-minute train ride from London, Boys Hall is the passion project of husband-and-wife team Bradley and Kristie Lomas. There’s more to come, with new rooms and cabins due to open later this year, along with treatment rooms and an outdoor pizza oven plus garden-room bar. ◆

 Rooms from £160, with breakfast,


The Caban, Pendine Sands

Looking for a budget seaside break? Look no further than Carmarthen Bay, where this 14-room hotel overlooks seven miles of sand. Pared back, modern rooms cost from just £80. Better still, the hotel is next door to the new Museum of Land Speed, which replaces the Museum of Speed. The attraction opens on 31 March, the same day as The Caban. ◆

 11
Editor loves


Updown Farmhouse

It’s all very rustic at this little restaurant with rooms in 7.5 acres of rolling Kent countryside. Everything is cooked in the outdoor kitchen, with its baker’s oven built into the stable wall and wood-fired grill; guests eat in a covered outdoor space. The short menu might be Italian leaning but it’s strong on local produce. Typical dishes include tagliolini with chilli and crab and braised short rib with pickled walnut. Within the 17th-century farmhouse are five block-coloured rooms, while another is set within the gardener’s cottage outside. ◆

 Rooms cost from £250, with breakfast,

Sup and sleep in Suffolk-sur-sea, aka Aldeburgh, where this former inn has just opened six beautifully designed bedrooms to go with its seafront restaurant. Should you get peckish after the excellent seafood at dinner, you can raid the first-floor pantry.

Rooms from £180,


Bracken Hide Hotel, Skye

Wilderness meets hotel at this Scottish bolthole, which opens mid April. Rooms are in 27 cabins spread over the 53-acre site, which is also home to a pair of Nordic saunas and a pond for wild swimming. A whisky bar, a games room and a restaurant are in the main building. ◆

 From £150 a night,




Forest Holidays, Garwnant

Just in time for spring, Forest Holidays has opened in Wales' beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, amid 400 acres of woodland. Its 40 timber cabins with large decks are designed to let guests immerse themselves in nature. Head out on two wheels to explore forest trails, then build dens, and learn about the big outdoors on one of the new Forest Ranger experiences. Return to your private hot tub and indulge in a little star spotting: the park is a Dark Sky Reserve. ◆

 Cabins sleep two to 10 guests and cost from £1,510 to £2,935 for four nights in April,


The Glastonbury Pop Up Hotel

If you want to glamp at Glastonbury, book now to bag a yurt, a gypsy caravan or an emperor tent. Classic rooms have already sold out; prices are now from £3,399 for two. It’s not cheap, but you do get proper beds, a restaurant, spa and swimming pool access, all a ten-minute walk from gate D. ◆



Icelandic Turf House

Channel your inner Viking at a quirky turf house near Kirkby Stephen. Beneath the grass roof you’ll find a bed lined with faux fur, a table for feasting, Viking-style lamps, and horn glasses to drink from. Set off from the door for walks in the fells, then return to cook on the BBQ or in the kitchen hut. ◆

 From £75 a night for two,



Field of Dreams glampsite at Melbourne Hall

For a change from tents, why not stay in a German fire truck, an American school bus, or even a helicopter? The vehicles form part of comedian and TV star Johnny Vegas’ new glampsite. Moving from his original Yorkshire pitch in search of something bigger, the eponymous star of Channel 4’s Johnny Vegas: Carry on Glamping picked the Derbyshire home of Lord and Lady Kerr to host his Field of Dreams campsite, opening in April. Combine a stay with one of the boutique events held at the hall. ◆

 Two nights from £330,

The Journeyman Treehouse

Treehouses don’t come much better than this. Sleeping 10, the woodland retreat has twin baths on the veranda, a pool table and a movie projector, as well as a fire pit, a BBQ and a pizza oven.

 Four nights cost from £1,596,

Olive, Unplugged

Need a digital detox? Eco-cabin company Unplugged expects to have 50 UK lodges by the year end, up from 11 last August. Among them is Olive, with a picture window looking onto woodland, a wood stove, and plenty of games. Guests swap their digital devices for an old-school Nokia in case of emergencies. ◆

 Three nights from £390, 15


Senara, Gwithian Beach

Scandi-chic comes to the West Country at this beach house, a mile from Gwithian’s sandy dunes, with views over St Ives Bay. Wall-to-wall white décor lies within the barn-like living areas with floor-to-ceiling windows, and six bedrooms in the main house. An additional bedroom is in the annex, perfect for grandparents wanting a bit of peace. On sunny days, the beach beckons, while back at the ranch, you can wallow in the pool, and hit the hot tub and sauna. The house also has a gym and a yoga deck. ◆

 It’s yours from £4,995 a week, for 12 people,

West Barsham Estate

The bevy of barns that makes up this estate is now looking super stylish after a colourful makeover by interior designer Flora Soames. With on-site beer tasting and a monthly street-food event, the barns make a great base for exploring North Norfolk’s magical coastline. ◆

 Sleeping from four to 14, they cost from £550–£2,650 for a three-night stay,

The Mole Resort

Forget mole holes: these lodges in Devon near the River Mole are the height of luxury. Sleeping up to eight people, with a balcony deck, a hot tub and a fully equipped kitchen, the lodges will be joined in the summer by a refurbished hotel. On-site activities include swimming, tennis, pickleball and trout fishing. ◆

 Three nights for eight from £1,752,



Lion Lodges at West Midland Safari Park

Book now to stay within a whisker of the big cats in four lodges opening here in July. The lions are on show through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area and from the two bedrooms.

 From £790 for two, including breakfast, dinner, and two days’ park admission,


Daylesford Village

Celebrating a special event? You can now take over a whole Cotswolds village. The 15 stone cottages at Daylesford village, on a 2,500acre estate, were recently launched by Carole Bamford. Her farm shop is just down the road, offering cookery classes, floristry workshops, winetastings and the use of the Bamford Wellness Spa. And if you don’t want to cook, it’s just a short walk to the two pubs in Bamford’s empire: The Fox at Oddington and The Wild Rabbit. It's price on application, which means it’s expensive, but you can rent the cottages individually from £375 a night for two. ◆


Driftwood Lodge

The beach at Rhosneigr is a beauty, and this self-catering annex attached to a six-room guesthouse is just a short walk away. Enjoy your own privacy, plus a fully fitted kitchenette and room for three, then set off to explore the 120mile island coastland, with plenty of rural trails. ◆

 A night for three is from £190, 17

Self-Catering HAMPSHIRE

The Bugle, Southampton

When you hire this Grade-II-listed townhouse on Bugle Street overlooking Southampton’s Royal Pier, you can customise it to any event, picking your own decorations and caterer. Whether you want a cocktail party or a seated wedding for 104 guests, an events coordinator helps you iron out any details. In strippedback style, it opened in January and is the first of three properties from The Wonder House Group. The 5-storey house comes with a fully stocked basement bar and eight rooms; it is also available for exclusive-use homestays for 16 people. ◆

 Two nights costs from £2,750, or venue hire is from £2,500,


For those looking for a coastal retreat for the family, this five-bedroom dog-friendly property situated in the heart of Rock village is in walking distance of the beach and oozes luxury. It has a games room with pool, ping pong and board games. It also comes with its own cinema room and heated swimming pool with large terrace. ◆

 From £4,500 for seven nights,

Blackton Grange

You’d never know this place was a former youth hostel. Forget dormitories and cheap furnishings: the exclusive-hire house now has five en-suite bedrooms, plus its own cinema room, a swish cocktail lounge, and a hot tub overlooking the rolling hills. Not far from Barnard Castle, it sleeps up to 17 people. ◆

From £2,300 for two nights,



Terrarium, Chichester

If you fancy staying in a house that featured on the TV show Grand Designs, this might be the place, with its glass and timber front, spiral staircase and interiors that are the epitome of stripped-back elegance.

 A week for 10 from £6,995,


An exclusive-hire venue with its own barbers for a spot of pre-dinner grooming? Yes, and a dressing room kitted out with hair-washing sinks, hairdryers and tongs. They’ve done everything possible to make this Georgian manor the ultimate in private hire, whether you want to hold a big birthday, a wellness retreat or a wedding. A team of inhouse chefs can please the most particular of palates, while in the bar the staff love to whip up their signature burnt orange negronis. As for the 12 bedrooms, they have rolltop baths and minibars. ◆

 From £12,500 for 24-hour hire,


Edgar House

Right by Chester’s city walls, this Regency property, that in a previous incarnation operated as a small hotel, is now available for private hire. It still has the look of an upmarket boutique hotel, with a cinema, a games room, and space for 16 guests, but there’s also a large open-plan kitchen you can use. ◆

 Three nights from £3,271, 19



BBC Earth Experience

See the spectacular light show created by fireflies in North America, watch snub-nosed monkeys huddling together to stay warm in Asia, and be amazed by hungry hamsters in Europe fighting to keep their food. It’s all part of the 360-degree audiovisual journey at BBC Earth Experience, in which you can experience remarkable landscapes and watch the world’s most mesmerising creatures – without having to fly anywhere. Narrated by David Attenborough, and projected on multiple multi-angle screens, the immersive show follows the BBV TV programme

Seven Worlds One Planet ◆

 It opens in Earl’s Court on 30 March. Tickets cost £28.50 for adults, £22 for children,


Manchester Museum

Reopened after a £15 million facelift, this museum aims to tell the city’s diverse story, and includes a South Asia gallery and a Chinese culture gallery. A new exhibition hall will hold ambitious shows, opening with the 'Golden Mummies of Egypt'. Also new is a dinosaur display, and the Belonging Gallery, reflecting on what it means to belong. ◆



The Lost Garden at Blenheim Palace

While adults marvel at Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace, the kids will love the new outdoor play area in the garden. With interactive water features, play trails and winding walkways on the ground, it also has aerial features, including rope bridges, raised walkways and triple racing zip lines, with views over the Capability Brown parkland. ◆ 

6339 Swan Season ad British Travel Journal RiP.indd 1 21/02/2023 15:01 6339 Swan Season ad British Travel Journal RiP.indd 1 21/02/2023 15:01

The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Everything from a pair of silver travelling candlesticks to a £52,000 Harold Harvey oil painting will be on show at Petworth’s antique fair in May. More than 60 exhibitors will gather to sell a variety of ceramics, sculptures, jewellery, artwork and furniture. One newcomer to this year’s fair is W. Shanshan, whose pottery includes a Han dynasty Sichuan terracotta dancer (£12,500). The fair, normally held at the beginning of May, has been pushed back until 19–21 May as a result of King Charles’ coronation. Tickets cost £10 but entry is free to National Trust members. ◆



Cairn Distillery

It’s been worth the wait – more than a century has passed since a distillery was built in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park. Now, this cutting-edge modern building (with sedum roof to encourage insect life) blends Gordon & MacPhail’s Scotch in a spectacular spot on the banks of the River Spey. ◆


The Wild Drovers’ Way

Follow the winding roads and take in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains and swathes of sand on the coast on this 180-mile circular route once used by drovers. A new online guide details where to stay and eat, as well as places to recharge electric cars or to hire e-bikes. ◆




Pier to Pier Way

Opening at Easter, this new 13-mile cycling route will link the Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon piers. Be sure to enjoy fish ‘n’ chips, rides and arcade games at the former, and to appreciate ‘the most beautiful pier in England’ according to poet John Betjeman, at the latter. 


