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beattitude A Bespoke Hotels Publication. Because It's Better to Be Bespoke.

We find out what it takes to plan the perfect day in some of our most exclusive wedding venues

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Club Brass offers up the last word in cocktail class and prohibition-era panache

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The Bonham Hotel Take a look inside one of Edinburgh’s finest West End hotels



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Our round-up of the best hotels up and down the country for a golfing getaway

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Fresh from its recent renovations, we profile one of Edinburgh’s finest West End hotels.


WORDS FROM A BONHAM BABY We speak to William Harris to get the low-down on the history behind The Bonham Hotel.


THE BONHAM'S SIGNATURE OLD FASHIONED A classic cocktail with a twist, this boozy Bonham recipe will give you a true taste of Scotland.



Indunil Sanchi shares the recipe for one of his favourite Sri Lankan curries. 8|

THE BONHAM'S INNIS AND GUNN SHALLOT TARTE TATIN Infused with local craft beer, this tarte tatin recipe is a modern take on a firm favourite.


HOTEL BROOKLYN What to expect from Bespoke’s newest addition to central Manchester.


We take a look at a stunning Warwickshire manor house perfect for weddings.


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Exploring literary legends, aristocratic dynasties and Olympic connections. 14 |

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We take a crash course in cocktails with Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s private members’ club.




Singleton Publishing EDITORS

Elliot Ramsey Sam Sheppard STAFF WRITER | Will Halbert DESIGNER | Jennifer Swaby

Whether you’re a novice walker or a seasoned rambler, we’ve selected the best hotels with unparalleled access to the great outdoors.

Dennis Baxendale Douglas Campell Graham Forbes Hayley Gibson Beccy Gunn Gemma Harrison Neil Hawthorn Marco Nobrega Simon Radley

MEET THE CHEF BEHIND THE BONHAM'S MENU At the helm of No. 35 at The Bonham, Head Chef Marco Nobrega is breathing new life into their fine dining experience.

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THE ART OF INTERIOR DESIGN We discuss the art of interior design with one of the best in the business. THE FUTURE OF ACCESSIBILITY Meet the man spearheading the accessible design revolution. WORDS FROM A BILLESLEY BRIDE We speak with bride Gemma Harrison on her wedding experience at Billesley Manor Hotel. ODDFELLOWS ON THE PARK Get hitched with Bespoke Hotels in a historic North West venue.

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DRINKS TOUR Our round-up of the best local delights to sample from Scotland to Cornwall.

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THE CHESTER GROSVENOR Simon Radley discusses the apprenticeship scheme in his Michelin-starred restaurant.

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BETTER BY THE DOZEN We talk Surrey beef, small plates and beehives with Dennis Baxendale, Head Chef of The Dozen at The White Horse, Dorking

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MEET THE MINDS BEHIND THE MENUS Introducing two of Bespoke’s finest chefs, sharing the inspiration behind their menus.

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CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION When it calls for a little luxury, celebrate in style with Bespoke Hotels.

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PET FRIENDLY PADS These handpicked gems are the perfect pads for you and your furry friends.

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GOLFING GETAWAYS Our round-up of the best hotels up and down the country for a golfing getaway.


Oliver Redfern Indunil Sanchi Sam Sheppard Richard Tuplin Ed Warner Naomi Wickes Paul Woodhouse Jānis Vilītis

Bespoke Hotels Ltd, 5 Bankside, Crosfield Street, Warrington, WA1 1UP Tel: +44 (0)843 357 5555 | Fax: +44 (0)843 357 5556 Formed in 2000, Bespoke Hotels has grown to represent over 200 properties worldwide and now stands as the UK’s Largest Independent Hotel Group. Ranging from specialist golfing hotels, to award-winning spa resorts and chic city centre properties, the group prides itself on a diverse roster and a unique, individualised management style. Under no circumstances must any part of this publication be reproduced without prior permission to the publisher. Whilst every effort is taken, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any errors. Furthermore, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any advertising material/content. Please also note that the views and opinions written within this publication do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the publisher. All prices and details stated within this publication are correct at the time of print, however these are subject to change and the publisher shall not be held




responsible for these. Third party contributions own exclusive copyright to their own material that they have submitted as part of the publication. All rights reserved.














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The Bonham Hotel Fresh from its recent renovations, we visit The Bonham to explore one of Edinburgh's finest West End hotels



Stay Words from a Bonham Baby


n 1939, the buildings that The Bonham now occupy were converted from townhouses into the Private Clinic, a medical practice specialising in maternity care. During its 12 years, hundreds of babies were born on the premises, now fondly known as Bonham Babies when they return to visit. One such baby is William Harris, born at the Private

Douglas Campbell General Manager, The Bonham


hat can you tell us about the history of The Bonham Hotel? The hotel has a rich history and is now in its fourth life as a building. Situated in the New Town of Edinburgh, it was originally built in the 1870s as three separate townhouses. In the 1700s, affluent residents wanted to move from the overcrowded and polluted Old Town which had grown around Edinburgh Castle for centuries, and these townhouses provided very grand homes for families. Later, in the 1930s, all three of the houses were converted into the Private Clinic, a maternity hospital


in which the well-to-do of Edinburgh had their babies. This was before the creation of the National Health Service, so private hospitals and clinics were seen throughout the rich areas of many cities. We still have Bonham Babies, as we call them — the last of whom were born in the 1950s — who come to visit their birthplace. In fact, as a happy coincidence, the father and aunt of our Front of House Manager, Iain Harris, were both born in the Private Clinic! In 1953, the buildings were sold to the University of Edinburgh and converted into halls of residence. Muir Hall, as it was then known, was in use until the 1990s, before it was sold to a local hotel company, the Town House Collection, who redeveloped it as The Bonham in

Clinic on 2nd June 1945. “I was born at the clinic in the days before the NHS. Back then, it was where ladies went to give birth, and my sister and some of my friends were born there too. Now, a generation later, it’s amusing that my son Iain, the Front of House Manager at The Bonham, has returned to the building in a different way. I obviously have no

memories of the building back then, but my sister recalls going to visit my mother after I’d been born. In recent years, I’ve stayed the night at the hotel and even celebrated my birthday at The Bonham, more than six decades after having been born there."

- William Harris

1998. This year marks the hotel’s 21st birthday and our major renovations have been a great way to celebrate! How long have you been working in your role at the hotel? I joined the hotel in May 2015 from The George Hotel in Edinburgh, whose owner had bought The Bonham and its sister hotel in Glasgow earlier that year. What sets The Bonham apart from other high-end hotels in Edinburgh? We see it constantly in our guest reviews and comments – the team at the hotel. There are over 50 staff members at The Bonham and every one of them is dedicated to delivering a fantastic



The Bonham's Signature Old Fashioned A classic cocktail with a twist, this boozy Bonham recipe will give you a true taste of Scotland

Ingredients 50ml Macallan Gold whisky 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters ½ tsp Muscovado sugar syrup Orange peel experience for our guests. Another draw is our location, as we are only five minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but quiet and secluded at the same time which makes for the perfect combination. The Bonham has undergone an extensive renovation in the last year. How has the hotel developed since this took place? We undertook the full bedroom renovations in July 2018, with the public areas having recently been completed in 2019. It’s been 15 months of exciting work which has really transformed the hotel and made the absolute best of our fantastic buildings. The bedrooms now have a really luxurious feel, featuring contemporary fabrics and colours which still manage to maintain The Bonham’s traditional, period aesthetic.

The ground floor of the hotel sits in contrast to the bedroom floors, and we were really able to have fun with the townhouse’s large rooms. We created a brand new bar with a beautiful lounge overlooking our gardens, a new library with over 1,500 antique books to browse and completely renovated our restaurant which has been renamed No. 35 at The Bonham. Our guests, old and new, love the new look hotel and it is perfect for both our clientele and our location within Edinburgh. What are your top recommendations of places for your guests to visit during their stay? The Gallery of Modern Art is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and a little further out you'll find the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal

Scottish Academy, all housed in fantastic, historic buildings. We’ve also got some lovely pubs just around the corner where guests can enjoy a local beer and some haggis – Teuchters always gives our international guests a word to challenge their English! What makes The Bonham a truly special place to visit? We’re the perfect combination of luxury, informality and friendliness – it’s what brings our guests back to us year after year. We’re also very fortunate to have had a multimillion pound refurbishment which has transformed our offering. I would encourage anyone who has visited The Bonham before to return and see the changes we’ve made. And if you haven’t stayed with us, what are you waiting for?

Method 1. Bring the whisky, bitters and sugar syrup together in a mixing glass, stirring continuously until all the ingredients are mixed together. 2. Strain over a sphere of ice, twist the fresh orange peel over the top of the glass to express the oils and then place into the drink. 3. Give it all one last stir and enjoy.




