Bank Holiday Book-ables. It’s not too late to think about a short break away this Bank Holiday. Here is my attempt at remembering the transcript of a call I took last week:
CALLER: Hello! What are you doing for the Bank Holiday?
Me: Hello, how are you?
CALLER: Everyone keeps asking me about the Bank Holiday! I had totally forgotten about it! What should I be doing? Should I be going away? The weather has just been so amazing and suddenly everyone is going somewhere nice and I haven’t even thought about it properly!
ME: Do you want to go away? Aren’t you going away next week?
CALLER: I am? I am! Which means I have even more pressure to book the Bank Holiday thing!
ME: I’m sure there will be lots still available, people leave it until the last minute to book because the weather is so…
CALLER: But that’s just it! It’s been so nice and apparently the long range forecast is favourable, and now for some reason I am panicking that I’ll miss out on something and I don’t even know what it is!
ME: Ok, definitely don’t panic, I’ve got this…
And I do. With some help from the Hotel Gurus of course.
For A Proper Pampering
Danesfield House Hotel & Spa is a grand, and perfectly kept, Italian Renaissance style country house surrounded by 65 acres of beautifully landscaped Buckinghamshire, overlooking the Thames. And it’s less than an hour from London. The 79 rooms and suites are all individually designed, and offer both contemporary and traditional decor, there’s an excellent restaurant and the spa is mentioned in the name! And this August Danesfield has an offer designed to make your Bank Holiday even more holiday-y: with each overnight stay between Sunday and Friday you get a G&T on the terrace, a two course, alfresco dinner for two, full use of the spa facilities and a complimentary full breakfast. A double room is £275 for one night or £450 for two nights (dinner is not included on the second night).
Practical Details: Buckinghamshire, or ‘leafy Bucks’ as its exponents call it, is rife with historic homes, charming market towns and pretty villages. It’s green and rolling, and ticks many of the boxes required of a rural idyll. At the moment the long range forecast looks sunny with promise for the Bank Holiday weekend. You might need a cab to get you the final leg of the way to Danesfield House, but it’s close to a number of railway stations.
Bring Your Swimsuit
I would have thought that the incredible weather we’ve been having would have meant that the whole of Cornwall would be booked solid this Bank Holiday, but apparently not. The Hotel Gurus have found rooms available at The Old Coastguard in super-charming Mousehole. They say it’s a great little hotel with simple decor, spectacular ocean views and good food. The living areas in The Old Coastguard are large, open and friendly, and there’s a long bar and huge picture windows, from which you might see St. Michael’s Mount on a clear day. Rooms start from £140 per night, including breakfast.
Practical Details: Mousehole is as charming as its name suggests, with narrow cobbled lanes, white cottages and a harbour upon which fishing boats bob merrily. For decades this was Cornwall’s busiest pilchard port, but these days the tourist trade provides richer pickings, and things are becoming quite foodie and boutique-y, but not at the expense of charm. The long range weather forecast is looking pretty good at the moment. And Mousehole is only a 15minute drive from Penzance, which is about five hours on the train from London. Or you can fly to Newquay or Exeter.
For Super Value
I also thought Hampshire’s New Forest wouldn’t even have a stable going spare, but the Hotel Gurus came through for us there too, recommending The Bell Inn, a “charming Georgian inn on the northern edge of the New Forest. Ideal for outdoorsy types and those wanting a quiet country escape”. The Bell Inn has a red brick facade overlooking a common populated by New Forest ponies, donkeys and cows, so you’ve a real rural feel, and charming views from the 28 varied-sized rooms. The bar and restaurant are really lovely places to be too. (Read Grace’s post for lots more info, as she stayed there earlier this year.)The Bell Inn has an additional offer this August, with Sunday nights priced from just £99 per room, and including a glass of fizz on arrival, a £20 per person allocation towards the a la carte menu, and a full breakfast.
Practical Details: The Bell Inn is in the hamlet of Brook, which has a particularly charming collection of 18th and 19th century cottages. It’s about an hour and a half from London via Southampton, though if you’re travelling by train you might need to head to Lyndhurst. The long range forecast for the Bank Holiday in the New Forest is for sun and cloud, but in the right sort of balance for a great day walking, playing golf or cycling.
Bring Your Dog
The Bell Inn isn’t the Gurus only recommendation in the New Forest, they also like the Spot in the Woods, a new boutique B&B with its own cafe and deli, that loves dogs and children too! There are 11 charming rooms, and still a couple of doubles available for the Bank Holiday dates, with room rates starting from £130 per night including breakfast. Practical Details: The Spot in the Woods is just outside Woodlands, another small and pretty hamlet close to Lyndhurst.
Bring Your Glad Rags
Cliveden House, Berkshire, is gorgeous and still a bit notorious. The guides call it a ‘celebrated haunt’ and the 60s political scandal still lends a bit of raciness to this fantastic country pile – which feels more like a house than a hotel (if you happen to know people who have country piles like this!). But it’s the original Old Masters on the walls and the priceless antiques which should really take the headlines. As well as 44 beautifully decorated rooms, there’s a fabulous spa and two pools (one indoor, one outdoor), boats for hire on the river, croquet on the lawns, or tennis or squash on the courts etc. Doubles start from £595, and during the school holidays children stay free of charge when sharing their parent’s room and receive complimentary access to the ‘Little Lords and Ladies’ kid’s club.
Practical Details: Taplow, Burnham and Slough Stations are all a short distance from Cliveden, and you’re only 20 minutes drive from Heathrow.
If you are planning a holiday or short break away, do have a browse through all the Hotel Guru’s suggestions – just click here.