Bacchanalia Restaurant

For a side serving of theatre with your food, you can’t go wrong here. One of London’s hottest new restaurants, Bacchanalia in Mayfair was curated by flamboyant interior architect Martin Brudnizki and it’s breathtaking from the moment you walk through the gilded door. Damien Hirst's equine statues gallop across a ceiling painted with scenes from classical myths. A floor-toceiling mural on the back wall depicts the Last Supper, albeit one where iPhones and the Golden Gate Bridge existed. The Greek- and Italian-inspired food, served by toga-clad staff, is part of the show – it’s finished at the tables for that extra wow factor. ◆



Royal Pavilion

While the final preparations are made for King Charles III’s coronation in May, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is celebrating a more lavish affair. George IV’s coronation in 1821 was extravagant, colourful and contentious: the Queen Consort was refused entry to the ceremony and remained uncrowned. The exhibition, dubbed 'A Right Royal Spectacle', is on show from 11 March to 10 September. ◆

 23
A Right Royal Spectacle: The Coronation of George IV A display revealing tales of outrageous expense, vanity and loss. 11 Mar – 10 Sep 2023 Open daily Admission payable Members free THE PETWORTH PARK ANTIQUES & FINE ART FAIR Come and buy the very finest art and antiques at our ninth annual event of distinction 0 1797 252030 For updates please visit To request a complimentary invitation for three please email Friday 11. 00 - 18.00 Saturday 10. 30 - 18. 00 Sunday 10.30 - 17.00 19-21 MAY 2023 THE MARQUEE PETWORTH PARK PETWORTH W. SUSSEX GU28 0QY THE ANTIQUES DEALERS FAIR LIMITED supported by



Art with no boundaries. Step inside a world of light, colour and sound

Frameless elevates the art experience to a level never experienced before. Unique interpretations of masterpieces from artists including Canaletto, Cézanne, Dalí, Kandinsky, Klimt, Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh are displayed using the very latest interactive projection technology in a series of four spectacular galleries, each dedicated to a different theme. Be uplifted by the art

surrounding you in the 30,000 square feet space as it connects you with the artist’s imagination. Located just a few short steps from Marble Arch, this immersive, multi-dimensional experience is the biggest of its kind in the UK set to become a major new landmark and cultural destination for visitors in the capital. Be sure to have your camera ready – Frameless is a place where art breaks free from the frame. ◆


Frameless is open 7 days a week from 10am. Adult tickets start at £25; child tickets start at £15 and children under 5 years go for free.

 For more information on the experience and to buy tickets visit

Frameless, 6 Marble Arch, London, W1H 7AP 25

ST. JAMES'S Spotlight on...

Originally a gentlemen’s club for the English aristocracy, today St. James’s Hotel & Club Mayfair is a perfect London sanctuary for the modern traveller

It's easy to become wrapped up in the hottest hotel openings and exciting refurbishments, often overlooking the quieter, more unassuming establishments – ones that have been hosting guests for centuries, not merely decades – and yet, just like their newer rivals, are continually evolving without complacency.

One such five-star hideaway is St. James’s Hotel & Club in Mayfair – with such a long tradition of impeccable service, it's no wonder Sir Winston Churchill, Henry James and Ian Fleming have been previous members. Today’s high-profile guests are no less impressive (Elle Macpherson, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Elton John, to name but a few), perhaps

attracted by the privacy of this historic boutique club, subtly located in a peaceful hidden cul-de-sac, protected from London’s usual hustle and bustle.

As a guest of St. James’s, you get to experience this prestigious area of London while living like a local – the remarkable location is a short walk to a plethora of attractions; Buckingham Palace, the exclusive stores of Jermyn Street, Burlington Arcade, Bond Street and the Royal Academy of Arts. The West End's theatres and nightlife are also close by... and with no chauffeur required, you can simply potter about, enjoying the locale and feeling carefree and part of the sociable community.

Text by Jessica Way

The Victorian townhouse itself is unmistakable, with a striking red-and-white façade, retaining all its charm and heritage. Red carpeted stone steps lead the way inside the foyer, where there is an understated style and classical elegance, wood-panelled walls and polished natural stone. To the right is the reception where one of the hotel’s impressive 20th-century paintings, from the Rosenstein Collection, demands attention. Throughout the hotel, there are more than 400 paintings, pictures and sculptures from this impressive private art collection.

There are 60 exquisitely designed bedrooms with handcrafted Murano glass chandeliers and sumptuous silk wallpapers – the vast Terrace Suite has an open fireplace and spacious roof terrace, or for complete exclusivity, the St James and Westminster Suites (which, connected, become The Penthouse) come complete with your own private lift and panoramic views over London. De-stress

with a 90-minute body treatment or other in-room spa and beauty service.

Art Deco is the theme at the Seven Park Place restaurant with William Drabble, known as Billy, at the helm. Fresh lobster and Lune Valley lamb are just some of the delights to look forward to, thanks to Billy’s own unique French-inspired menu, which helped gain him one Michelin star just a year after opening.

If casual dining is more your style, take a bite from the all-day dining menu at 1857 The Bar, offering a delectable choice of classics, from a St James Beef Burger to Gnocchi with Lobster. It is also here, at London’s fashionable wine bar for oenophiles, where you can sample the oldest wine to be sold by the glass in the UK, the Graham’s 1882 Ne Oublie port.

 Jessica Way was a guest of St. James’s Hotel & Club Mayfair, Double rooms from £375, 27
‘As a guest of St. James’s, you get to experience this prestigious area of London while living like a local... feeling carefree and part of the sociable community’


It’s springtime in Royal Victoria Park and there is a strange puffing sound overhead. For those unfamiliar with Bath, the historic park spreads like a picnic blanket beneath the city’s famous Royal Crescent. When daffodils raise their heads and the magnolias are studded with fresh buds, the park lawns are used to launch the year’s first hot-air balloons. The magnificent balloons fire up – weather permitting – with an emphatic puffing noise and rise majestically above the trees for an aerial view of the Crescent’s sweep of perfectly aligned townhouses.

A hot-air balloon flight is a great way to fully appreciate this graceful street and the Georgian architecture within this UNESCO

World Heritage city. From April 2023 onwards, the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, which sits at the very centre of the Crescent, will launch exclusive flights for two in its own balloon. Guests who take to the skies can enjoy an afternoon tea afterwards, picking over an assortment of delicate sandwiches, buns and pastries while sipping Champagne in the hotel gardens.

The arrival of sunshine and balloon flights makes spring an appealing time to visit Bath, and the Royal Crescent Hotel is the city’s premier address. There is nothing quite like stepping out of its front door onto the Crescent, especially if you can stay in a fourposter bed in one of the hotel’s newly  29
Bath’s gracious streets and golden-stone buildings are world renowned, but the best way of breathing in this UNESCO heritage city’s beauty is by soaring above it all in a hot-air balloon...

refurbished suites. Their grand windows look onto the Crescent’s curve of butter-stone buildings and the park beyond.

Bath’s historic streets have played a winning supporting role in a number of films, including last year’s Persuasion, a Netflix remake of

Jane Austen’s classic love story. The smash television drama Bridgerton was filmed here too.

The streets are lined with refined buildings. A short walk from the Crescent are The Assembly Rooms, where Georgian balls used to attract up to 1,000 guests. Sadly, these rooms, which were once a hub for high society, are currently closed for refurbishment. The chandeliers would have sparkled in the candlelight on a winter’s evening, which was when the Georgian social season ran.

A central hall leads to a card room, once used for gambling, and to the tea room, where weary dancers and sharp-eyed socialites would have descended to enjoy sweetmeats, jellies, wine, biscuits and tea.

Kick-start an indulgent weekend in Bath with a glass of Buck's Fizz and brunch in the grand Pump



Room, which is set beside The Abbey. The Pump Room building dates from 1795 and a fountain flows with natural spa water inside. The Abbey itself has an elaborate facade, with carved angels climbing ladders high above the square in front of it, a Victorian Gothic interior and a splendid fanvaulted ceiling.

Bath’s thermal springs and mineral-rich waters are a big draw for visitors, and the ancient site of The Roman Baths is fascinating. Through its ruins and artefacts, it reveals how people used to bathe (and enjoy a sauna) in the city 2,000 years ago and it recently uncovered a new section that was once part of a gymnasium.

The most exciting stop for art lovers sits in another of Bath’s notable buildings. The pillared Holburne Museum has temporary art exhibitions, a collection of fine art and its own Georgian pleasure gardens out the back.

Sydney Gardens was loved by Jane Austen – who once lived opposite – and the park has recently been revitalised, with shocks of wildflowers and a playground built from natural materials added. The gardens are still a genteel place for a stroll, leading up to pretty iron bridges that span the Kennet and Avon canal. Spring is a good time to hire a narrowboat for a pootle along the canal, and Bath Narrowboats can organise one for you. 31
‘Bath’s streets are lined with refined buildings. A short walk from the Crescent are The Assembly Rooms, where Georgian balls used to attract up to 1,000 guests.’

‘If a spring stroll sounds more agreeable, make for Prior Park, a landscaped garden south of the city centre. There are fine city views from the hilltop before the garden rolls down to a Palladian bridge, serenely reflected in a lake below.’

With so many buildings to admire, it’s no surprise that Bath residents have an eye for beautiful things. Shoppers should explore the higgledy-piggledy paved lanes to find sustainably made womenswear at BIBICO, or browse the eclectic design treasures at Found, a boutique on Pulteney Bridge. Berdoulat is a cafe-turned-interior-design shop with restored 18th-century shop counters, while Always Sunday has a collection of eye-catching, artisanal homeware.

Head afterwards to Parade Gardens, where in balmy weather you can sit among manicured flower beds. Overlooking the River Avon as it spills across Pulteney Weir, this is yet another elegant space to relax in. If a spring stroll sounds more agreeable, make for Prior Park, a landscaped garden south of the city centre. There are fine city views from the hilltop before the garden rolls down to a Palladian bridge, serenely reflected in a lake below.


Dining out in Bath is always a pleasure, with high-quality ingredients produced in the surrounding countryside. There is one Michelin-star restaurant, Olive Tree, which serves delectable, immaculately presented food – for example, a plate of trout with wasabi and Granny Smith apple.

The Elder restaurant has also won rave reviews. Inside, you will find leather banquette seating and taxidermy but there are also tables on the front terrace near St John’s church. Restaurateur Mike Robinson is known for his experience with game, and The Elder’s cooking brings creative finesse to this traditionally used meat. A starter of deer tartare with masala and apricot on brown butter

crumpets had flavours and textures that were spot on, while a main of wood pigeon came with a rich and fruity Moroccan pastilla of confit pigeon leg.

Newer still is Beckford Canteen, which has taken over a Georgian greenhouse and is the new place to try this spring. Choose from plates of technically clever food, such as fancy sardines on toast or monkfish with curried butter.

Bath has an abundance of cosy cocktail bars hidden in the basements of its townhouses. Dark Horse takes its mixology seriously and is a particularly seductive space.

Or settle upon a bistro table on the cobbles outside Beckford Bottle Shop. This candlelit wine shop has red leather sofas inside, charcuterie boards and shelves heaving with great bottles to sample.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, Bath has an array of luxurious options. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is a memorable choice, or try the modern, yet still characterful, independent hotel The Queensberry, which is home to the Michelin-starred Olive Tree restaurant, mentioned above. Its bedrooms are spacious, colourful and contemporary. 33

Spring is the perfect time to appreciate the warmth of a dip in the city’s steaming, thermal waters. For an exclusive, private soak, a line of stone colonnades leads from the Pump Room to the Cross Bath, where 46°C thermal springs bubble up to the surface.

This small but historic open-air bath can be hired by groups (with sparkling wine available too). Alternatively, treat yourself to some pampering at the main Thermae Bath Spa. The modern complex houses pools on different levels, as well as a sauna and steam rooms. Treatments, such as Romanthemed scrubs, massages and facials, are very good but the rooftop pool is the star of the show. It is a photogenic spot and somewhere to contemplate Bath’s chimneys and church spires. Nothing beats the view from above this city, which has inspired writers and romantics for centuries.