Meet the Chef Behind The Bonham's Menu At the helm of No. 35 at The Bonham, Head Chef Marco Nobrega is breathing new life into their dining experience

The Bonham's Innis and Gunn Shallot Tarte Tatin Infused with local craft beer, this tarte tatin recipe is a modern take on a firm favourite

Ingredients 100g caster sugar 50g unsalted butter 200g Innis & Gunn beer 20g black treacle 1 tbsp vegetable oil 500g round shallots (peeled and halved through the root) All-butter puff pastry

Marco Nobrega Head Chef, The Bonham Hotel


ell us a bit about your background I started working with my dad, helping him on his vineyard in Madeira, where I learnt the value of hard work and what it means to care about what you produce. But my first role in catering was at Domaine St. Pierre Hotel in Corsica, which is where I learnt that I really enjoyed working in catering. I loved the fast-paced environment and seeing clean plates coming back from the restaurant floor. I have now been at The Bonham for the last seven years and I am really enjoying the challenge of working our menus and team around the property's refurbishment. I am thrilled with the changes we’ve made and I’m excited for what's to come! No. 35 at The Bonham offers contemporary European cuisine with a Scottish twist. What was the inspiration for the menu? Scotland has a plethora of rich and diverse produce, and I really wanted to highlight this throughout the


menu. I work closely with a lot of local producers who really believe in what they are creating, so I wanted the new menu to focus on them. We use local dairy farmers, Scottish seafood and, where possible, always select produce that is grown near Edinburgh. There is nothing more rewarding as a chef than when you are able to work with the best produce you can get your hands on, and create dishes that not only look great, but taste great too. Why is it so important for you to use locally-sourced ingredients? It is so important to showcase locally sourced ingredients because, in the long run, we are benefiting the environment, as well as maintaining local farmland and jobs. Plus, local produce means it is fresher and tastes better too! We help to maintain a community of excellent local suppliers that are always keen to recommend the freshest of ingredients. As a Head Chef, it’s vital for me to build these relationships and keep them at the forefront of my day-to-day role. What is your favourite dish on the menu? Our Innis & Gunn Shallot Tarte

Tatin. To create this, I use a popular beer that is brewed locally in Edinburgh and it’s one of our new dishes which receives amazing reviews from our guests. It also looks very appetising! Moving forward, what are your ambitions for the menu? I want to continue to nurture a close relationship with my already well-established suppliers in and around Edinburgh, as well as looking to support smaller, lesserknown suppliers. I am also looking forward to expanding our garden here at The Bonham, and working towards growing a wider range of herbs to use. This will give our team the opportunity to grow a variety of lesser known herbs and to try them in new, exciting dishes. I have so many different ideas for future menus, and I am already excited for the next launch! What does the future of No. 35 at The Bonham look like? We want to create a West End of Edinburgh destination restaurant that our customers will enjoy, and which will help the community to thrive, bringing people back time and time again.

Method 1. Gently heat the sugar in a deep frying pan, swirling the pan until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat slightly and cook until the caramel is the colour of a rusty penny. Carefully add the butter and swirl until dissolved, before adding the Innis & Gunn and treacle. Stir to dissolve and reduce the mixture until it becomes a syrup. Leave to cool. 2. Heat the vegetable oil in a 23cm ovenproof frying pan. Add the shallots, cut side down, and cook until they are soft and caramelised. Take out to cool. 3. Pour the caramel into the ovenproof frying pan, then add all of the shallots in an even layer, cut side down. Unroll the puff pastry sheet and cut into a circle the size of the frying pan. Drape the pastry over the top of the shallots, tucking it into the edges between the shallots and the frying pan. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and leave to chill. 4. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes or until the pastry and golden and crisp. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before putting a plate over the tarte and carefully inverting. Garnish with a soft cheese and pea shoots.



Hotel Brooklyn Ahead of its arrival in the spring of 2020, we take a sneak peek at Hotel Brooklyn to find out what guests can expect when it opens its doors




Sam Sheppard Communications Director, Bespoke Hotels


ell us about where the theme for Hotel Brooklyn came from Hotel Brooklyn may have been founded in Manchester, but it was definitely forged in the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, past and present. It has an old-time pride: the brownstone, the barber’s chair, the rooftop views from Brooklyn Heights. But it also has something new, something smart, something artistic. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but you sure can feel it. With unique meetings and events spaces on the eighth floor, as well as modern, stylish areas for social and family gatherings, Hotel Brooklyn represents the perfect mix between traditional influence and state-ofthe-art design. The way we see it, if you rub up against greatness for long enough, some of it might rub off on you. Talk us through the idea behind the interior design of the hotel The interiors of Hotel Brooklyn invoke the area’s industrious, working-class heritage, which rubs shoulders with contemporary artistry. The design bridges the gap between the industrial and the handmade, from the first-class style of Runyon’s Restaurant, through to the laid-back Stoop, and all the way up to the rooftop


splendour of Brooklyn Heights, alongside the devilry of the neighbouring Salvation bar. The hotel will stand as a towering shrine to the new world and iconic urban landmarks, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Manchester’s Old Broadway. Hotel Brooklyn’s public areas will offer an atmosphere of irresistible familiarity. It’s the unplaceable yet undeniable sense of belonging, where outsiders become insiders, that defines Brooklyn as a destination of true hospitality. Somewhere that everyone is welcomed, exactly as they are.

for his distinctive character and short stories celebrating the world of New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era, the restaurant is designed around his distinctive character. The adjective ‘Runyonesque’ refers to a distinctive social type from the Brooklyn or Midtown demimonde, as well as to the situations and dialogue depicted in his stories. He spun humourous and sentimental tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors and gangsters, and his mixture of formal speech and colourful slang speaks to the exact kind of tone that we are aiming to strike at Hotel Brooklyn.

What kind of food and beverage offering will the hotel have? Guests to Hotel Brooklyn’s ground floor bar and restaurant will be greeted by a comfortable, unassuming space perfect for any time of the day or night. A large bar counter showcases deli-style goods and the open restaurant creates an unpretentious, interactive guest experience between the kitchen and the diners. With bespoke oak screens to divide the open plan area, the restaurant is truly versatile with pockets of cosiness and tranquility in a dynamic social environment.

What will set Hotel Brooklyn apart from other venues in Manchester? Hotel Brooklyn will be a unique sanctuary for the urban explorer - a living room away from home, a workplace divorced from the office, a place where inspiration waits to be discovered and interpreted into an adventure of your own making. It’ll provide ample opportunity to experience Manchester in whichever direction you choose, whether that’s taking a gander through the Northern Quarter or a moonyeyed stroll down Deansgate. Hotel Brooklyn will stand as a unique venue to wine, dine and dream when you’re off the clock - a prime spot on the shady side of the street where all the best stories are told.

What is the inspiration behind the restaurant? The restaurant is inspired by the author and native New Yorker Damon Runyon, best known



Celebrating 30 years of a Welsh icon. +44 (0) 1974 272 111




The Art of Interior Design With an extensive and varied career in interior design, Oliver Redfern is one of the best in the business. We catch up with him to talk about his work with Bespoke Hotels and the current trends across the industry




Oliver Redfern Interior Designer,


ell us a bit about your background and experience in interior design. I graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Interior Architecture and then worked with several London-based companies. It was at Laura Ashley that I found my love of hospitality design and was able to gain years of valuable experience in the commercial field. This included leading the design of Alladale Lodge in the Scottish Highlands, which was then ranked in Tatler’s Top 100 Places to Stay. Working on these high-profile projects inspired me to take the leap and, in 2006, I set up on my own. Since then I have enjoyed working on a wide and varied portfolio of hotel clients including Accor, Shearings, Best Western and many trendy independents. It was in late 2011 that the wonderful opportunity arose to work with and Bespoke Hotels. How do you start thinking about interior design when working with a space? There’s always a profound sense of opportunity when you first walk into any room. I keep an open mind and respond to the space, rather than having a set signature style. Inspiration can be found in the architectural

period of a property, its location, historical past or how it’s going to be used. This allows me to begin to form a direction. However, for me, design is an organic process so those early ideas will always evolve as things take shape on site. How does your relationship with the client factor into the design of a space? I have always felt that my design ethos is built around a positive and strong relationship with the client. This enables me to understand their expectations and hopefully exceed them, ensuring that their project, whether that’s a brand standard hotel or a oneoff boutique venue, has a unique individualism, from the biggest statement pieces down to the smallest decorative details. Which hotels within the Bespoke Hotels portfolio have you worked on? My first ever project for Bespoke Hotels was a small bar and library space for The Lodge Hotel in Putney, South West London. Since then, I’ve worked on a wide variety across the group’s portfolio including the delightful Stonehouse Court Hotel in the Cotswolds, the historic White Horse Hotel in Dorking and, of course, the magnificent Hotel Gotham in central Manchester. Where do you take inspiration

from when you’re working on a project? Funnily enough, even now with nearly 20 years in the industry, I always find it’s the actual project that inspires me. This may sound odd if it’s just a large hole in the ground on a building site, but I always see new projects as opportunities to do something fresh, to maybe take a direction that I haven’t taken before and, in doing so, create an environment that will ultimately provide its guests with a sense of enjoyment and make them feel at home. Do you have a favourite Bespoke Hotel that you have worked on? Honestly, it’s always the last project. But I put so much into them that I’m proud of all of them, especially when I see guests interacting with and enjoying them. However, when I was at university, we studied Edwin Lutyens, so having the opportunity to work on his imposing former Midland Bank building at 100 King Street in Manchester, and to ultimately turn it into the award-winning Hotel Gotham, holds a very special place in my heart. How big is the team that you worked with on your projects for Bespoke Hotels? For me, flexibility is key to the success of any project. So while we have a core team of very talented people, we also draw upon designers and technicians who have




worked with the team in the past, and who have additional expertise or experience in a specific field. Right now it’s a team of seven. What sets your work apart from other leading interior designers? When I first entered the industry, I remember being at a function where some designers were complaining that they spend more time running their business than doing the design work that they love. I’ve always kept tight control of the number of projects I work on at any one time. Thus, I am able to maintain a handson involvement, which I think explains why so many clients have returned. They know that it’s not just a job for me, but a dedication to design!

