Escape the capital for a weekend stint at one of these perfect UK getaways
Words Helen Brown
There’s nothing like the first few days of spring for building holiday optimism. But with only so many days in a year to take, sometimes an exotic getaway can feel like a pipe dream. Especially when the mountain of emails that await after a week away isn’t worth thinking about. So a UK trip is the perfect compromise, especially when there’s such a rich selection of gorgeous boutique hotels and luxury home-from-homes. Here are our pick of some of the best.
The Mash Inn, Buckinghamshire
You’ll be familiar with the work of uber-cool restaurateur Nick Mash from his foodie-favourite gastropub in Kensal Rise. His latest and greatest labour of love has seen him converting a former 1745 pub into a new generation inn. There are five rooms with spectacular garden views, done out in a palette of chic grey. The best part of a weekend getaway to The Mash Inn however, comes from the kitchen. Jon Parry has a menu that changes twice daily and features treats such as celeriac smoked in the outside fire pit, and oyster with nettles.
Rooms from £100 per night
The Pig, Hampshire
The Pig is shabby chic in all its glory. Comfortable rooms, simple food and charming service equal an atmosphere that is clearly a winner. Again, the real draw is dinner. Think unpretentious, locally sourced and hearty dishes, served in a Victorian greenhouse. The bar and reception rooms are perfect for pre and post dinner lounging.
Rooms from £205 per night
Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Suffolk
Salthouse Harbour Hotel occupies one of Ipswich’s prime locations on the waterfront. It combines the city’s maritime history with a unique modern style for the perfect UK getaway. Rooms are classy and come in various shapes and sizes. We recommend pushing the boat out and scoring one of the larger, more spectacular stays in the modern extension.
Rooms from £304 per night
The Crown, Buckinghamshire
This modern coaching inn is a spectacle of historic timber framed buildings, only 45 minutes from London via the Metropolitan line. There are 38 bedrooms and the renowned Hawkyns Restaurant run by twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. With gorgeous countryside to explore just on the doorstep, a weekend outside of London doesn’t get more relaxing than this.
Rooms from £129 per night
Dormy House, Worcestershire
Dormy House is a 17th century stone farmhouse in the heart of the Cotswolds and has everything you need for a city escape. Rooms strike a nice balance between modern and characterful and both restaurant options will leave you extremely well-fed. Additionally, there’s a cracking cocktail menu and excellent spa. The latter will blow away the cobwebs from the night before.
Rooms from £265 per night
Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa, West Sussex
Seriously, once you’ve tried both the food and spa at the Ockenden Manor Hotel you’ll be wanting permanent residency. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, mid-morning coffee or a full afternoon tea and led by award-winning Head Chef, Stephen Crane, the Restaurant serves some of the finest food in Sussex. The impressive spa is unashamedly modern and makes a great contrast to the Elizabethan manor house that makes up the bulk of the main hotel. And if that doesn’t sound relaxing enough, it’s set in nine acres of beautiful parkland on the edge of the South Downs.
Rooms from £189 per night
Lime Wood, Hampshire
This five-year-old country house hotel has already secured its place as a top destination hotel for those looking for a UK getaway. It’s an intimate stay with a fantastic spa and even better dining. We suggest a visit to Harnett & Co, run by chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder. It has an emphasis on relaxed luxury in an exquisite setting.
Rooms from £330 per night
The Bath Priory, Somerset
Picturesque Bath is the ideal getaway from London’s hustle and bustle. Sitting within four acres of award-winning gardens and spacious terraces in Western Bath is The Bath Priory. It’s a Georgian house of honey-coloured Bath stone and enjoys a tranquil location, just a short walk to the city centre. What’s more, the hotel proudly holds Bath’s only Michelin star.
Rooms from £195 per night
Babington House, Somerset
Babington is a beautiful country house with bedrooms nestled in the heart of Somerset. Part of the Soho House Group, it’s lively, laid-back and ultra-trendy. Members are continually popping in for a spa, stay, drink or dine so it maintains a buzzy atmosphere. The facilities are what really do it – a set of outbuildings hold sizeable indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sauna and steam room, plus a cinema showing films every evening. There’s also a well-equipped gym and, overlooking the kitchen garden, the Cowshed Spa, tennis courts and a cricket pitch in summer.
Rooms from £220 per night
Artist Residence Brighton, East Sussex
This 23 bedroom townhouse hotel has two restaurants, two buzzing cocktail bars and a ping-pong room. What’s more, it’s centrally located in Historic Regency Square with sea-views over the iconic West Pier. It’s an original, lively and casual retreat with eclectic decor. For some sea-air and one of Brighton’s most stylish stays, The Artist Residence Brighton is what you need to book.
Rooms from £79 per person per night