 Double rooms at The Royal Crescent from £330 year-round with breakfast included.

For more information take a look at

‘It’s invigorating; sliding into a swimming pool of 35°C waters, just as Jane Austen once did in the Roman Baths from a passage beneath the Pump Rooms’


There are two unsurpassed reasons to stay at The Gainsborough Bath Spa. Firstly, location, location, location… you just can’t beat the hotel's locale – you’re smack dab in the centre of Bath, just a few minutes' walk from all the action; bars, restaurants, museums, shops, attractions and more.

Secondly, there's its incredible spa and the opportunity to soak in Britain’s only naturally warm waters in much more privacy than across the road at Thermae Bath Spa. The Spa Village as its known, might not have breathtaking views of the city from an openair rooftop pool, however, the mostly beige four-storey glass atrium is also a pretty spectacular sight, with

natural light giving an open-air feeling. The experience perfectly echoes that of the Romans; with pools and rooms of varying temperatures and humidities, the atmosphere is peaceful and the music soothing. It’s invigorating; sliding into a swimming pool of 35°C waters, just as Jane Austen once did in the Roman Baths from a passage beneath the Pump Rooms.

Along with the usual massage beds and jets, there's an ice alcove and an elegant relaxation terrace. Treatments (with ELEMIS products) of a high standard are brilliantly delivered. Plus, there’s the opportunity to enjoy the natural thermal waters entirely privately, either by booking a treatment in a VIP Suite or by staying in one of the hotel's exclusive spa rooms.

Elsewhere in the pristine 99-bedroom hotel you will find yet more marble and columns, and staff who seem to stand as proud as the grandiose pillars on the exterior. The Georgian masterpiece is an example of Bath’s stage-set-worthy architecture at its very best, dating back to the 1820s. The hotel was formerly built as a hospital and, more recently, a college. Reception is a scene of calm precision, with none of the usual hassle. Supremely efficient valet-parking is the norm.

Well-staffed and managed, the hotel succeeds in maintaining an elegant and glamorous ambience without being overly stuffy. The decor and lighting is modern, but restrained, and dining at the Gainsborough is, like everything else, classy and sophisticated but managing to remain light and somehow informal. Afternoon tea is served in the intimate Canvas Room, breakfast and dinner is in the Socialize restaurant, which serves British cuisine, and where there is original artwork (by college students) and an impressive wine wall. Locally sourced produce is combined with divine flavours to produce innovative dishes. Pre-dinner cocktails are whipped up in the chic Gainsborough Bar overlooking Spa Village.

 Nightly rates at The Gainsborough Bath Spa start from £290 on a room-only basis. 35

Competition time!


Enter our competition to win one of four luxury spa days for two, with heavenly treatments and sumptuous food...

In a year of recovery from all the instability of 2022, where self-awareness of our mental and physical wellness is more evident than ever before, treating yourself to some well-deserved 'me' time is a must.

Let your tension melt away with a pampering treatment at a luxurious spa before enjoying a nourishing feast for two at one of the UK’s finest hotels.

British Travel Journal has teamed up with Pride of Britain Hotels to offer you the opportunity to win one of four blissful spa days. The prize includes: treatments

to help relax the mind, soothe the spirit and beautify the body; and a delightful serving of afternoon tea or a two-course lunch. Our fortunate winners will be hosted in one of four idyllic hotel settings: Ockenden Manor, a fine Elizabethan manor house in West Sussex; Hartwell House, one of England's stately homes, Buckinghamshire; Calcot & Spa, set within 220 acres of rewilded Cotswolds countryside; and The Headland Hotel, located in one of Cornwall's most heavenly locations, overlooking Fistral Bay.


Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire

Calcot, The Cotswolds

Jacobean and Georgian house is set in magnificent surroundings with 90 acres of gardens and parkland within the Vale of Aylesbury and on the edge of the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Revive, refresh and feel good at Calcot’s world-class spa, slipping into the soothing waters of their outdoor fireside hot tub.

In Cornwall, The Headland Thermal Journey includes a Swedish sauna, a hydrotherapy pool, a Cornish-salt steam room, a pool with swan neck jet and a rainfall experience shower ◆

Ockenden Manor, West Sussex

Enjoy a full day of tranquillity and indulgence at Ockenden Manor – the impressive spa built inside a 19th-century walled garden has a walk-through rainforest shower fed by Ockenden's own natural underground spring, a swim-through indoor and outdoor pool, and a

The Headland Hotel, Cornwall

floatation tank where saltwater suspends the body effortlessly for total muscle relaxation. Hartwell House is offering a spa day with inclusive use of the Spa Club Room and an 85-minute luxury spa treatment for two. The National Trust-owned Grade-I-listed

How to enter


Pride of Britain Hotels is a collection made up of the finest properties, each one unique and characterful. With manor homes, castles, woodland retreats, elegant lodges and city boltholes on offer, there is a special experience awaiting every guest. Experience the best places to eat, stay and unwind within the British Isles.

 Last entries 30 May 2023. Prize is to be taken before 20 December 2023. 37




small groups, and offers bespoke and group sessions in surfing, coasteering, stand-up-paddleboarding, snorkel tours, ocean confidence training and more.

The Headland Hotel’s Surf & Stay package includes three nights' accommodation, spa access and a session of your choice at Surf Sanctuary.


Also try...

Outer Reef, Wales

Established in 1999, this friendly surf, stand-uppaddleboarding and kayaking centre in Pembrokeshire offers classes for all ages and abilities. It also offers adventures such as coasteering and activity holiday packages, which include accommodation.


Learn to catch a wave

Surf Sanctuary, Cornwall

Directly overlooking the world-famous Fistral Beach, Surf Sanctuary is the on-site surf school at the fivestar Headland Hotel in Newquay. Set up by a small collective of lifelong surfers and friends that enjoy sharing everything that the beautiful Cornish coast has to offer, the school caters for families, individuals and

Saltburn Surf, North Yorkshire

Saltburn Surf School has been teaching for nearly 40 years; its ‘beginner's experience’ offers dry land instruction on the beach and a thorough safety briefing, followed by at least one full hour in the sea with a qualified and experienced instructor. Longer surf courses and kit hire are also available.

 39
Text by Sophie Farrah
With the arrival of spring and all the energy that it brings, we discover some of the very best places across the country to learn a brand-new skill.
From distilling your own flavoured vodka to cooking fresh seafood in Cornwall, are you ready for an exciting new challenge this year?

Learn to hook a fish

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Ireland

One of Ireland's finest castle hotels, Ballynahinch sits within a sprawling 700-acre estate in the heart of Connemara. Thanks to its diverse system of interconnected loughs and rivers, it offers some of the very best of fly-fishing in the country. Guests can enjoy a half or a full day’s fly-fishing tutorial, where they’ll learn how to set up their tackle correctly, select a fly, cast competently and more, before being taken to the river to put their skills into practice, and perhaps even catch a salmon or sea trout.


Also try...

Lime Wood, Hampshire

Set in the heart of the stunning New Forest National Park, this five-star hotel is just a short cast away from the famous rivers Test, Itchen and Avon. The hotel can organise an introduction to fly-fishing and private tuition, as well as exclusive access to some of the most sought after private-estate flyfishing in the world.


Glebe House, South Devon

At this boutique guesthouse, restaurant and 15-acre smallholding in the heart of East Devon, guests can head out on the open sea on a private guided mackerel-fishing trip with seasoned skipper Paul. Upon return, a three-course seafood supper is served on the beach.


Learn to let your creative juices flow

Newlyn School of Art, Cornwall

Artists have flocked to the Cornish town of Newlyn since the early 1880s, drawn by the beautiful coastal landscapes and famous light. Today, Newlyn School of Art offers over 25 different courses taught by some of the most exciting artists working in the county. Founded by local artist Henry Garfit in 2011, this dynamic art school welcomes pupils of all levels. Short courses range in length from a weekend through to one week, and focus on the likes of Cornish landscapes and seascapes, portraiture, colour, the human form, and more. Stay nearby at stylish townhouse hotel Chapel House, or at the aptly named Artist Residence.


Also try...

The Fife Arms, Scotland

This boutique hotel in the Highlands is home to over 16,000 antiques and artworks by world-renowned artists, from Pablo Picasso to Lucian Freud. Here, guests can explore their own artistic abilities too, thanks to a choice of ‘creative pursuits’, which include wild sketching, landscape photography, creative writing, tartan design and more.



Learn to be at one with nature

The Newt, Somerset

With acres of stunning gardens, woodland, farmland and cyder orchards to explore, this glorious country estate and elegant hotel is a nature lover’s paradise. Inspired by the land, history and culture of Somerset, The Newt runs a seasonal programme of workshops and events; learn the basics of garden design, beekeeping, dried flower and grass arranging, mushroom foraging, and more.

Set within its world-famous gardens, it runs several popular, hands-on horticultural courses too, where guests can learn how to plant and prune correctly.


Also try...


Meddyg, Wales

At this beautiful hotel and restaurant in Pembrokeshire, nature enthusiasts can explore the stunning local estuary, beaches and hedgerows in a fun and informative guided-foraging trip, learning how to safely identify and gather edible finds, before preparing and cooking a foraged feast.


The Royal Horticultural Society, various locations

The UK's leading gardening charity, the RHS, has five stunning gardens across the country, all of which offer a huge variety of courses that cater for first-time gardeners through to the exceptionally green fingered. Learn how to create a wildlife pond, grow veg, plant beautiful containers and much more.

 41

Learn to cook up a storm

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire

The on-site cookery school at Raymond Blanc’s luxury country hotel is considered one of the very best in the world. Courses are suitable for all levels, from half-day introductions to residential programmes, dinner party masterclasses, patisserie, ‘kitchen secrets’ and more. Many courses focus on recipes important to the famous French gastronome himself, showcasing dishes that inspired him to become the Michelinstarred chef he is today. The ‘Maman Blanc’ course is hugely popular, featuring a selection of Raymond's mother's much-loved recipes.


Also try...

Rick Stein's Cookery School, Cornwall:

If you’d like to pick up some seafood cooking skills, then where better to do it than overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary in Padstow? At Rick Stein's Cookery School, visitors can learn the secrets of some of the celebrity seafood chef’s famous recipes in a series of fun, hands-on cookery courses and one-dish workshops using incredibly fresh produce.


The Grand, York

The state-of-the-art cookery school at this beautiful five-star hotel, with its bifolding doors and sleek glass panelling, is undeniably impressive. It's aimed at home cooks of all abilities; choose from a varied schedule of express, half-day, full-day and three-day classes, covering everything from modern British dishes to authentic Asian cuisine.



Learn to take the reins

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

The equestrian centre at this sumptuous countryhouse hotel is home to 35 lovely horses of mixed size and capability and caters for complete beginners, as well as more proficient riders wishing to increase their skill. Enjoy escorted hacks around the stunning 500-acre estate or longer rides through the beautiful Cotswold countryside. There are also several particularly friendly ponies that are perfect for younger guests.


Also try... Stag Lodge Stables, London

Situated right on the edge of London's Richmond Park, Stag Lodge Stables is a unique and truly beautiful place to learn to ride. It offers lessons and courses for children and adults of all ages from three upwards, as well as group hacks across the historic Royal Park.


Gleneagles, Scotland

The 50-acre equestrian centre at this magnificent hotel offers various horse-riding lessons and experiences for guests at all levels, from ages four and up. Children can enjoy ‘Own a Pony’ sessions, while the surrounding heather-clad mountains provide an unforgettable backdrop for exploring the Scottish countryside on horseback.