The Future of Accessibility We sit down with Ed Warner, founder of accessible design company Motionspot, to discuss the art of balancing style and functionality

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently working on the final stages of the dynamic Hotel Brooklyn in central Manchester, and have several other hotels in the development stages, including a second Hotel Gotham which will occupy a period building with Charles Rennie Mackintosh connections in Glasgow's central Blythswood district. And while it’s still early days, I'm also working on the concept design of a wonderful mid-century inspired hotel in the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building. Generally speaking, how long does a project take from start to finish? How long is a piece of string? There can be so many variables: mainly the size of the project, from a single space within an existing hotel to an entire new build. Most recently, the design process for Hotel Brooklyn started in early 2017 with the concepts for approval, before detailing design began later the same year. Construction then began in 2018, and the hotel will open its doors in the Spring of 2020. What are the current key trends emerging in interior design? I have always felt that hospitality design tends to march to the beat of its own drum, from project to project. I do see a growing trend towards authenticity, whether that’s a building’s history inspiring a design ethos, the repurposing of existing structure and artefacts, or the provenance of new furnishings, lighting, fabrics and artwork. It all adds a sense of atmosphere and soul. What does the future of interior design look like? Very exciting. But then, of course I'd say that! |

Ed Warner Founder, Motionspot


longside Bespoke Hotels, you’ve implemented accessible design that works to create an enabling environment. Why was this so important to you? Traditionally, accessible rooms have been functional in their style and have often perceived as second-class spaces. Yet there are over 14 million people living with a disability in the UK and I don’t see why accessible facilities should be any less aspirational, stylish and appealing than other areas of a hotel. I passionately believe that all environments should be designed inclusively to suit the needs of every guest and member of staff, and it has been fantastic to work with a forward-thinking organisation like Bespoke Hotels who share a similar vision. How was Motionspot formed and what was its mission? I launched Motionspot in 2012 after the personal experience of

our co-founder and old school friend of mine, James Taylor, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. After 8 months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, James returned home to find his apartment looking like a clinical hospital, full of all the medical aids and adaptations that had been designed for function over form. Motionspot was launched to provide an alternative to this, as well as to champion beautiful, accessible design principles and market-leading, aspirational products. Our mission is to make a positive difference to the lives of our customers through creating beautifully accessible environments for all. Tell us a bit about your own background and experience. I’m not actually a designer by background. My experience had been in sales and marketing roles for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies including Nestlé and Cadbury Schweppes. I was then Commercial Director of a wonderful business called One Water which funds clean water projects in Africa from the

sales of water in the UK, and this experience taught me the benefits of building a business with a social purpose, which I have carried on to Motionspot. The success of our design business has been built on our talented team of accessible designers, interior architects and product specialists who have truly pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the world of accessible design. How did you balance accessibility and design in the hotels you worked on? Was it difficult to create something both functional and modern? The challenge in the early days was proving you could balance functionality with good design. Over the last six years we have worked with some fantastic clients who have had the vision and ambition to design better access for guests and really show what can be achieved, which has ultimately enabled others to follow their lead. What are the basic criteria that make a space accessible and how does your work take this further?






the access needs of anyone with a physical, cognitive or sensory impairment. Often, hotels are only designed to suit wheelchair users, but the demand for accessible spaces extends far beyond physical disability. What have been some of your favourite hotels in the Bespoke portfolio to work on? My favourite projects with Bespoke Hotels are at two rather contrasting ends of the development scale! One was The White Horse Hotel in Dorking, Surrey, which was a substantial refurbishment of a 13th century coaching inn, including the development of two beautiful accessible rooms in a style that complemented the extensive history of the building. The other is a current project with Hotel Brooklyn in Manchester, which is due to open early next year and will pay homage to the golden age of New York City. Motionspot has designed 18 accessible bedrooms within this development, including the first hotel room in Manchester to have a concealed ceiling track hoist. Additionally, we have helped shape the access principles throughout the communal areas of Hotel Brooklyn, ensuring that all areas are accessible for guests and staff, while being in keeping with the design and aesthetic of the building.

There are basic guidelines like Part M of the building regulations, alongside BS8300 which provides best practice guidance when designing accessible hotels. These documents give a good basic standard of accessibility, however they are often wrongly interpreted by clients and their architects, which results in the design and specification of clinical, functional-looking spaces and products. Motionspot works with clients to understand the design intent of the development, before we then blend style with access principles to design environments that are aesthetically appealing and accessible to a broad range of guests. Importantly, we design spaces to suit


'I’d love to see a future where we no longer have the segregation between accessible and non-accessible rooms and instead build spaces that are universally appealing and beautifully designed for everyone.'

You don’t just work on bedrooms and bathrooms in hotels, but strive to make all communal areas accessible, too. What is the biggest challenge faced in doing this? At Motionspot, we design beautiful, accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, but we also give design advice across all communal areas of hotels. We work with clients to design the right level of access at entrances, reception areas, restaurants and bars, lounges, gyms and spas, as well as general access principles through corridors, lifts and lobbies. We also consider access to external areas which includes accessible parking. The biggest challenges in these communal areas are often level changes, the use of materials, lighting levels and acoustics. But everything is possible if designed in the right way and planned at the right time. Crucially, these changes do not need to increase development costs. What does the future of accessible design look like? I hope the future sees accessible design principles incorporated into all developments as standard good practice. When designed in the right way, hotels can be stylish and accessible to everyone. I’d love to see a future where we no longer have the segregation between accessible and non-accessible rooms, but instead build spaces that are universally appealing and beautifully designed for everyone.



Billesley Manor Hotel Situated in the stunning Warwickshire countryside, Billesley Manor Hotel is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable wedding



Weddings Words from a Billesley Bride


ntil my fiancé and I began looking for a venue for our wedding, we didn’t know that Billesley Manor even existed! With its stunning surroundings and beautifully kept gardens, it was the perfect backdrop to our special day and we instantly fell in love with it. Naomi Wickes, the hotel’s wedding coordinator, was fabulous and helped


hen planning their big day, couples long to find a venue oozing with style and sophistication. Somewhere elegant, equipped with a magical backdrop and the very best in service hospitality, to ensure that their moment is truly special. Whether you’re looking for somewhere with a simple yet refined atmosphere or a grand country manor with acres of sprawling grounds to explore, Bespoke Hotels have a range of properties across the country that make the perfect place to tie the proverbial knot. Naomi Wickes Wedding & Special Sales Executive, Billesley Manor Hotel Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Billesley Manor Hotel? Although a manor house has stood in the grounds since at least 1086, Billesley Manor, in its current form, was built around 1610 and has gradually evolved into the fascinating country


house you see today. When you spend the night here you are sleeping where several significant historical events occurred. For four centuries it was owned by the Trussell family and, later, Robert Lee, the Lord Mayor of London, who was responsible for much of the manor’s existing south façade, as well as some of the fine interior woodwork. It was in the library at Billesley that William Shakespeare put ink to paper and wrote As You Like It, which contains the famous line declaring ‘all the world’s a stage’. We believe this holds true today, and that Billesley Manor is the perfect stage upon which to celebrate the most special day of a couple’s lives. How long has the Billesley Manor Hotel been hosting weddings for? In 1989, Billesley Manor was turned from a family home into a country house hotel, and we have been hosting weddings ever since. Although Shakespeare himself is alleged to have married Anne Hathaway in All Saints’ Church, located in the grounds, in 1582. So it could be argued that we

us in every way with planning our day. We had absolutely nothing to worry about during the process, as Naomi ensured that everything went as smoothly as possible and that the venue was dressed to perfection. We really can’t thank her enough for making our wedding day so special. Billesley Manor has everything to offer potential brides or grooms.

The bedrooms are beautiful and the hotel has an intimate and cosy bar, a lovely spa, and wonderful staff who can’t do enough for you. All of our guests commented on how wonderful this venue is, so if you’re looking for somewhere truly special for your wedding day, then Billesley Manor is the place. - Gemma Harrison

have been hosting weddings for over 437 years! A lot of brides and grooms are attracted to Billesley Manor to walk in the footsteps of these historic and important people. We love giving them the opportunity to be Lord or Lady of their very own manor for the day. How long have you been working in Weddings and Events at the hotel and what have been some of the highlights of your time there? I began working at Billesley Manor in 2011, so this is my ninth year working at the hotel. The highlights have been seeing so many couples tie the knot and having the pleasure and privilege of playing a small part in their day. No two weddings are the same at Billesley, and I love planning the action before seeing it all come together on the day, which really is the ultimate reward. I am also excited that we have had the Topiary Suite refurbished this year, which is looking amazing. It overlooks our 100-year-old topiary garden and gives a real wow factor to all the weddings we host.



Oddfellows on the Park

Do you tend to use local suppliers when planning weddings? All of our suppliers are local and are people that I have built up relationships with over my nine years at Billesley. I trust them with our weddings and they are, without a doubt, the best in the business at what they do and what they can provide. When you’re working with a client, what is your approach to planning their special day? All of our brides and grooms are unique, and our aim is to plan a day that is as unique as the couple themselves. We offer a bespoke service and get as involved as the client requires. We do offer packages, but the majority of our weddings are personalised to the couple and what they envisage for their day. Ultimately, it is all about them and so there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for these incredibly important events. I am always on-hand for our weddings, and I do get very attached to our brides and grooms. It is such a big day in their lives, so you end up having spent so much time making sure that everything is exactly as they wish because you only have one opportunity to get it right! What makes a wedding at the Billesley Manor Hotel unlike any other? Billesley Manor Hotel is a hidden gem. We have our main function room, as well as amazing grounds which offer the chance to hold your ceremony in the topiary garden. Our Great Hall is an ornate, oak-panelled room brimming with history and perfect for intimate indoor ceremonies. While our bedrooms can be booked for guests to stay in, allowing them to relax and make a weekend of the celebrations. We also have an exclusive policy to only host one wedding per day, meaning that the couple on that given day is the sole focus, ensuring our dedicated team do everything to make their day perfect. We are proud of our long tradition of service and hospitality to all guests, and we recognise that each person has different desires, needs and expectations of their stay. Our aim is to satisfy these uncompromisingly! Naomi Wickes is the Wedding and Events Coordinator at Billesley Manor Hotel. For more information on Billesley Manor or to enquire about booking the venue, telephone 01789 279 955 or email

Located on the fringes of Greater Manchester, Oddfellows on the Park is home to some of the best in the business on hand to plan your special day

Wedding Stays Stonehouse Court Hotel Bristol Road Stroud Gloucestershire GL10 3RA Branston Hall Hotel Lincoln Road Branston Lincolnshire LN4 1PD Heythrop Park Enstone Oxfordshire OX7 5UE

Hayley Gibson Events Manager, Oddfellows on the Park


hat can you tell us about the history of Oddfellows on

the Park? Bruntwood Hall was originally built in 1861 by an industrialist who had taken inspiration from a home in Scotland, with the original ceiling in The Stud Room Bar testimony to this via its distinctive thistle design. In 1892, the building was extended by its second owner, a well-known local character referred to as The Galloping Major. He was often on horseback in the grounds of Bruntwood Park, which was then a private equestrian stud and estate. The Hall’s ballroom was built at huge expense and held one of the first sprung ballrooms in the United Kingdom, where many fabulous parties were hosted. It now houses the restaurant, named after its creator, The Galloping Major. Oddfellows Hotels took on the careful restoration of Bruntwood Hall in 2015, wherein an extensive 18-month long programme focussed on preserving the original architectural features. This opened up the doors of a beautiful, 22-bedroomed boutique hotel with a restaurant, bar, event space, and petite but perfectly-formed salon! How long has the venue been

hosting weddings for? We opened our doors to our first wedding on the 20th May 2017! How long have you been working in your role at Oddfellows on the Park and what have been some highlights of your time there? I have been part of the hotel team since October 2017 and I am loving every minute. One of my personal highlights has to be our collaboration with Elegant Hotels. They devised an event, held at Oddfellows, which showcased their new Barbados hotel to British travel agents. Their Head Chef and bartenders travelled over to deliver a real taste of the Caribbean to Oddfellows on the Park, and guests attended from all over the world. It was a truly fantastic event, with rum and music galore! When you’re working with a client, what is your approach to planning their special day? Our approach is completely bespoke, excuse the pun! No two people are the same, so why should any two weddings be? We’ve hosted everything from intimate weddings for just six people, to casual outdoor barbecue weddings for 100 or more. We’ve had fireworks and fire-breathers, and everything in between. The luxury of having a fairly intimate venue means that we get to know the couple on a personal

level. Not only myself, but the whole team. By the time the bride and groom arrive for their wedding, everyone will know them by name and it really makes them feel like they are a part of the Oddfellows family. One of the best parts of our service is our tailored menus. Each couple works closely with our Head Chef to decide exactly what they want on the menu for their special day, which really makes a difference and adds to the fond memories. What makes a wedding at Oddfellows on the Park unlike any other? Attention to detail is one thing that makes us stand out. We don’t have a production line approach to weddings, so we have the luxury of time and patience, which other venues sometimes may not have. We have time to spend organising each wedding, getting to know our couples and helping to create their personal vision for their big day. The other factor is the Hall itself, with its quirky interior touches that surprise and delight at every corner. Where else would you see a life-sized horse lamp, a chandelier made from bike chains, and a bespectacled fox on the wall! Hayley Gibson is the Events Manager at Oddfellows on the Park. For more information on Oddfellows or to enquire about bookings telephone 0161 697 3066 or email events@




Drinks Tour Our round-up of some of the most unique drinks from across the country. We head to Scotland, Cornwall and Surrey to speak to those in the know about their favourite tipples, and sample a flavour of the local area

Surrey 89 The White Horse Hotel

Dalmore 12 Year Old Single Malt The Tulloch Castle Hotel

Dead Old Fashioned The Lugger Hotel

The Surrey 89, one of our refreshing house cocktails here at The White Horse, pays homage to two of our favourite local producers from the Surrey Hills. It blends Thundry Hills Mango and Pear Gin with the crisp taste of Greyfriars Cuvée Brut.

A getaway in the Scottish Highlands calls for one thing, and one thing only - whisky! Start your evening at Tulloch Castle with a great local whisky, the Dalmore 12 Year Old. The historic Dalmore distillery, founded in 1839, is just 10 miles from Tulloch Castle and overlooks Cromarty Firth and the picturesque Black Isle.

Rediscover Cornwall’s smuggling history at The Lugger Hotel in Portloe. Our house cocktail, the Dead Old Fashioned, is a Cornish twist on the classic whisky cocktail. But with one small difference - the spirit.

The Greyfriars vineyards, located in Puttenham on the sunny, south-facing chalk slopes of the Hog’s Back, and have been producing stunning English sparkling wine since 1989, and Thundry Hills, a small-batch gin producer in Elstead, have been distilling their delicate, innovative gins since 2017. Together in the Surrey 89, they make the perfect tipple to enjoy in The Dozen Bar, either by itself or accompanied by one of our small plates. Celebrating the region’s rich history of winemaking, combined with the botanical infusions of Thundry Hills, our house cocktail marries two of Surrey’s finest in one exquisite drink.

Words by Beccy Gunn |

Dark in colour but rich in taste, the aroma of the Dalmore 12 acts as an appetiser, with notes of honey, vanilla and the absorbed flavour of the sherry cask that the whisky is matured in. The taste begins with fruity notes with a hint of spice gradually tantalising your taste buds, allowing for a mellow, well-rounded whisky perfect for enjoying in a relaxed setting or at a party or traditional ceilidh.

Words by Graham Forbes

We substitute bourbon for Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced Rum, a spirit from the North coast of Cornwall which was created at The Rum & Crab Shack in St. Ives. With notes of saffron, Pedro Ximénez ice cream, creamy caramel, vanilla and nutmeg, this unique rum brings a new complexity and flavour profile to one of our best-loved cocktails. Here at The Lugger, we are very proud to have the opportunity to work with excellent local producers and suppliers. For us, it’s about quality over quantity, which is why we favour small-batch, independent distillers. Visit us here in Portloe for a real taste of Cornwall and an experience you’ll never forget.

Words by Jānis Vilītis






Drinking with Club Brass With an affectionate nod to the glitz and glamour of 1920s New York, Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass offers up the last word in cocktail class and prohibition-era panache

The Recipe

Honey Bee's Knees

Welcome to the Club

One of Club Brass’s

The Ace in the Hole

most popular cocktails, this concoction’s delicate, floral flavours are offset by a distinct punch of gin


olding pride of place on the top floor of Manchester’s one-andonly Hotel Gotham, it’s safe to say that Club Brass goes above and beyond your average hotel bar. The style and opulence of the prohibition-style, members' bar is further elevated by the grace and intelligence of its cocktail offerings. Proving once and for all that extravagance needn’t come at the cost of sophistication, Club Brass is a welcome addition to Manchester’s burgeoning premium bar scene.

The Japanese Garden


his summer, Club Brass teamed up with Japanese craft gin makers, Roku Gin, to transform the club’s famous outdoor terrace into a stunning Japanese Garden complete with bespoke cocktail menu. Simple, stripped-back, and sophisticated by design, the Japanese Garden menu offers up five carefully-curated Roku cocktails that are as easy on the eye as they are on the palate. If you’re new to the world of Japanese gin (and Japanese booze in general), do yourself a favour and order up their Marco Polo. A delicious mix of gin and sake, the cocktail boasts a bold, floral bouquet on the nose that’s quickly followed by hints of summer pears, red berries and muscat grapes on the palate. It’s a truly unique fusion of two staple Japanese delicacies.