The best of the rest...

▶ Lavish Lake District hotel The Samling has recently rebuilt their picture-perfect private jetty on Lake Windermere; here, guests can take part in guided wild swims.

▶ Beautiful Cotswolds retreat Thyme has a diverse calendar of classes and workshops, ranging from cooking lessons and flower arranging, to soap making, painting and more.

▶ At Colwith Farm, Cornwall's first ploughto-bottle distillery, guests can learn how to distil their very own bespoke spirit at its dedicated Gin and Vodka School.

▶ With two unique locations in London, Petersham Nurseries provides a picturesque setting to enjoy a carefully curated selection of gardening, floristry, and cookery classes.

▶ At trendy concept hotel Birch in Hertfordshire, guests can take part in a variety of workshops, from pottery and painting to baking, foraging, candle making and more, all within a strikingly reimagined Georgian house. 43

To the


One of Britain’s most exciting chefs, Ricki Weston reveals what’s next for his immersive dining experience at Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa’s Michelinstar restaurant The Dining Room and how he likes to keep diners guessing

Ricki Weston stands at the pass of the expansive and gleaming kitchen of The Dining Room, casting a masterful eye over his showstopping dishes. His kitchen is a flurry of hushed activity –there is no shouting nor clamouring – just a confident, quickfooted buzz honed by the cool, calm executive chef. “I don’t like combative kitchens. You don’t need to shout and holler. I like my team to be focused and creative,” Ricki says.

A rising star of modern British gastronomy, Ricki was appointed executive chef of Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa’s Michelin-star restaurant The Dining Room in 2022, having been part of the team at Whatley Manor for over three years prior to that. Young, ambitious, and experimental, Ricki continues to elevate Whatley Manor’s multicourse menu at The Dining Room – and while tasting menus can sometimes overpromise and underperform, Ricki’s creation is undoubtedly one of the finest culinary experiences across the British Isles.

“Tasting menus are so much more than just putting a menu on a piece of paper. These days, guests are looking for that immersive experience, something that is different to what other people do,” says Ricki.

Ensconced behind buttery Cotswold-stone walls, the hotel's immaculate lawns, tinkling waterlily ponds and Grade-II-listed manor house trailed in ivy, climbing roses and wisteria is picture-book perfect – a decadent hideaway one would send an out-of-towner to if you wanted to epitomise English country-hotel elegance in a snapshot. Add to this, Ricki’s dining tour de force and guests are left wanting for nothing.

Diners embarking on the tasting menu at Whatley Manor begin with drinks served overlooking the gardens or in the flower-festooned drawing room. Guests are delivered a brief menu hinting at what is to come… ‘scallop, cucumber, trout roe’, and ‘lamb, asparagus, black olive’ pique interest on our visit.

Ricki and his team create a unique sense of occasion from the very first morsels – with the amuse bouche served in the gleaming kitchen itself. An exhilarating peek behind the curtain, it's an experience where diners can talk to the chefs as they walk you through the small bites – in our case, a delectable array of nibbles including lobster, potato and turbot skirt, and a fantastic beetroot suet tart served on smoking, aromatic pine needles.  45

“Guests start their journey with us in the kitchen having a few little bites. It’s an exciting part of what we can offer, as guests get the chance to come into the kitchen and see the chefs and ask questions about the food and the concept of the menu. I think it’s a memorable start, as it adds to the occasion and helps to deliver an unforgettable evening.”

Tasting style and seasons

Ricki describes his style at Whatley as British-influenced with classical cooking techniques. “We try to source as much as we can from the UK, utilising the seasons as a benchmark for the menu. We are lucky enough to have a beautiful stateof-the-art kitchen that runs completely on electric power situated just outside of the restaurant, and we use as much

as we can from our garden.”

The kitchen gardens, particularly during summer, are joyful and open for guests to wander. On our visit we were greeted by a canopy of delicate trailing sweet peas in bloom alongside beds brimming with rainbows of chard, plumes of lettuce and bright, plentiful courgettes.

“When guests sit down, they can look out on to the gardens and see different produce that appears throughout the evening,” Ricki adds.

“A couple of dishes that I really like currently are the Jacob's ladder with smoked eel, and the plum dessert that we finish with. The Jacob's ladder course uses the short rib of the cow and incorporates a couple of classical techniques to bring out the richness of the beef and contrast this with the




smokiness of the eel. When we did the first illustration of the menu it was important for me to celebrate real local ingredients.

The cows are farmed next to the hotel by a farmer called Tom Wakefield who we have a great relationship with. It’s a small herd of cattle which are 100 per cent grassfed organic Aberdeen Angus and the meat is phenomenal and really

showcases the local aspect of the menu we have created.”

“The plum course is the one dish that we have kept on the menu since the first week. For me it’s a perfect way to end the experience, combining sweet, salty and acidity all in one. We preserve plums throughout the year to be able to have it on yearround. This is another part of the ethos here – to reduce as much waste

as possible. Whether that’s through fermentation or vinegars using the stones of the plum – everything is looked at as a possible product that we can use in one form or another.”

This mindful approach saw The Dining Room’s sustainable practices rewarded the new Green Michelin star in January 2021 – an accolade it retained in 2022 alongside just 23 restaurants in the UK.  47
“Guests start their journey with us in the kitchen having a few little bites... it adds to the occasion and helps to deliver an unforgettable evening”

Inspiration and precision

Prior to Whatley Manor, Ricki spent three years at the two-star Michelin restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham – an experience that is etched in his memory.

“Sat Bains will always be one of my biggest inspirations. The intensity and understanding of flavours and ethos in that restaurant is a massive part of the chef I am today. Such forward-thinking and uniqueness makes it one of the best restaurants in the country.

“I have always remembered how Sat [Bains] used to compare aspects of a tasting menu to a theatre production – meaning you have to consider how to keep viewers engaged for two or three hours and moderate the tempo of the service

and keep the experience entertaining and surprising.

“That’s why sometimes it's very quick between courses and at some points we slow things right down and tie in a more elaborate wine service. Or, we dress and reveal a dish in a certain way, utilising not just taste but scent, sight, and sound.”

Thus, every course at The Dining Room is skillfully presented and impeccably designed – whether unveiled with a dramatic puff of aromatic smokiness, or with intricate placement of cerise pink singular petals from the garden – no dish is without a level of drama, intrigue, thought and excitement to make it stand out.

Flavours, textures and tempo all play integral parts to Ricki’s

cooking. “Quite a few of the dishes are inspired by nostalgic memories of my childhood and favourite dishes,” Ricki says. “I love food that evokes memories. Take our mussel tart, for example. A big part of my childhood was going to the coast and walking past the fish markets and smelling all the produce and sitting on the seafront tasting cockles, mussels and having all those salty sea days. I think this dish imparts those kind of memories for diners, too.”

New for 2023

Spring 2023 sees the launch of the new tasting menu at The Dining Room, including tweaks to muchloved dishes and some newcomers. “The new menu is massively inspired by my own perceptions and what food

“Quite a few of the dishes are inspired by nostalgic memories of my childhood and favourite dishes... I love food that evokes memories”

means to me. We are continuously looking at new dishes and ingredients that fit within the menu style that we have created. Everyone in my kitchen has fantastic experience and knowledge that is brought to the table when we develop a new menu. We are also looking more closely at evolving the guest journey throughout the evening and thinking about how we can make their experience even more personal for each guest that walks through the door.”

“We are using brill as our new fish course, which is such a great product. The freshness and sweetness of the fish is cooked with an English sparkling wine and scallop mousse and works beautifully. We wrap the

whole fillet of the fish with truffles from Zak at Wiltshire Truffles, which gives the dish great contrast and earthiness. It’s a dish that showcases brilliant English ingredients.

“Field to plate and seasonal produce will always be a focus. As a chef, inspiration comes from all over. I think the chef Poul Andrias Ziska in the Faroe Islands is amazing when it comes to produce. Using ingredients from around the island, techniques that are passed down through generations and having achieved two Michelin stars in such a remote place with limited supply is a testament I think to his understanding of ingredients and habitat of the islands.”

Eco escapism

Amid the grounds and luxuriously appointed bedrooms of Whatley Manor, things are going from strength to strength.

The hotel has become the first countryside luxury hotel in the UK to achieve Silver accreditation through EarthCheck, a leading business advisory group specialising in sustainability for the travel and tourism industry. Whatley has also a host of other awards to its name from ‘Best Sustainable Achievement’ at the 2022 Boutique Hotelier Awards to a recent Condé Nast Johansens Sustainability Award.

Much more work was required than simply replacing the odd  49

single-use plastic (though this has also been done in every guest room). General manager Sue Williams says the Earthcheck accreditation is the fruit of several years of diligent work across the hotel, including overhauling the waste management, utilities and supplier relationships.

“We are proof that you can be a five-star luxurious destination but also be environmentally positive,” Sue adds.

The proof, they say, is in the pudding and every inch of Whatley feels individual and sumptuous. Its award-winning eco-conscious Aquarias Spa features a large hydro pool; thermal experiences, including a tepidarium and steam grotto; plus an outdoor pool space and a plethora of bespoke and high-end treatments. The spa also offers a floatation pod and is set in blissful surrounds.

The hotel has deluxe bedrooms and suites overlooking the gardens and courtyards, meaning guests are spoilt for choice. Welcome touches – such as the home-baked shortbread awaiting you in your room, walking maps to explore the grounds, and seasonal flowers – make a stay all the more 'boutique' in feel. Ricki also oversees the afternoon tea offering and the hotel’s more informal Grey’s Brasserie, but be sure to save room for the menu experience at The Dining Room – it will not disappoint.

Ricki Weston’s top local spots...

▶ Stroud Farmers Market takes place every Saturday and is a multi-award winning market that offers a rich variety of local produce from farmers, growers and producers in the Five Valleys in Gloucestershire.

▶ Malmesbury has its own farmers and local artisan market every Friday from 9am to 3pm, so you can always stop off to take a stroll and enjoy the range of stalls ahead of checking into Whatley Manor.

▶ Whatley Manor is located next door to Tracklements, where you will be able to see where they make the world-renowned condiments, as well as taste and buy them to enjoy at home.

A portfolio of over 600 luxury, self-catering holiday properties in the UK and Northern Ireland 01386 897 959 Find your special place From luxury contemporary barn conversions to charming thatched cottages, we’ve hand-picked the very best to bring you holiday memories to treasure.
Carpenter’s Cottage, Tremaine Manor, Looe



Whether you want to take the plunge in an ice bath, try out some high-tech treatments, or fancy a spot of forest bathing, we discover some of the UK’s top retreats and unique spa experiences that will nourish mind, body and soul

Coastal romance

Perched among the clifftops overlooking the sweeping sandy beach of Mawgan Porth, at North Cornwall’s stylish eco hotel Scarlet, curious couples can embark on a ‘Rediscover Journey’ together, designed to help synchronise energies. You’ll start by setting your intentions in an Ayurvedic consultation before unwinding with a bathing ritual such as a rhassoul, or a session in one of the stunning clifftop hot tubs. Next, a guided meditation or sound experience, followed by either a couple’s massage lesson or a synchronised treatment to leave you feeling connected and in tune with one another. The finishing touch? A shared Epsom salt bath with a glass of English sparkling wine, and full use of the stunning spa facilities.

 From £350 per couple,


And breathe

The Botanical Bothy is a new exclusive booking space at dreamy Cotswolds escape Thyme. It's home to a unique treatment designed to promote restorative calm within both body and mind. The private beautifully designed cabin features sleek warmed seating and a tranquil private garden and veranda, complete with a roaring fireplace and two show-stopping baths, side-by-side, for herbal soaks. The treatment – the Bertioli Ritual – is a combination of guided breathwork, lymphatic body combing and pressure-point techniques that concentre on the areas of the body that hold the most tension. A cleansing hair wash and head massage completes the experience, ensuring that guests leave feeling deeply relaxed and equipped with breathing techniques to use at home.

 £225pp (solo) or £195pp for couples, 55

A celestial reset

In West Sussex, Ockenden Manor Hotel’s ‘Full Moon & Fabulous’ retreats are scheduled to take place during the full moon; a time when we are said to be more receptive and open to inspiration. Harnessing the power of nature, the five elements and the moon, this celestial-inspired two-night experience is led by Swedish yoga instructor Helena Skoog, and involves a combination of yoga and meditation sessions, forest bathing, i-sopod floatation, aromatherapy massage, seasonal food and more, as well as accommodation and use of the hotel’s award-winning spa.

 From £883pp,


Escape to award-winning Hoar Cross Hall, nestled in the idyllic Staffordshire countryside, with an indulgent Spa Stay or Multi-Night Retreat.

Let our historic Hall host your spacation to remember.

Take the plunge

“The cold is our warm friend, our mirror and our teacher,” says cold-water guru, Wim Hof. Cold-water immersion is said to improve both mental and physical performance, so if you're curious, then head to the Coach House Spa at sumptuous Surrey Hills hotel, Beaverbrook. At its one-day Wim Hof Workshop, guests are taught the three pillars of the extreme athlete’s now famous method – breathing technique, cold exposure, and commitment – by a certified WHM instructor. After learning the principles of breathing for stress management and breath-holding techniques, guests are then guided in the practice of ‘controlled hyperventilation’ before sinking into a bracing six-minute ice bath. Brrrrrr…

 Prices start from £250pp,


Elemental invigoration

Set within 380 acres of parkland just outside Belfast, the unique Thermal Spa Village at luxury hotel Galgorm is the first of its kind in Ireland. It features an extensive selection of hot tubs, heated pools, steam rooms, saunas and more, all set on the banks of the spectacular River Maine. The invigorating Beltane Experience has been designed to stimulate all the senses using fire, air and water; relax al fresco by a roaring firepit before enjoying a dip in one of the picture-perfect hot tubs by the flowing river’s edge. Afterwards, cool down in the spa’s -10°C Snow Cabin (where snow falls every 30 minutes) or warm up with a Celtic Sauna Infusion – a cleansing aromatherapy experience led by a sauna master.

 Spa packages start at £69pp, 59


Hand-picked properties for inspiring interiors, unique features, and amazing views; all served up alongside the spectacular coast.

A gut feeling

It’s said that good health starts with a happy gut. Set on the beautiful Goodwood Estate in Sussex, this five-day holistic retreat is a gut health overhaul designed by gut-health expert and celebrity nutritionist, Stephanie Moore. Drawing on Goodwood’s ‘fieldto-fork’ organic food philosophy and the estate’s natural beauty to heal and re-energise, the retreat features a full body-composition analysis and private nutritional consultation, specialist treatments, daily group talks and guided walks, plus all food and drink and five nights at The Goodwood Hotel. If you’re not ready to commit to the full five-day programme, there’s a taster day available too.

 £2,225 per person sharing a twin or double room, £2,600 for a single occupancy room, taster day £220,

Hi-tech treatments

Manchester’s five-star hotel, The Lowry, has launched ‘RE:TREAT' – the UK’s first technology led spa. Whether you fancy submerging yourself in a sensory deprivation tank (a dark, soundproof cocoon filled with saltwater, said to increase wellbeing and creativity in under an hour), switching off in a meditation pod, or slipping into the freezing temperatures of a cryotherapy chamber (said to help promote sleep and lymphatic drainage), this smart, high-tech space offers a combination of cuttingedge treatments, while in-house experts are on hand to perform the likes of IV drips and ultrasound scans.

 Packages start from £85pp, 61

Spa news...

• The brand-new spa at landmark London hotel Claridge’s features a streamlined swimming pool, steam rooms, saunas and seven luxurious treatment rooms. Designed by interior architect André Fu, the space is inspired by his own visits to Japanese temples and Zen gardens in Kyoto.


• Award-winning Nottinghamshire day-spa retreat Eden Hall and

Reconnect with nature

Nestled within the New Forest National Park, Herb House - the award-winning spa at luxury hotel Lime Wood – has created a selection of ‘ReWild Yourself’ experiences. Inspired by the rhythms of the seasons, these new naturepowered retreats and spa days have been designed to instil a sense of calm and serenity. Enjoy guided forest bathing in ancient woodland, calming yoga classes in an aromatic herb garden, outdoor fitness and breathwork sessions, soothing herbpowered treatments, seasonal food, and more, plus plenty of time to unwind in the stunning spa.

 Rewilding retreats start at £225pp,

beautiful Staffordshire spa hotel Hoar Cross Hall have recently revealed an all-new treatment menu available at both properties. Based on three all-encompassing pillars – radiance, revive and renewal – each two-hour treatment has been expertly designed to leave guests feeling rejuvenated and relaxed.


• Spanning 2,500 square metres, the sleek, state-of-the-art spa at the recently opened Fairmont Windsor Park is briming with


high-tec innovation. There are 18 treatment rooms, a hammam, a 20-metre indoor pool, a Japanese ashiyu foot-ritual bath and the first multi-person cryotherapy chamber in the UK, plus pretty cherry blossom trees by the pool.


• The hotly anticipated Yorkshire Spa Retreat is now open. The new £4.5-million holiday resort includes a nature-inspired spa, with a wildswimming pond, a sauna, a hydro pool, a Himalayan salt chamber and more.


• With a show-stopping heated outdoor infinity pool overlooking the hotel’s very own sandy beach, the recently enlarged and enhanced C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay Hotel near St Ives has unveiled beautiful new treatment and changing rooms, and a range of new treatments using luxurious products by Bamford and organic seaweed brand Voya.


• In Cheshire, the new English Country Spa Garden at The Manor House Hotel is both pretty and incredibly well appointed – swing lazily in one of the hanging day beds, unwind in the sunken hydrotherapy tub, or warm up in the herbal potting shed sauna.


• Set within the former Bank of Scotland building on Edinburgh’s historic St Andrew Square, The Gleneagles Townhouse opened in 2022. In ‘The Strong Rooms’, located within the old bank vault itself, guests have access to a cryotherapy chamber, an infrared sauna, a state-of-the-art class studios, treatments and more.


• The spa at Staffordshire hotel Moddershall Oaks has designed a new treatment exclusively for those experiencing hormonal changes, such as the perimenopause and menopause. The Pause & Renew 50-minute treatment includes a cool

compress, a soothing skin mask, mindfulness and more.


• The multi-award-winning £10-million spa at Cheshire’s Carden Park Hotel has launched a brand-new private spa package, meaning that you can have the entire 4,500-square-metre spa all to yourself.

→ 63

Dog-friendly ADVENTURE

Two on feet and one on paws spend a week in a caravan in the northern Lake District; bagging Wainwrights, teaching a pup to paddleboard, being swallowed whole by mountain air and not even minding


It’s three-something in the morning and a thousand crickets are having a rave on the fibreglass roof. Either that, or the wind-whipped caravan’s wrapped in a rainstorm intent on sending us doddering into Derwentwater.

We’re in a walk-from-one-end-to-the-other-inthree-seconds-flat home on wheels that’s not quite as expeditionary as a matchbox, not so Babylonian that we don't still coo over the little television that rattles out a sometimes-clear episode of The Simpsons. Here, we have spent seven sweet days of spring marvelling at the cold moonlit dash to the shower block and the unspoken communion that happens between us highfalutin campers; sure, we might compare awnings and what’s being cooked at breakfast, but we nod as our dogs start turf war squabbles and roll eyes in unison as one or the other writhes with the electric hook-up cable.

Each morning, we ready ourselves for the day’s expedition on deck chairs strategically placed in front of an electric heater that threatens to lift off at any given moment, and wear sherpa-lined dry robes for no reason whatsoever. Each night, we sup on yellow rice poured unceremoniously from a packet, play rock-paper-scissors for the one good slice of grilled cheese (the rest are burnt or part-raw, depending on which side of the pan they landed on), and smear more butter on the cob than there’s lime mortar on the slate stone. There’s red wine in plastic goblets (notes of plum, cracked black pepper), raspberry kombucha in a tin, and clotted cream rice pudding from the “Waitrose of the North”. Us herbivores don’t open the fridge’s dairy compartment, for it contains a pungent pâté left behind by Dad-in-law.

We, a group of three, are the following: Four-legged he — the darling — the goodest boy and then some, a doer of no wrong with a gold heart and an irrational fear of things falling on his head.

Human he — the go-along — doesn’t know where he is, but is happy to be here, kind eyes, would like to do all the things and plan precisely none of them.

I — the mole woman — barely seeing, characteristically averse to the light, happiest in burrow with good grub but otherwise utterly native to the wilderness.

Like any salad-years roamers worth their salt, our scheduled pilgrimages were decided in front of a letterpress tray of embroidered fabric patches. There, in a colourful Keswick curio store, we crafted a whipsmart game of “you pick one, I pick one, then you pick one more, and I’ll pick one more,” and so our fate was sealed: Rannerdale Knotts, Hallin Fell, Derwentwater, and Bassenthwaite Lake. (The darling picked up a soft lantern from a strategically placed basket on the way out the door. 65

We all chuckled and took pictures and were smitten. He refused to carry it home.)

And so, to Buttermere. With boots triple laced as Dad had taught, a dry bag filled with honest fare from the village, and a compass that no one really knew how to use (but brought expeditionary feel by the bucketfuls), the darling, the go-along, and the mole woman pushed into a hinterland all of our own. We got lost almost immediately. One local and an “I told you so” later, so began a scramble-up-the-Wainwright-and-pootle-around-the-lake route that had us gobbling up contour lines like plein-air Pac-Men. At the craggy tip top of Rannerdale Knotts — where the darling flirted with the boundaries of safe overthe-edge viewing and the mole woman set about a lecture on the poetic Romantics — there was just enough time for a steaming brew poured from the flask and a fondant egg or two for good measure.

With sights and snouts set on grub, we tumbled down the hillock on a flattened ridge and cobbled together a questionable retelling of all that we’d learnt about the Norman invasion against the Buttermere Cumbrians; part National Trust, part native folklore, part wide-eyed conjecture. An hour or so later, flumped on a picnic bench outside a corner-quoined tea room, there was a banquet of stilton pie and mash, and a farmer’s collie who showed her belly for pastry crusts. We made moustaches out of coconut ice cream and coffee foam while two blue tits got in a big, talon-wielding fight, and made frank admissions that we might like to stay awhile longer or forever.

There was a touch of sogginess about as we did an accidental circumnavigation of Derwentwater the next day, whistling in tandem to our chosen theme song (Going Up the Country by Canned Heat), until we found a secluded-enough launch site. It was empty but for a group of five or six wild swimmers — the kind of folk I think I’d be friends with if only they had four legs — who were doing the dry-robe-wobble back to their cars like a band of sodden caterpillars. One of us inflated the Föhn board, while the other two scooped up waterlogged sticks and

‘We are silly for the Lakes, all three of us – those spired and swollen fells as far as the eye can see...’

made serious business of being idle in the shallows. Having decided that paddle boarding with a thirty-kilo velcro dog who wants to sit on your lap was a suitably perilous undertaking, we copped a push away from the pebbles.