Featured Libation

Ingredients 30ml Hendricks gin 20ml Lemon juice 20ml Apple juice 15ml Lillet Rouge 10ml Lavender syrup 10ml Honey syrup Method Add all the ingredients into a Boston shaker. Add cubed ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain the cocktail into a champagne coupe and garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel and two edible flowers.

Bison Berry Fizz When sipped straight, vodka can be quite the formidable foe. But let’s face it, your average vodka is an absolute pushover in a cocktail. Not so with Club Brass’ Bison Berry Fizz; a deceptively heavy-hitting vodka cocktail with a berry-sweet finesse. A firm favourite amongst members and guests alike, The Bison Berry Fizz is a sweet but crisp cocktail with a little more clout and complexity than your typical, tried-andtested vodka sipper. And it’s in cocktails like this that Zubrowka really sets itself apart from other vodkas. Quadruple-distilled from rye and infused with Polish bison grass, it boasts a singular spice of rounded botanical liveliness and a surprising vanillin silkiness that sets it apart. Each bottle of Zubrowka even contains a single blade of bison grass, which is added by hand in a testament to its authenticity.




The Chester Grosvenor Hotel The Simon Radley Kitchen Academy at The Chester Grosvenor is one of the most prestigious hospitality apprenticeships in the country. We sit down with the man behind the Michelin star, Simon Radley himself, to find out what it takes to train the culinary creatives of tomorrow




apprentices the chance to experience a broad range of departments, allowing them to find their niche. Where do your apprentices go on to after they have completed the programme? It really does vary, but a high percentage of our apprentices have been offered positions at The Chester Grosvenor. Others have celebrated success up to and including Sous and Head Chef positions, which some having relocated to work in other well-known restaurants all over the country. To name just a few, we have most recently promoted Joshua Robbins to Sous Chef, Hannah Rutherford to Chef de Partie in our 2 AA Rosette La Brasserie, and David Palmer, to Chef de Partie in the Simon Radley Michelinstarred Kitchen. Keep an eye on these three! What have been some of the highlights of your time running the academy? There have been so many highlights over the years, it's tough to narrow them down! We see a lot of chefs across all levels of the industry and the comparable skill set of our apprentices is phenomenal. We are so proud of their achievements and can confidently state that they are ready to work at any world class establishment by the conclusion of our programme. A particular highlight for me has to be seeing the apprentices evolve and being able to play a part in their personal journey. The process of watching them first enter the programme, find their niche area, and move on to more senior roles in the kitchen, has to be one of the most rewarding feelings.

Simon Radley Head Chef, Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor


hat first motivated you to establish the Simon Radley Kitchen Academy? We really wanted to nurture new talent in the industry, pass on our wealth of knowledge and develop the next generation of chefs. The Simon Radley Kitchen Academy is a great way of giving aspiring chefs the opportunity to experience all of our departments and enable them to find their niche. It’s a great chance for those wanting to work in the industry to get a foot in the door. How long has the programme been running for, and how long is it? It has been running since 2013 and lasts

between 12-18 months. How are the apprentices recruited to the academy? Our apprentices are recruited in a number of different ways: through Total People, who are apprenticeship providers, as well as the Government apprenticeship website, sites such as Indeed, The Caterer and The Chester Grosvenor website. After applying, candidates are then invited to a working trial to ensure that they fit in with the culture and enjoy the process, before being interviewed by our Learning & Development team. How many different sections of the kitchen do the apprentices get the chance to work in? They get the chance to work in four different sections: Pastry, Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor, La Brasserie and Meetings & Events. This gives the

What makes the academy at The Chester Grosvenor one of the best training programmes for young people wanting to kickstart a culinary career? The Simon Radley Kitchen Academy offers apprentices the chance to learn a wide range of skills and cooking methods across many sections of the kitchen. This creates multi-skilled chefs and gives them a high level of exposure to variety, which not all apprenticeship schemes will do. They work under some of the best professional, Michelin star chefs in the industry, who are each personally invested in their learning journey. Apprentices will cook with the finest, freshest seasonal produce and will learn the foundations of basic cookery to use as building blocks to create dishes. Nothing is frozen or bought in readymade, which allows us to be confident that our apprentices can handle the workings of any quality kitchen at the end of their programme. We also have an exceptional Learning and Development team on site to support the apprentices through the programme. We view every apprentice as an integral part of our team. They receive the same employee benefits as the rest of the team at The Chester Grosvenor, and we have nurtured an inclusive and collaborative culture which I am immensely proud of.




Better By the Dozen We talk Surrey beef, small plates and beehives with Dennis Baxendale, Head Chef of The Dozen at The White Horse, Dorking

sourced from the south of England. How important is it for you to use locallysourced Surrey produce in your cooking? Seasonality and locally-sourced produce are integral to the ethos of the menu, where we aim to celebrate local producers such as Roberts & Edwards, where the Reigate Royal Sausage is sourced from local Surrey pigs and made on-site at the butchers. Wherever possible we use local suppliers, even down to the choice of cheeses and chutneys. Surrey and Sussex have a tremendous richness of suppliers and it is a privilege to champion them. What is your favourite dish on the menu at The Dozen? That’s a tough one, as all our dishes have their place and are favourites of mine. But I suppose I would say that! If you’re looking for simplicity, you can’t go wrong with our 20oz rib of beef, which is sourced from a local Surrey farm and cooked on the griddle to produce arguably the best flavour and cut of meat on the market today. However, I’m also rather partial to our herb-crush grilled hake, which has become one of my favourites thanks to the sweet cherry tomato sauce complementing the light flavour and meaty texture of the fish. This is also a slightly healthier option for those intimidated by the size of the beef rib!


ell us a bit about your background as a chef. I fell in love with cooking pretty early, at the age of 14, when I began working in the local fish and chip shop preparing the ingredients for cooking. However, I soon realised that I wanted to move away from the deep-fryer and produce food that married perennial British dishes with modern-day techniques. I then took myself off to East Surrey College where I gained my qualifications, before working my way up to Head Chef and running the kitchens of many different establishments across a diverse range of culinary styles, learning about various regional and national cuisines along the way. I ultimately decided to start my own business and throughout my 30 year career behind the stove I have opened, managed and passed on several businesses, from Spanish style


takeaways to traditional British pubs. What are the inspirations behind your menu at The Dozen? I believe it’s very important that we continue the trend of celebrating the history of the hotel, while at the same time ensuring we are meeting the needs and palate of both our international travellers and our local visitors. Since joining the kitchen team, I have expanded our small plate and classics sections, crafting dishes that celebrate the 400 year heritage of the White Horse Coaching Inn, from the simplicity of our Scotch Eggs to the hearty favourite of Fish & Chips, which I’ve got rather better at preparing since I was a teenager! Alongside this, I have been working with our sister hotel, La Suite West in Bayswater, to ensure our vegan guests are offered seasonal choices and ingredients

What are your ambitions for the menu, moving forward? I see the menu continuing to celebrate the great history of British coaching inn food, while always reflecting the needs of our travellers, who may be looking for more grazing dishes. It’s locally-sourced food cooked to perfection, in a nutshell. But the underlying theme is the simplicity of the cooking, where we let the fantastic produce speak for itself and continue to champion producers from Surrey and Sussex. What does the future look like for The Dozen at The White Horse? We are aiming to continue with our traditional style of menu, introducing a greater variety of daily specials using locally-sourced ingredients whether they be fish, meat, dairy, or vegetables. We are also hoping to work with local schools to maintain our own beehives and grow our own herbs, thus ensuring the quality of our ingredients remains entirely organic, fresh, and quality-assured.






Meet the Minds Behind the Menus From Scotland to Cirencester, we make a reservation with two of Bespoke's most talented and ambitious chefs

Richard Tuplin Head Chef, The King's Head


Neil Hawthorn Head Chef, Stonefield Castle


ell us a bit about your background as a chef I started my career as a Commis Chef at the Turnberry Hotel when I was 20 years old, after deciding that a life of accounting wasn’t for me. Turnberry was my training ground, where I learned a mixture of classical dishes and modern techniques. After five years there, I decided that I wanted to pursue more of the fine dining element of cooking, so I moved to Glenapp Castle as the Sous Chef the year in which it retained a Michelin star. I then went to the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh as Senior Sous Chef before travelling around the country, working at various three AA Rosette establishments, and spending nearly two years at the Aird Hotel on the west coast of Scotland. I began working at the Stonefield Castle Hotel a year ago as Sous Chef, and loved the location and the produce that we have access to here.