I paddled out flat; I made bearings westward; I scooped the lake away with arms as suited for the job as liquorice sticks — but I could not make the little pontoon go anywhere but northward towards a scattering flock of mohican goosanders. After that, I took to treating the oar like a lanky anchor, jabbing it into the silt and schlepping myself through the lake like a wooden spoon through copper pot fudge. By now, we had a little audience of two pensioners who were clasping palms together and pointing, as new babies do, at “that dog on the paddle board,” and with that I became so full of hot air that I practically blew back to shore. It dawned on me, as sure as eggs is eggs, I’d never forget the day the darling and the mole woman went waterward.

Other days, we dozed under blankets while snow came down and looked at the moon and the neighbours’ dinners through binoculars. We read books and instruction manuals (how do we turn the LED light off?) and made

a life so lovely, we would never want to leave it. We did bickering and heads-back laughing and swam in Bassenthwaite and smiled at the places we’d stayed with the people we love (mine in Ambleside, yours in Thirlmere). We made a video diary on the ascent of Hallin Fell and committed the rest to memory.

We are silly for the Lakes, all three of us. We peep those spired and swollen fells as far as the eye can see; them valley walls that none but the Herdwick sheep can muster. We grin at one another, and become like the cats that got the cream. Here, we deal in pick’n’mix and memories and we aren't always happy, but we are always good. The stick, the sword, and the pen. Wilbur & The Wishbones. This was our party — all treasured whippersnappers, all folk of one-of-a-kind character, a girl and a boy and a hound to round off the pack. All these years, any place one of us went, two more were sure to follow. One of us put it in a nutshell: “We’d go together, even if we had to scramble there.”


fluffy towels and fragrant toiletries to spacious showers and enormous bathtubs (sometimes even two…), there are few greater pleasures in life than a luxurious hotel bathroom. We discover some of the UK’s most sumptuous spaces where you can get squeaky clean in style


The Ark Royal Signature Suite at Malmaison, Newcastle

If you don’t want to waste precious time waiting for your travelling companion to finish in the bath, then plump for the sophisticated Signature Suite at Malmaison Newcastle, because here you’ll each get a tub of your own. This stunning open-plan room has the bathroom at its centre, separated from the bedroom by smart glass walls. Other highlights include a spacious walk-in rain shower and vast windows offering fabulous views over Newcastle’s Millennium Bridge, which can be enjoyed from the tub(s). Why not pop a bottle and soak it all up, side by side.

 The Ark Royal Signature Suite starts at £269 per night,


2Bedroom 2 at At the Chapel, Somerset

In the centre of trendy Somerset town Bruton, At the Chapel is a stunning, Grade-IIlisted 17th-century former chapel that has been creatively converted into a truly beautiful hotel. The eight luxurious bedrooms here carefully combine contemporary, minimalist interior design with some of the historic building’s original features; no two rooms are the same, and so each bathroom is also totally unique. Our favourite is located on the first floor, in Bedroom 2; here, the sleek and serene space is all white marble and

clean lines, with a large walk-in shower and a huge oval-shaped freestanding bath sitting underneath a magnificent 19th-century lancet window. All this plus a generous supply of heavenly scented Bramley toiletries, made nearby in Wiltshire.

 Bedroom 2 starts at £185 per night,

The Bushby Bacon Suite at The Retreat at Elcot Park

Named after Anthony Bushby Bacon who owned Elcot Park in the early 19th century, this spacious two-bedroom suite oozes opulence and artistic glamour. Elegant and refined, the airy, whitewalled bathroom has twin sinks, a large walk-in shower and a show-stopping roll-top bath that sits proudly in a large bay window. Made from marble, this clottedcream coloured tub has been beautifully hand-painted with intricate purple wisteria that continues on to the surrounding walls, ‘growing’ all around the room. Three large windows flood the space with natural light, which bounces off the polished wood floor, antique mahogany furniture and the elegant lily shaped golden chandelier that hangs gracefully from the ceiling.

 The Bushby Bacon Suite starts at £560 per night,

4The Heron Suite at Lympstone Manor, Devon

With spectacular views of the Exe Estuary and the Jurassic Coast, Lympstone Manor is an exceptional five-star country-house hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant, a brand new outdoor pool, and its very own vineyard. There are 21 sumptuous guest rooms and six luxurious shepherd’s huts here, and when it comes to beautiful bathing options, well, guests are spoiled for choice. Several rooms have oval-shaped baths outside on private terraces, and even some of the shepherd’s huts have beautiful outdoor tubs overlooking the vines. For a truly unforgettable bathing experience, the magnificent Heron Suite’s marble bathroom enjoys direct south-facing views across the estuary and has not one, but two glistening gold bathtubs, romantically positioned side by side.

 Rooms start at £360 per night,

70 3


Master Bedroom at Gleneagles Townhouse, Edinburgh

With inspiring views over Edinburgh, the boutique bedrooms at the newly opened Gleneagles Townhouse pack some serious interiordesign punch. The rooms pair Georgian elegance with contemporary comfort, and guests can relish in regally high ceilings, king-sized beds, wooden floors, antique rugs and panelled walls, and some very gorgeous bathrooms too. Master bedrooms have a separate stylish bathing area hidden away behind chic wooden screens; here, luxurious green marble flooring and original artwork provide the perfect backdrop for a large roll-top slipper bath, complete with gold taps, and a freestanding marble sink with wonderful views over the historic St Andrew Square.

 Rooms start at £495 per night, 71


The Acacia Suite at Pennyhill Park, Surrey

If high-tech innovation floats your bathroom boat, then check yourself in to Pennyhill Park in Surrey. It features an award-winning spa, a Michelin-star restaurant, and its guestrooms are just as deluxe. In the state-of-the-art Acacia Suite, guests can take a shower lying down. Perfect for those looking for something more invigorating than a bath but with a similar amount of effort required, simply lie flat on the heated mosaic surface and enjoy six different waterjets being simultaneously powered at different parts of the body. This cutting-edge bathroom also features soothing blue lighting, a large walk-in shower and a waterproof ‘Aquavision’ TV.

 The Acacia Suite starts at £565 per night,


The Cabin at Settle, Norfolk

Home to three beautifully designed and decorated accommodation spaces, Settle is nestled within blissfully private parkland in South Norfolk. Combining enormous windows, reclaimed marble and aged timber, the stunning bathroom in the lakeside Cabin is home to a sizeable shower, a porcelain basin and a vast stone egg bath, perfectly positioned for soaking up the surroundings, both inside and out. Tumbling houseplants, soft towels and La-Eva toiletries add to the stylish serenity of this gorgeous space. Outside lies another picturesque bathing option – a wood-heated bath set on a private deck overlooking a rather magical lily pad-covered lake.

 The Cabin is £1,080 for 3 nights,



Stay and experience the thermal spring waters and magnificent Georgian architecture in this special Unesco World Heritage destination

9Rock View Suite at The Cashel Palace, County Tipperary

In the heart of Ireland, just an hour's drive east from Limerick, Cashel Palace is a grand Palladian manor that has been splendidly reimagined into a luxurious hotel, thanks to a recent multimillion-euro renovation. For a specialoccasion stay, the two elegant Rock View Suites on the first floor of the main house feature high ceilings, a romantic four-poster bed, an original fireplace and soothing muted tones. The sumptuous en-suite marble bathroom is as pretty as a picture, with framed botanical paintings, smart toiletries from French brand Memo, fluffy towels and an indulgently deep marble bath that offers fabulous views of the famed Rock of Cashel.

 Rock View Suites start at €729 per night,


Deluxe Beach Lodge at Carbis Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Just around the bay from the artistic town of St Ives, Carbis Bay Estate is a super luxurious five-star hotel and spa that sits directly on the sweeping white sands of its very own 25-acre Blue Flag beach. Its beautifully appointed Deluxe Beach Lodges, which sleep eight, maximise their seaside location and the panoramic coastal views at every turn; even the plush marble bathrooms offer stunning copper roll-top baths and walk-in showers that directly overlook the turquoise-blue bay. There aren’t many places where you can grab a glass of Cornish fizz, lie back, and spot dolphins from the comfort of the tub...

 Beach Lodges start at £1,200 per night,


The Lookout at THE PIG- on the Beach, Dorset

The PIG offers plenty of unique bathrooms across its litter of stylish hotels and beautifully designed bedrooms, but The Lookout at its Dorset outpost is particularly special. Tucked away just beyond the hotel’s abundant vegetable garden, this picture-perfect hideaway for two is in fact an incredibly romantic two-storey dovecote, complete with thatched roof. Inside, there’s a four-poster bed and a wood burner on the ground floor. Head upstairs, and you’ll find the show-stopping bathroom, complete with a monsoon shower, a velvet chaise longue, and a freestanding bath surrounded by enormous windows, which provide gorgeous views of the gardens and stunning Jurassic Coast beyond. And that’s not all – there’s a statement chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling, a handy telescope for boat spotting, and a second wood burner to keep you cosy as you bathe. Grab a garden-inspired cocktail from the minibar (it’s a tough choice between the lemon drop chili margarita and the verbena cosmo) turn on the taps, and float away.

 The Lookout starts at £605 per night, 75 10

ANDALUCÍA From Britain to

Renowned Health and Fitness Coach and Ex-Pro Triathlete, Chris Roy has launched Active Cycling Holidays from Britain to the south of Spain, with guided tours, for all abilities exploring some of the world’s best scenery...

Would you like to explore hidden areas that will take your breath away on a guided cycling holiday?

Top Health and Fitness Coach, Chris Roy, spent 10 years living and training in Andalusian as a Pro Triathlete. Regardless of your fitness level, Chris and his team of guides have tailored a holiday that is ideal for those active holiday enthusiasts who want to explore and enjoy this beautiful landscape and scenery, in a warm climate.

Chris's Active Guided Cycling Holidays are for those who want to gain fitness while exploring the south of Spain. You will be taken from the coast near Malaga, winding your way through the orange groves, up through the rolling hills covered in sun-soaked olive trees. While passing through the many ancient sleepy towns and villages,

all with their own stunning views you will realise what a pleasure it is to find such places, many of which you may not have heard of.

Andalucía is often referred to as the fruit basket of Europe. Chris along with his team will guide you through regions, where they spent many years living and you will see as they do, just how inspirational these places are. You leave with a sense that you will need to return as it feels like a postcard rather than reality.

Active Cycling Holiday guides have so much experience between them, having been involved in Antarctic expeditions, high altitude training camps, assessed Duke of Edinburgh awards, been part of coast-to-coast teams, competed at the highest level of Professional sport and gained countless hours working in institutes of sport and top rehabilitation centres. Chris, Marta,


Carlos, Paul and Mari-Carmen will take care of you and instil a level of happiness and worry-free peace of mind, that will enhance your active holiday experience leaving you with a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

The 7-day cycle holidays take place in May, June, September and October 2023, taking guests through Andalucía with plenty of cycling, two optional explorations days visiting the “Alhambra Palace” and “Camino de Rey”, also the trips include nutritional advice and fitness coaching. The trips are made to be comfortable for leisure cyclists and those that complete any outdoor activities. Male and Female Hybrid bikes are provided following a bike fit at the start of the holiday. Plus, there are also options to bring your own bike with discount off the holiday, and E-bikes are also available. ◆

How to book

Everything you need including your bike rental, luggage and journey transfers, overnight accommodation, breakfast, dinner and hydration are all provided. Prices for 7 day cycle holidays, from £2,700

 77


In bloom

From restful gardens to festoons of colourful bulbs, the British Isles offers floral masterclasses in some of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring locations...