What was the inspiration for your menu? All of the dishes on the menu are things that I love to eat. We use some of the best ingredients in the country, many of which just so happen to be right on our doorstep, from the land, sea and air! How important is it for you to use locally-sourced ingredients? It is very important to me that the ingredients we use are good quality, which is why we use locally sourced ingredients here. Whether scallops from Mull or Loch Fine Oysters, you just can't get better. And it certainly makes my job easier when the ingredients can speak for themselves. What is your favourite dish on the menu? Grilled mackerel with mackerel tartare, avocado puree, purple potatoes, horseradish emulsion, and baby gem. Mackerel is possibly my favourite fish, both to use and to eat, and they are caught in the water that we can see from the kitchen at

Stonefield Castle. It’s some of the best that I’ve used. What are your ambitions for the menu, moving forward? Giving our guests a good dining experience is paramount to what we do here at Stonefield Castle. If our guests are happy then we are happy. Eventually, I would like to include some dishes on the menu that create an increased element of theatre in the dining room, such as table-side service or a bit of flambé with a Scottish influence. What does the future of the restaurant at the Stonefield Castle Hotel look like? There is investment going into the restaurant at the moment, which is very exciting. The team are all very positive about our culinary future of the restaurant, and the changes that I’ve seen during my time here have been brilliant. We are looking forward to continuing to improve our offering all of our guests. Onwards and upwards!

ell us a bit about your background as a chef. I started working in kitchens at the age of 16, initially in my hometown of Grimsby. I was able to work my way up from an apprentice to a Sous Chef in four years, before I moved onto the The Devonshire Arms Hotel on the Bolton Abbey Estate in North Yorkshire, which was my first experience of working in a Michelin starred restaurant. After two years there, I moved on to work in a selection of two and three AA Rosette establishments. These included Beechfield House in Wiltshire, where I rose from Senior Sous Chef to Head Chef, before coming to The King’s Head. I was also the Head Chef at Ston Easton Park Hotel in Bath and The Hare and Hounds Hotel in Tetbury. What was the inspiration for your menu? My inspiration is drawn from chefs that I’ve worked with in the past, such as Dan Moon and Jamie Hirst, but also through eating at good restaurants, the street-food I’ve sampled on my various travels, as well as daily conversations with my team. How important is it for you to use locally-sourced ingredients? Being in the Cotswolds, we are very lucky to have a vast array of suppliers on our doorstep. This is key to having the freshest produce available when in season, such as all of our vegetables which are sourced from Bromham House Farm. We also use a local Cotswold supplier for all of our meat, which includes 60 day-aged Longhorn



The Recipe Sri Lankan Black Lamb Curry Courtesy of Indunil Sanchi, Head Chef at The Noel Arms Hotel

“I Culinary Stays Hotel Gotham 100 King St Manchester M2 4WU The Chester Grosvenor Hotel Eastgate Street Chester Cheshire CH1 1LT

beef and pork from Mangalitsa pigs. What is your favourite dish on the menu? It would have to be a new lamb dish that we launched for summer. Rolled shoulder, rack of lamb and braised lamb tortellini, served with a baby violet artichoke barigoule, semi-dried tomato, tomato consomme and lovage oil. What are your ambitions for the menu, moving forward? I am always looking at new ideas and dishes to keep the menu fresh and exciting for our customers. My ambition is simply to continue to build on our high standards. Our kitchen team have a

'I am always looking at new ideas and dishes to keep the menu fresh and exciting for our customers. My ambition is to continue to build on our high standards '

wealth of experience and I look forward to implementing their ideas in the future. What does the future of the restaurant at The King’s Head look like? The future looks very bright. We have an amazing team in the kitchen and the restaurant, and we are consistently growing in strength and developing as chefs. Along with developing and building our relationships with local producers and suppliers, I hope that the great ideas coming from within our team will continue to enhance our menus and perfect our dishes. But first and foremost, we are focussed on achieving our AA accreditation!

The Olde Bell High Street Hurley Berkshire SL6 5LX

started cooking in my native Sri Lanka where my passion was ignited by my mother. Beginning my career in Chinese restaurants and traditional Sri Lankan kitchens, I later trained in western style cooking in the Maldives, Cyprus and Dubai, before moving to the UK and joining The Noel Arms. The menu here gives a nod to my heritage with its selection of curries and allows our customers to taste a little bit of my own cultural influences. This black lamb curry is my signature dish - traditionally it would have been a vegetable curry but the recipe has been slightly altered to utilise the beautiful local produce available here in the Cotswolds.”

Ingredients 1kg boneless lamb leg, diced 250ml coconut milk 1 large white onion, diced 2 tbsp garlic, chopped 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped 2 curry leaves 2 pandan leaves, cut to 1 inch 4 tbsp ground black pepper 2 tbsp curry powder 50ml vegetable oil 1L lamb stock Salt to taste

Method 1. Season the lamb with curry powder, black pepper and salt before leaving to marinate for 1 hour. 2. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, frying until half brown. Add garlic, curry leaves, pandan leaves and lemongrass, and fry together until the onion is brown. 3. Add the marinated lamb to the mix. Cook until the mix becomes dry and then add the stock and slow cook for 1 hour. When the sauce has become thick and the meat has softened, add the coconut milk and stir through.




Cause for Celebration When the occasion calls for a little luxury, celebrate in style with Bespoke Hotels


elebrations are all about marking occasions of significance, about temporarily abandoning the mundane and stepping into the extraordinary. Whether an anniversary or birthday, certain moments in our lives call for a little luxury, style, and a sprinkling of extra elegance. Go the extra mile for that milestone occasion by mastering the art of celebration with Bespoke Hotels. If you’re looking for grand designs, an award-winning dining experience and clandestine cocktail lounges, Hotel Gotham is the place to be. Opening its doors in 2015 at the head of Manchester's King Street, within the Gothic former Midland Bank building designed by


renowned architect Edwin Lutyens, the hotel has already won industry and public plaudits thanks to its combination of decadent furnishings, within an imposing and vault-like edifice. In 2016, it was included in Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot 100 List of the 60 best new hotels in the world, and its luxury 5-star reputation earned it the accolade of the World’s Best New Hotel in the 2016 World Boutique Hotel Awards, as well as a strong ranking in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 British Hotels of 2017. With 60 bespoke bedrooms, as well as 5 unique inner-sanctum suites named after iconic Manchester figures, Hotel Gotham is designed with unapologetic indulgence in mind. Each of the hotel’s elegant bedrooms benefits from high quality Egyptian

'Whether an anniversary or birthday, certain moments in our lives call for a little luxury, style, and a sprinkling of extra elegance. Go the extra mile for that milestone occasion by mastering the art of celebration with Bespoke Hotels.'

cotton bed linen, flat screen TVs, en suite bathrooms with monsoon showers and luxury bath robes, all of which provide the utmost in quality and comfort during your stay. The hotel’s two AA Rosette-awarded restaurant, simply known as Honey, offers a panoramic setting in which to enjoy a contemporary menu comprised of locally sourced ingredients. Upstairs, Gotham's private members' bar, Club Brass, provides the perfect backdrop for after dinner cocktails with a rooftop view.But the fun and frivolity needn’t be contained within the walls of Hotel Gotham. Positioned at the heart of one of Manchester’s most upmarket shopping districts, the hotel benefits from unparalleled access to some of the city’s finest boutiques such as Vivienne Westwood, Hermès, Whistles and Mulberry, ensuring that you’ll never be too far away from the action. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to discreetly mark your special occasion in our nation's capital, then the relaxed, contemporary style of La Suite West will be right up your street. Located on the fringes of Hyde Park and designed by renowned aesthete and visionary Anouska Hempel, this boutique Bayswater gem has been conceived with simplicity and refined elegance in mind. With its clean lines and classic black and white colour scheme, luxury meets functionality in this temple of modern and Eastern-infused design. Home to Café Forty One, London’s only entirely vegan French pâtisserie, La Suite West’s private terrace is the perfect place for al fresco dining and relaxed summer lounging. With a quintessentially British menu that manages to defy the stereotypes of plant-based cuisine, Café Forty One delivers unpretentious, modern dining at its finest. The hotel’s 79 bedrooms and suites all feature stylish four-poster beds and marble bathrooms, with finer details such as Asian-inspired dark wooden shutters transforming the spaces into quiet sanctuaries tucked away from the bustle of the borough’s busy streets. But in a neighbourhood of distinguished townhouses, and only a stone’s throw from Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Oxford Street, La Suite West is also a prime base from which to explore some of West London’s most iconic attractions and shopping hotspots.




Historical Profiles We delve into the rich heritage of some of our favourite Bespoke Hotels, exploring literary legends, aristocratic dynasties and even historic Olympic connections

Billesley Manor Hotel

Cotswold House Hotel



ocated just 3 miles outside of Stratford-upon-Avon, Billesley Manor Hotel is a 16th century Elizabethan manor house with a rich and varied history. Its impressive gardens, which house an 11th-century church, were referenced in the Domesday Book, while its 11 acres of parkland boast a 100-year-old topiary garden designed in the style of a chess board. But the hotel itself also holds a strong connection to one of the world’s most famous literary figures: William Shakespeare is said to have written ‘As You Like It’ at Billesley Manor and historians also believe that, in 1582, the bard married Anne Hathaway in All Saints Church, also located within the manor’s grounds.

Chipping Campden

The Talbot Ripley


esignated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966, Chipping Campden sits on the northern edge of the Cotswolds, where its quaint houses and bustling high street position it as a prime location for a historic getaway. This famous thoroughfare dates back to the 14th century and is lined with a locally-quarried limestone known as Cotswold stone. During the Middle Ages, the town was a rich centre for wool trading, owing to the patronage of wealthy wool merchants. Since 1612, it has also hosted the Cotswold Olimpick Games, an annual public sporting event which is now considered a forerunner to the modern Olympic Games. A market town with meteoric influence, the British Olympic Association has even referred to Chipping Campden’s games as ‘the first stirrings of Britain’s Olympic beginnings’.



ased in the heart of Surrey, just 30 minutes from central London, The Talbot is a hotel ensconced in a rich historical tapestry. Originally a coaching inn dating back over 500 years, it is alleged to be the location where Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton first met in 1798, as well as where their romance blossomed. Having undergone an extensive renovation, The Talbot is a uniquely modern hotel which maintains a firm nod to bygone eras. A matter of minutes away is Painshill Park, an 18th-century landscaped garden, and the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley, an award-winning bucolic landmark on the doorstep of the Surrey countryside.

54 Queen's Gate Hotel



ewly re-opened in late 2018 after a substantial refurbishment, 54 Queen’s Gate Hotel is situated in the heart of South Kensington, on the doorstep of some of West London’s most prized cultural amenities and prime real estate. The Grade II listed Edwardian townhouse sits within a historic neighbourhood and is only a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Kensington Palace and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Recognised as one of the most well-heeled areas in the UK, Kensington and Chelsea has a vibrant and varied history, embodied by a string of famous former residents, including Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf and J M Barrie.



Pet Friendly Pads With increasing demand for pet-friendly retreats, we take a look at escapes with pooch-pleasing policies


hen planning a getaway, one of the most difficult things for pet-owners is finding a hotel that is willing to accomodate the entire gang. For dog-owners especially, finding a dog-friendly hotel can be a frustrating task and many owners instead opt to leave their animals behind rather than take them away. Given the increasing demand for pet-friendly alternatives, many hotels are now choosing to advertise their pet-friendly policy as a feature, making it easier than ever for pet-owners to find a hotel to meet their needs. The Bespoke Hotels portfolio boasts a wide range of pet-friendly properties, including hotels that don't merely permit, but actively

'The popularity of the plant-based diet is at an all-time high which, I think, reflects the fact that many people look to plantbased eating for the health benefits and with the environment in mind '

celebrate, our four-legge friends. The Bermondsey Square Hotel is a stylish and modern boutique hotel in the heart of London's revitalised Bermondsey neighbourhood. With 90 designer bedrooms, including loft conversions which benefit from stunning views of the nearby Shard and London skyline, this hotel is truly one of a kind and offers a luxurious setting for a pet-friendly getaway. Bermondsey Square is changing the existing perception of the pet-friendly hotel, teaming its love of animals with elegance and modernity in a prime central location. On the doorstep of some of the city’s finest restaurants, bars and clubs, it’s a mere 15-minute walk from London Bridge Station, and in close proximity to Borough Market and the Tate Modern. With so much to do in this ever-evolving corner of the capital, you and your pet certainly won’t be short of outings to take or places to explore during your stay. And if you’re looking for a more rural retreat, with ample room for you and your pet to roam, then look no further than the Tulloch Castle Hotel overlooking the quaint market town of Dingwall, Scotland. Perfect for a pet and owner who love the great outdoors and yearn for a getaway where they can explore the Highlands together, Dingwall sits at the head of the Cromarty Firth in Ross-shire, a designated Special Protection Area home to bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, and grey seals. Further south, at the very foot of the Arrochar Alps, sits the Arrochar Hotel, another pet-friendly hotel ideally positioned for you to enjoy the stunning Scottish landscape in the company of your loyal friend. Situated on the shores of Loch Long, the hotel is only two miles from Loch Lomond and occupies a prime location from which to take in some of Scotland’s finest scenery. With 75 en suite bedrooms, many of which possess beautiful views of Loch Long, as well as a luxurious suite, the Arrochar Hotel is a perfect base from which to access the local area, including routes to Cobbler Peak beginning right outside the hotel’s door. So whether you’re planning a Highland retreat to explore the great outdoors, or heading down to the capital for a memorable city-break, these Bespoke Hotels offer a perfect, pet-friendly option to accommodate you and your furry friend.




Let's Get Ready to Ramble Whether you're a rambling amateur or a hiking pro, there are endless areas of natural beauty across the UK waiting to be explored, and a warm room at the end of the day with Bespoke Hotels


he countryside holds a special and important place at the heart of Britain’s cultural identity. An idyllic escape from the breakneck speed of our towns and cities, the country’s rural landscape is a living testament to the centuries of history that have shaped contemporary British life and identity. As such, its many unspoiled corners remain a popular destination for holidaymakers to explore, relax and unwind. Whether you’re a keen walker or a novice in the realm of rambling, these carefully curated rural routes will show off the best that Britain has to offer. And with a few essential public house pit-stops along the way, Bespoke Hotels will make sure you’re fed and watered while you explore some of the UK's most outstanding areas of natural beauty. From The Noel Arms and Cotswold House Hotel & Spa, both of which are located on the northern fringe of the Cotswolds, the revitalising air of the countryside is all around you. In fact, one of the most popular rambling routes in the South West, the Cotswold Way National Trail, begins in the village of Chipping Campden itself, before moving southwards through the region, finishing in the historic city of Bath. At 102 miles long, this trail isn’t for the faint hearted, but there are shorter sections of the route that are perfect for a more manageable afternoon stroll. The 6 mile stretch from Chipping Campden to Broadway is a particularly leisurely part of the trail, easily taken in over a day and showing off some of the best that the Cotswolds has to offer. Dover’s Hill, with its stunning views of the region, overlooks the area where the Cotswold Olimpick Games are held each year, while Broadway Tower, a 312-metre tall folly designed by James Wyatt in 1794, is the second highest point in the Cotswolds, offering an unparalleled vista. And with a whole host of pubs dotting the trail, including popular watering holes such as The Horse & Hound and The Crown & Trumpet, there are plenty of opportunities to stop off, refuel and reward yourself with a well-deserved drink before getting back on the road. If you’re thinking of heading to the South East for your rambling retreat, it's difficult to overlook Surrey. The most wooded county in England, Surrey is renowned for having some of the most beautiful and accessible countryside in Britain, making it a truly unspoiled paradise for hikers and walkers of all levels. Having been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958, the Surrey Hills have become the go-to stomping ground for ramblers in the South East of England. With a rich history and a diverse landscape, exploring the Surrey Hills is the perfect opportunity to see some of the best that Britain has to offer. The White Horse Hotel in Dorking and The Talbot in Ripley are both in close proximity to the Surrey Hills, with miles of stunning countryside to explore and a wealth of history to uncover along the way. Holmwood Common, located one mile south of Dorking, was once owned by King Harold and William the Conqueror, but has a rich cultural history which extends far beyond the 11th century. Fascinatingly, the common also played an integral role in the Suffragette movement of the early 20th century. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, used her home on Holmwood Common, known as The Mascot, as the organisation’s headquarters. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the house still stands to this day, allowing tourists to observe a momentous piece of feminist history while passing through. To the south-west of Holmwood Common lies Leith Hill Tower, the highest point in South East England. Built in 1765 by Richard Hull of Leith Hill Place, the 313-metre tall tower has views extending to the London skyline and, on a clear day, even the English channel. Intended as a place where people could appreciate the glory of the English countryside, and subsequently gifted to the National Trust in 1923, it still, to this day, serves its original purpose, standing as a testament to the beauty of Britain’s rural offerings. If you’re looking for a quiet country retreat with unparalleled access to some of the country’s most beautiful bucolic sights, then explore all that Bespoke Hotels have to offer and start your rural adventure today.







Golfing Getaways From Scotland to Southport, we check out the finest Bespoke Hotels up and down the country for a memorable golfing getaway


he UK is home to some of the most famous golf courses in the world, with many of them having playing host to golf’s oldest and most prestigious major tournaments. No matter whether you’re a seasoned semipro or a fledgling beginner, a golfing holiday can be the perfect way to unwind, take in the scenery and get your skills up to scratch on the green. With a fine selection of hotels ideally located just moments from some of the country’s most prestigious courses, Bespoke Hotels will ensure your next trip is a hole-in-one. Each year, thousands of people travel from all over the world to tee off on the links of Scotland and take in the birthplace of the sport. With such a rich variety of historic courses in the country, it’s not difficult to see why it draws in golf enthusiasts all year round. The Carnoustie Golf Hotel, located on the Angust coastline at the mouth of Barry Burn, is an extensive resort with a range of luxury en suite bedrooms and suites, many of which possess stunning views across the neighbouring championship course, the bay and the historic town of Carnoustie.