Floristry workshops

Armathwaiteat Hall Hotel

Few venues can rival Armathwaite Hall Hotel when it comes to location. This Lake District jewel is set in 400 restful acres of deer park and woodland, bordered by the mesmeric waters of Bassenthwaite Lake and framed by the magnificent Skiddaw Mountain and Lake District Fells. Throughout 2023, Armathwaite – a proud member of Pride of Britain Hotels – is offering a range of floral workshops in collaboration with Cumberland Flower Farm. Guests can enjoy a range of seasonal courses throughout the year – crafting fresh spring

Text by Chantal Haines

wreaths made from Cumbrian foliage, plants, bulbs and flowers using sustainable techniques or creating sumptuous midsummer bouquets bursting with seasonal blooms. As autumn draws in, the expert florists will guide

guests as they create a stunning fall table centre; and as December dawns, the Cumbrian wreath workshops will be the perfect way to begin the festive season. The workshops include all materials and a delectable cream tea.



Seed to flower at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

The kitchen gardens, grounds and orchards of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons are world renowned – so much so that the famed hotel and Michelinadorned restaurant now runs gardening and floristry courses.

The full-day and half-day courses have been carefully curated and are helmed by Raymond Blanc OBE and his team. The garden and floral masterclasses are held at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ Hartley Botanic glasshouse, where guests are also treated to a delectable working lunch. Learn about botanicals for cocktails, or take a masterclass

in growing your own flowers and creating vibrant bouquets. For garden lovers, expert courses on growing your own vegetables, winter pruning or the intricacies of micro herbs and edible flowers will no doubt prove irresistible. A gastronomic and exquisite English country getaway –Le Manoir’s 11 enchanting gardens provide guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 79

Gravetye Manor garden tours

Originally created by visionary gardener William Robinson in 1885, the gardens at this luxury hotel ensconced in the Sussex countryside are now considered one of the most important historic gardens in England. Head gardener Tom Coward and his team guides guests through the English countryside, showcasing the manor’s beautiful flower and kitchen gardens. Garden tours take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from

April until October during 2023 and are available to anyone with a lunch reservation in the dining room or staying at the hotel. For an immersive culinary experience with a green-fingered twist, book a garden tour and private dining experience – the garden tour can be booked alongside a private lunch for groups of seven to 20 guests.


Foraging at Glenapp Castle Estate

For something a little different but still bound to the earth and natural landscape, why not discover the joys of foraging. Scotland’s beautiful, bountiful southwest is an open-air larder of delights and, Glenapp Castle Estate offers guests some incredible wild flavours. The hotel’s foraging expert, Monica ‘Mo’ Wilde, is one of Scotland’s leading foraging tutors and ethnobotanists, specialising in the use of plants, mushrooms and seaweeds in


food, medicine and craft. She has been teaching about wild food for 30 years and regularly works with leading chefs, distilleries and bartenders. The foraging experience at Glenapp comprises a fascinating half-day or fullday adventure, where guests learn to identify seasonal edible goodies, such as wild mushrooms, aromatic herbs, seaweeds and succulent coastal plants. The experience includes a wide selection of foraged tipples and tasters and concludes with a wild-food picnic and foraged cocktails in the garden, woods or at the Victorian Glasshouse.


Floral workshops at Ham Yard Hotel

Head to the rooftop of London’s Ham Yard Hotel to discover a world of colour and learn from world-renowned

florist, author and designer Willow Crossley. Willow will take guests on a tour of the roof gardens, identifying seasonal flowers and herbs and will then demonstrate how to make a beautiful arrangement using locally grown, spring flowers. The first workshop takes place in April. Willow will reveal her tips

and tricks on how to arrange flowers from single stems to full arrangements and how to work with the seasons to get the most out of blooms all year-round. Keep an eye on Ham Yard’s diary of creative workshops for more dates –from floristry to fabled thread embroidery.

 81



Durham’s newest luxury self catering accommodation.

Blackton Grange is a luxury retreat with all of the mod cons such as private hot tub, cocktail lounge, games room, cinema room and so much more.

With space for up to 17 guests, Blackton Grange is an elegant but cosy celebration house where you can escape and create your own special memories while celebrating life’s biggest milestones.


Floral creations at Cromlix

Owned by British tennis player, Andy Murray, Cromlix is a Victorian Perthshire mansion full of Scottish charm and decadent touches. While there is an abundance of on-site activities to choose from – including tennis, of course – bespoke lessons in flower arranging, wreath making or table displays can be booked on request from April 2023. During the private flower-arranging lessons, guests will wander the stunning grounds of Cromlix and handpick a selection of blooms, foliage and aromatic stems, including a selection from the tulip beds (newly planted for 2023) when in season. Under the

careful guidance of Sarah Corsar (Head of the Kitchen Garden), guests will create beautiful bouquets and discover a new appreciation for the grounds and gardens of this captivating Scottish hideaway. Thanks to its

beautiful location, Cromlix, a Pride of Britain hotel member, is a perfect fit for green-fingered guests looking to relax and unwind. Individual or group bookings available from April 2023.

 83


the soaring, solid majesty of York Minster, a huge cathedral dedicated to St Peter that is the seat of the second-most important bishop in Britain.

The city walls lead down to Lendal Bridge, which crosses the River Ouse. The conical building you pass on your left once controlled a huge chain that lay on the riverbed and that could – with the assistance of the turreted building on the opposite shore – be raised to prevent any invaders sailing into the centre of York.

York is a remarkable city whose dukes once held the English throne. It has also been a major Roman garrison and the capital of Viking Britain which is why, still today, its streets are named ‘gates’ and its city gates are named ‘bars’.

Start your day at York’s railway station, a splendid and highly practical curving structure in yellow brick. When it opened in 1877 this station had 13 platforms, making it the largest in the world. Dainty, painted pedestrian bridges that wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian municipal park link all those platforms.

Outside the terminus, take Station Road north towards the River Ouse. As soon as you can, climb onto York’s white medieval limestone walls. From here there is a wonderful view of the city, with its Georgian townhouses dominated by

Once on the far side of the bridge, turn left to walk through Museum Gardens as far as the Greek-Revival style Yorkshire Museum, which was opened in 1830. The architect was William Wilkins, the architect of London’s British Museum. The site, chosen by York’s Philosophical Society was in the grounds of St Mary’s Abbey, destroyed during the Reformation. Its ruins can still be seen as you walk through the park.

The medieval walls of York enclose a city that contains Roman, Viking and Georgian architecture and one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Britain. With traffic exiled to a ring road outside the walls, this is a perfect city in which to stroll

Emerging at the north end of the gardens, King's Manor is on your left and the York Art Gallery ahead of you. King's Manor was once the residence of the abbots of St Mary's Abbey but it was taken over by the Tudors after the dissolution of the monasteries. The building is now part of the University of York. In 1603 King's Manor housed James VI of Scotland on his way to London to receive the English throne following the death of his cousin, Elizabeth I. Over the main entrance it sports the coat of arms of the King. James was the monarch who introduced the Scots unicorn to English heraldry, demoting the Welsh dragon. Ever since, the white unicorn has helped the English lion hold up the monarch's shield, but this shield is notably different from that of Elizabeth I, James' predecessor, because James also

introduced the harp of Ireland and the lion of Scotland to its four quarters.

In front of the art gallery stands a statue of the painter William Etty (1787–1849) who was born in York and who painted historical, mythological and biblical scenes. He was considered scandalous in the 19th century because so 85
‘Once on the far side of the bridge, turn left to walk through Museum Gardens as far as the Greek-Revival style Yorkshire Museum.’

many of his paintings featured ladies who had lost their clothes. York's Art Gallery contains the world’s largest collection of Ettys.

Crossing to Bootham Bar where the medieval wall was demolished so that Henry VIII’s daughter Princess Mary could enter in a huge procession, you climb back on to the medieval walls for wonderful views of the freestanding minster across Dean’s Park. In medieval cities like York great buildings would accumulate lean-to houses and workshops around them, like bits of coral adding to a reef.

The Minster, like so many cathedrals and churches, was cleansed of such accretions in the Victorian era. It is today a powerful, stunning white limestone edifice, two huge towers at its western end and an even bigger central tower over the transept that rises up 235 feet without a spire, like some great white cliff face. This is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and a masterpiece in stone and stained glass.

The narrow parapet of these preserved walls runs around three quarters of York. Walking it, you encounter four major and two minor fortified gates (known, from the Viking era as bars). The Richard III Experience, a museum dedicated to the last Yorkist king of England is housed within Monk Bar. This fortified gate – York's largest – still has its own working portcullis.

From here take the narrow steps down into Goodramgate (gate meaning street) and head towards the centre of the old city. Walk past The Cat’s Whiskers ( a cafe where you can take tea with resident cats awaiting adoption) as far as King’s Square where there are often buskers and street entertainers – as well as lots of independent bakeries. Heading south out of the square, past York’s Chocolate Story visitor centre we come to The Shambles, one of the most charming medieval vistas in York. Some of its timberframed houses date back to the 14th century.

The cobbled street is so narrow that some of the overhanging upper storeys of houses almost touch in the middle of the street. It’s generally believed that The Shambles got its name from the Anglo-Saxon word, Flesh/ ammels which referred to the shelves on which butchers used to display their meat. The butchers are long gone and The Shambles is now home to Harry Potter memorabilia shops and general necromancy.


Be careful not to mention the name of The Shop That Must Not Be Named, which is full of magic wands. It is no surprise that many believe The Shambles inspired the design of Diagon Alley in the Potter films.

Coming out into Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate (surely the strangest and least explicable of many strange street names in York) turn right and walk through the marketplace and north towards the Roman Bath near Swinegate. This pub with rooms is built over a Roman caldarium (hot baths), which is still down there in its cellar. From here there is a cut through (a passageway under houses) that is called Nether Hornpot Lane that leads via Grape Lane and Mad Alice Lane into Low Petergate. Here there are some great places to eat or snack as you continue your way north back to the Minster. At the small statue of Minerva (goddess of wisdom), turn right down Minster Gates, which used to be known as Bookbinder’s Alley. Here was where books were leather-bound in medieval times – and later printed. Today its small premises are given over to bookshops and jewellers. This alleyway ends opposite the Minster.

There is no better way to end a walk round York than by visiting the Minster. Do not miss the screen that features 15 life-sized carved kings of England, from William the Conqueror to Henry VI below gilded canopies, nor the painted ceiling bosses above the South Transept. When the transept’s roof was destroyed in a fire of 1984 the Blue Peter TV programme invited children to design new carved bosses for York, relevant to the 1980s. If you look closely (or have brought a pair of binoculars) you’ll see up there bosses that commemorate the first moon landing, saving the whales and the raising of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose

Ideally you’ll have prebooked a ticket for the tower as well. It’s 275 steps to the top, but at rooftop level you are at the highest point in York and can see everywhere you have just walked – and so much more of what this majestic city has to offer.

Where to stay and eat

▶ Middlethorpe Hall: York’s finest hotel, an august Queen Anne house near the racecourse. It was built by the Barlow family, Sheffield cutlers who had made a fortune in the 17th century and wanted to relocate to York. The house was built on the main road leading south out of York rather than in a park, to be sure that no-one would miss it. Today the hotel is famed for its Champagne Afternoon Tea. There is also a lovely spa with a swimming pool in a cottage on the estate. 

▶ Guy Fawkes Inn: This Georgian townhouse stands close to York Minster and claims to have been built on the site of the medieval inn where the Gunpowder plotter, Guido Fawkes was born. Inside, the hotel offers diners a ‘Conspirators Menu’ and a free two-hour walking tour of York’s historic sights.


▶ Galtres Lodge: A unique 12-bedroom boutique hotel has been formed out of two Georgian townhouses in the centre of York. Its location in Low Petergate is ideal for both sightseeing and shopping. 

▶ The Refectory: The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace is part of York’s old 19th-century railway hotel, now known as The Principal, York. Its bar – known as the Chapter House – and its dining room – known as the Refectory – take their names from York’s monastic origins. While you’re there check out the hotel’s gorgeous main staircase. 

▶ Pearly Cow York: Pearly Cow is the first in a mini-chain of new British restaurants opening in heritage buildings. Fire and Ice are the themes of the menu so whether you want steak cooked in a Mibrasa Grill or oysters served on a plate of ice, book in from the end of March. 

▶ Pairings: Sisters Kelly and Kate opened Pairings Wine Bar in 2015. Their mission is to offer a relaxing space for drinking good wine but with the opportunity to order the food the two women suggest as an ideal pairing with each bottle. Hence the name.  87
‘Coming out into Whip-Ma-Whop-MaGate street... turn right and walk through the market place and north towards the Roman Bath near Swinegate.’


Noble Isle is a fine fragrance bath, body & home brand inspired by the rich, cultural heritage of the British Isles. The collection is natural, vegan friendly, cruelty-free, and made in Great Britain using extracts from celebrated, local products from across the British Isles, including: Rhubarb from Yorkshire, Samphire from Ireland, Barley from Scotland, and Beetroot from Wales.



free gift WORTH OVER
Subscribe online  Want to subscribe as a gift for someone special? Non-renewing gift subscriptions also available

STAYS Romantic

The Great Arch at Fonthill, in Wiltshire

Gracefully framing the entrance to the Fonthill Estate, The Victory Arch was built in 1755. Last year, its intimate rooms were refurbished in Farrow & Ball’s newest shades and The Great Arch was transformed into striking accommodation for anyone wanting to hang their hats inside a Grade-I-listed landmark. Patterned fabrics blend harmoniously with antique furniture over three floors, and every space feels stylishly snug. The bedroom has a roll-top bath that looks towards Fonthill’s lake, there’s a log burner in the sitting room and a quaint, eat-in kitchen. Not far from the well-to-do village of Tisbury, Fonthill offers lakeside walks past stone grottos and it’s only 20 minutes to The Beckford Arms, where hearty food and log fires await.

 One night from £295 or from £325 on a B&B basis, with breakfast either at The Beckford Arms or available to prepare yourself,

90 1
Escape with a loved one to a remote retreat, whether it be a design-led bothy, a chic cottage or a windswept clifftop cabin. Time slows down, freeing you to focus on each other, while absorbing the beauty of nature all around you
Text by Natalie Paris

2Doxie, The Wilderness Reserve, Suffolk

Doxie is a traditional Suffolk-pink cottage with a thatched roof, wooden beams and a full country kitchen. Sitting beside a private swimming pond with its own rowboat, the luxury abode is the latest addition to 8,000-acre The Wilderness Reserve, a collection of revitalised period buildings on the Sibton Park estate. Pashley

bikes are available for couples who fancy a pedal around the rewilded countryside. Take a dip in the natural pond afterwards, try the sunken hot tub or retreat to the cottage’s private sauna and steam rooms. Massages and private spa treatments can be arranged on the covered pond-side terrace, where there is also a barbecue and an outdoor kitchen, making alfresco dining a breeze.

 One night from £673, 91

Sitheil, Inverlonan, Oban

You won’t be disturbed at Sitheil, a new eco-bothy with a pared-back aesthetic on the shore of Loch Nell. Guests can cook over fire, order in select delicacies or have a chef whip up an eight-course dinner in the wild. Expect board games, canoes and a sauna cabin but the idea is to rediscover simple pleasures, like grinding coffee and heating water. Stone circles and ancient dwellings are scattered about the glen, while the skies are a haven for hen harriers and white-tailed sea eagles.

 Three nights from £525,

92 3

4Treehouse, Another Place, Ullswater

Accessed via a walkway between oak, ash and yew trees, Treehouse is an architectdesigned property in the grounds of contemporary country hotel Another Place. With floor-to-ceiling windows that look towards Ullswater, its ample space allows guests to breathe, with two bedrooms and a vast outdoor deck featuring a freestanding bathtub. Furnishings were built by local artisans, the floors are reclaimed oak and there is a log burner to snuggle up beside. There are three restaurants on-site as well as a fantastic indoor swimming pool facing the lake. Make a stay extra special by joining a guided, full-moon night swim in Ullswater. A cold-water swimming expert brings light-up tow floats and glowstick to lead a dip from the hotel’s private jetty.

 One night from £675,

5Bosavallam, Cornwall

Set in an orchard, Bosavallam has impressive green credentials. The handfinished panels behind the bed were originally salvaged from a church and much of the furniture is reclaimed or refurbished. The onebedroom refuge has a low-impact design, with smart features like an on-site borehole from which water is filtered, electric car charging and a water source heat pump. The owners ensure the house is stocked with Cornish treats, wildflowers from the meadow and homemade honey. Popular beaches nearby include Daymer Bay, Watergate and Rock. Remember to watch out for visiting wildlife when using the BBQ and kitchen on the terrace. As night draws in, the skies above St Kew become magically bright, making the outdoor nickel bath ideal for stargazing.

 Three nights from £1,143, 93

Aurora, Cornwall

Sheltering on a cliff ledge, Aurora is dwarfed by miles of plunging rock and endless beach beyond her. Wake to the sounds of breaking waves in this light-filled cabin that offers utter seclusion above Freathy Beach, in Cornwall's Whitsand Bay. One-bedroomed Aurora is wrapped in weatherboard to protect her from the elements. A hot tub and patio furniture are set out so guests can relax while watching the sea at play. The indoors feels fresh, with whitewashed walls and a bright kitchen but there is cosiness too, on sheepskins beside the log burner. Come prepared for a digital detox and note that the path down to the cabin is steep, ensuring real privacy. Awe-inspiring views along the rugged South West Coast Path are a stroll away and reveal hidden coves, perfect for two.

 Four nights from £1,295,

Marley Suite, Lakes by Yoo, The Cotswolds

If the sparkly expanses of water at Lakes by Yoo don’t make you want to drop everything and just sit, soaking up your surroundings, the pretty villages of the Cotswolds are close enough for a romantic wander. Lakes by Yoo is a purpose-built retreat that offers great design, top-quality facilities and activities on tap, from pizza nights to nature walks, water sports and ziplining. Accommodation in The Marley Suites proves that intimacy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing space. The suites sleep two but have super-king beds, open-plan kitchens, sophisticated living areas and generous waterside decking. The bathrooms are sleek and luxurious, with modern freestanding tubs. The retreat’s spa – for a swim, sauna, steam or even a yoga session in a yurt – is just a short walk away.

 One night from £500,

94 7

8Leopard Creek, Port Lympne, Kent

In the wild, leopards are notoriously hard to spot, making the wigwams at Port Lympne’s Leopard Creek a particularly thrilling place to stay. The design of the reserve’s newest accommodation is remarkable enough. Wake to shafts of sunlight streaming through the top of a cone of raw timber and farreaching countryside views through panoramic windows. Underfloor heating keeps everything toasty and breakfast is provided. The private viewing terrace is the place to sit and spot big cats over a morning coffee, though a complimentary golf buggy is also provided, letting couples explore the reserve. A 24-hour concierge is on hand, a safari experience is included and there are on-site restaurants to choose from, including one at the Port Lympne hotel. Back at the wigwam, who better to say goodnight to (your partner aside), than a pair of critically endangered Amur leopards?

 One night from £499,


Kai, Eden Valley, Cumbria

Kai is a red-brick hideaway set on a 1,500acre estate deep in Cumbria’s Eden Valley. Just under four miles from Penrith, it is easily accessible but secluded and couples will feel instantly relaxed as they admire the surrounding Lakeland pastures dotted with sheep. The cottage has original stone walls, a dining room with a log fire and a lounge with expansive windows. The bedroom is a calm space, with some wood panelling and a king-size bed dressed in fine linens. Out by the patio area, guests can soak in a wooden hot tub while gazing at the distant fells. The firepit, meanwhile, is somewhere to sit and plot the next day’s adventures in the Lake District National Park.

 Four nights from £641,

The View, Dylan Coastal Resort, Laugharne

With a hot tub overlooking the sweeping sands of the Taf estuary, The View has an enviable position and all the ingredients needed for a quietly romantic evening under the stars. The roomy lodge, one of many properties at the resort, has more to offer besides. A smart, open-plan living area shares the same outlook through glass doors onto the terrace, and the bedroom also has fine views.

The lodge is well-equipped with modern amenities, it also has a dining table, a kitchen and everything required for a self-catered break. The Dylan Thomas Boathouse and Laugharne Castle are close by, plus there are bucolic walks on the doorstep. Time it right and you could visit during The Laugharne Weekend (24–26 March), a comedy festival that takes place down the road.

 One night from £525, 97 10




We're reading...



1 The --- Arms, Braemar 5-star hotel (4)

4 More than just into (4,5)

10 Unhealthy drainage channel (4,5)

11 Leopard ---, Port Lympne accommodation (5)

12 Shade of blue (4)

13 Dealer lures Pip off the beaten track (8)

16 Clark Gable's lost love (6,7)

18 Inconsistency (13)

21 Where 22 Across and 20 Down might have been found in Roman times (8)

22 Whip-ma-whop-ma ---, York (4)

25 Spur wheel (5)

26 Legendary Tunbridge Wells letter-writer (9)

27 Letterform without crossstrokes (4,5)

28 Jack's "Chinatown" costar (4)


2 Freeze on the surface (3,4)

3 "Born Free" lioness (4)

4 Oddly-named Somerset estate (4)

5 Grand Inquisitor of the 15th century (10)

6 Approval (10)

7 Confused demon in total agreement (3,4)

8 They accept offers (6)

9 After-dinner orders (7)

14 Golf centre and top-line Auchterarder hotel (10)

15 Versatile sort (3-7)

17 Proposes (7)

18 Snowdon Mountain Railway station (7)

19 In a fumbling, bumbling way (7)

20 Originally, a Northern chocolate maker (6)

23 Aces "over there" (1,1,1,1)

24 Saltburn ---, for wave-riders (4)

Answers will be printed in the Summer 2023 Issue


Great Walks on the England Coast Path: This guide will encourage you to explore both well-loved and less well-known parts of the English shoreline, £20, | Just Add Water: Over 100 ways to recharge and relax on the UK's rivers, lakes and canals, £18.99, | The Hebridean Baker: Baking sensation, Coinneach MacLeod, known as @hebrideanbaker to his 251,000 TikTok followers and 107,000 Instagram followers is serving up a fresh selection of exciting new recipes and charming stories, £26,

ACROSS: 9 Pendine 10 Abigail 11 Leeds 12 Frowned on 13 Net losses 15 Wales 17 Grenade launcher 20 Tarns 22 Theorists 24 Yellow Sea 26 E flat 27 Ragweed 28 Retinas

DOWN: 1 Up all night 2 Insect 3 Diaspora 4 Deaf 5 Famous name 6 Winnow 7 Randolph 8 Glen 14 Swept aside 16 Stress test 18 Earplugs 19 Narberth 21 Skomer 23 Silent 24 York 25 Acre

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! | 01872 241241 Cornwall is our home and we’d love to share it with you, responsibly and generously. Stay with us and experience the rare quality of over 180 extraordinary Gems, sleeping from 2 to 20 guests. Eco-Conscious Homes | Hidden Gems | Coastal Retreats | Dog Friendly | Celebrations there’s no place like Cornish Gems


one of the best hotels in
the country
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.