'The Carnoustie Links boast four courses, including the Championship course and the shorter five-hole, The Nestie. As one of the venues in the Open Championship rotation and having hosted it on eight occasions since 1931, Carnoustie is a golfing destination steeped in history. '

The Carnoustie Links themselves consist of four courses, including the Championship course and the shorter five-hole, known as The Nestie. As one of the venues in the Open Championship rotation, Carnousite has hosted golf's premier competition on eight occasions since 1931, with it recently playing host in the summer of 2018. Nestled beside a golfing destination steeped in such rich history, the Carnoustie Golf Hotel offers a modern leisure club and spa to relax in after a tough round, before dining on locally-sourced dishes in the recently refurbished Calders Bistro. Further north, the Dornoch Hotel is a historic venue in an equally enviable location, bordered by unspoiled beaches and directly overlooking the Royal Dornoch Golf Club. With twinned 18-hole courses, the Championship course and the Struie course, the club is a golfer’s paradise. Playing host to the Scottish Amateur Championship three times, as well as ranking third in Golf Digest’s list of the top 100 international golf courses outside of the United States, the Dornoch Hotel’s idyllic location, paired with its unparalleled golfing opportunities, positions

it as a prime destination for holidaymakers looking to brush up on their technique in the serene Scottish Highlands. Outside of borders of Scotland, one of the most popular regions in the UK for golfing holidays is Merseyside, with its vast range of courses attracting tourists from around the globe each year. With the likes of the Royal Birkdale and Royal Liverpool clubs within easy reach from anywhere in the county, this beautiful corner of North West England is an ideal destination for those looking to dust off their clubs and brush up on their swing. The Vincent Hotel is located on Southport’s historic Lord Street, the boulevard renowned for its imposing, classical style architecture, which is even said to have inspired the design of the streets of Paris. A 4-star hotel with 59 modern bedrooms, a range of suites and a penthouse complete with a rooftop hot tub and a steam room, The Vincent is one of the town’s premier destinations for golfing guests. With each room decked out with luxury bedding, flat-screen TVs and coffee machines, it provides a quality of stay unrivalled in the local area. A 20-minute drive away from the hotel are the Royal Birkdale

and Hillside Golf Clubs, two of the most prestigious in the region. The Royal Birkdale has hosted the Open Championship ten times, between 1954 and 2017, and has also staged the Women’s British Open six times in the club’s 130-year-long history. Home to a distinctive art deco style clubhouse, built in 1935, it's a memorable spot in which to relax and refuel after a day spent attacking the greens. Mere minutes away is Hillside Golf Club, another North West course with a fine reputation both across the UK and internationally. With a rich history dating back to 1911, it has hosted the Open Championship Final Qualifying each year since 2014, in addition to hosting the Betfred British Masters in 2019. Bordered by tranquil pinewoods typical of the coastal area, Hillside is an outstanding course perfect for both experienced golfers and amateurs alike. No matter if you’re looking to try something new while holidaying in the UK, or you’re a keen golfer looking for a serene escape to the links, these recommendations from Bespoke Hotels will make sure your golfing getaway is challenging and inspiring in equal measure.




Directory Thinking of planning your own Bespoke getaway? Then check out our incredible hotels up and down the country. With everything from stylish city pads to luxurious, remote idylls, we’ve got the perfect destinations to suit your needs. Check in and join the growing number of leisure and business guests who agree that it’s better to be bespoke.

The Arrochar Hotel Loch Lomond, Arrochar, Argyll and Bute G83 7AU 01301 702 484

Branston Hall Hotel Lincoln Road, Branston, Lincolnshire LN4 1PD 01522 793305

The Carnoustie Golf Hotel The Links, Carnoustie Angus, DD7 7JE 01241 411999

The Craigellachie Hotel Victoria Street, Craigellachie, Speyside Banffshire, AB38 9SR 01340 881204

Assembly Hotel 27-31 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0LS 020 3953 4251

The Bull and Swan St Martins, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2LJ 01780 766412

The Chester Grosvenor Eastgate, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 1LT 01244 324024

The Crown Hotel Crown Place, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 2RZ 01423 567755

Bermondsey Square Hotel Bermondsey Square, Tower Bridge Road London, SE1 3UN 020 7378 2450

BW Lamphey Court Hotel Lamphey, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA71 5NT 0333 003 4186

Billesley Manor Hotel Billesley, Alcester, Stratford-on-Avon Warwickshire, B49 6NF 01789 279955

The Caledonian Hotel Quay Street, Ullapool, Ross-Shire IV26 2UG 01854 612 306

The Bonham Hotel 35 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh Midlothian, EH3 7RN 0131 226 6050

Cantley House Hotel Milton Road, Wokingham, Berkshire RG40 1JY 0118 989 5100


Corbyn Head Hotel Torbay Road, Sea Front, Torquay Devon, TQ2 6RH 01803 213611 Cotswold House Hotel and Spa The Square, Chipping Campden Gloucestershire, GL55 6AN 01386 840330 Coulsdon Manor and Golf Club Coulsdon Court Road, Old Coulsdon Surrey, CR5 2LL 020 8668 0414 coulsdonmanorandgolf

Dornoch Hotel Grange Road, Dornoch, Sutherland IV25 3LF 0844 815 9833 The Dunollie Hotel Broadford, Isle Of Skye, IV49 9AE 0843 178 7118 East Horton Golf Centre Mortimers Lane, Fair Oak Hampshire, SO50 7EA 023 8060 2111


Directory Ennerdale Country House Hotel Main Street, Cleator, Cumbria CA23 3DT 01946 813907 Gairloch Hotel Gairloch Hotel, Gairloch, Highland IV21 2BL 01445 712001 The Green Dragon Hotel Broad Street, Hereford, Herefordshire HR4 9BG 01432 272506 Heythrop Park Resort Enstone, Oxfordshire, OX7 5UE 01608 673333 The Highlander Hotel Kingussie Road, Newtonmore Inverness-Shire, PH20 1AY 01540 673341 Hotel Brooklyn 59 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 3HP 0843 357 5555 Hotel Gotham 100 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU 0161 413 0000 Humber Royal Hotel Littlecoates Road, Grimsby, Lincolnshire DN34 4LX 01472 240024 Hunters Inn Heddon Valley, Exmoor, Barnstaple Devon, EX31 4PY 01598 763230 The Kings Arms Hotel King Street, Kyleakin, Isle Of Skye IV41 8PH 01599 534109 The Kings Head Hotel 24 Market Place, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2NR 01285 700900 The Kintore Arms Hotel 83 High Street, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire AB51 3QJ 01467 621367

The Kyle Hotel, Main Street, Kyle of Lochalsh, Highland, IV40 8AB 01599 534204 La Suite West Hotel 41-51 Inverness Terrace, Hyde Park, London W2 3JN 020 7313 8484 Lifehouse Spa and Hotel Frinton Road, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex CO16 0JD 01255 860050

Oddfellows on the Park Bruntwood Park, Cheadle, Greater Manchester, SK8 1HX 0161 697 3066

Townhouse Hotel 101 Portland Street, Manchester Greater Manchester, M1 6DF 0161 222 8748

The Olde Bell High Street, Hurley, Berkshire, SL6 5LX 01628 825881

Tulloch Castle Hotel Tulloch Castle Drive, Dingwall Ross-Shire, IV15 9ND 01349 861325

One Crown Place 54 Wilson Street, London, EC2A 2ER 020 7205 2697

The Lugger Hotel Portloe, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5RD 01872 501322

Pontlands Park Hotel West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8HR 01245 476444

Lyndene Hotel 303-315 Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 6AN 01253 346779

54 Queen’s Gate Hotel 54 Queen’s Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5JW 020 7761 4000

Magnolia Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club Arncott Road, Boarstall, Buckinghamshire HP18 9XX 01844 239700

Staying Cool Birmingham The Rotunda, 150 New Street Birmingham, B2 4PA 0121 285 1290 stayingcoolbirmingham

The Manor Country House Hotel Weston-on-the-Green, Bicester Oxfordshire, OX25 3QL 01869 350621 the-manor-country-house-hotel

Tune Liverpool 3–19 Queen Buildings, Castle Street Liverpool, Merseyside, L2 4XE 0151 239 5070 Valet Golden Square Apartments Piccadilly 9 Golden Square, Soho, London, W1F 9HZ 020 7206 2363 golden-square-apartments Valet Wembley Apartments 356 High Rd, Wembley, Greater London HA9 6AZ 020 7206 2363 Victory House Hotel 14 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BZ 020 3909 4100

Stifford Hall Hotel High Road, North Stifford, Thurrock Essex, RM16 5UE 01708 719988

The Vincent Hotel 98 Lord St, Southport, Merseyside PR8 1JR 01704 883800

Marwell Hotel Thompsons Lane, Colden Common Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JY 01962 777681

Stone House Hotel Stafford Road, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0BQ 01785 815531

The White Horse Hotel High street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1BE 01306 881138

The Master Builders Beaulieu Estate, New Forest, Southampton Hampshire, SO42 7XB 01590 616253

Stonefield Castle Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute PA29 6YJ 01880 820836

The William Cecil St Martins, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2LJ 01780 750070

Mill Hotel and Spa Milton Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3NF 01244 350035

Stonehouse Court Hotel Bristol Road, Stonehouse, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL10 3RA 01453 794950

Noel Arms Hotel High Street, Chipping Campden Gloucestershire, GL55 6AT 01386 840317 Oddfellows Chester 20 Lower Bridge Street, Chester Cheshire, CH1 1RS 01244 345454

The Talbot Ripley High Street, Ripley, Woking Surrey, GU23 6BB 01483 225188 Thames Riviera Hotel The Bridge, Maidenhead Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8DW 01628 674057



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